Is your New Year’s Resolution to learn a new language this year? If it isn’t then you should consider adding it to your list. Learning a new language has never been so important and useful today. In a globalized world where there is an increase in international business, travel and migration, knowing another language comes in handy to communicate. Whether this will be your second, third or fourth language check out these 6 reasons why learning a new language is so beneficial.
It Can Help Towards Your Career
Speaking more than one language gives you a competitive edge and can provide more career prospects. You can move anywhere around the world and have a better chance of finding employment, in different fields than someone who is monolingual. Jobs such as being an interpreter, translator, teacher, working at an embassy, hotel industry, airlines and tourism. If you are interested in marketing and sales you can take charge of a geographic region and speak with clients and customers in their native tongue. For instance, if you speak Dutch you can easily talk with clients from the Netherlands and Belgium.
Additionally, with the increase of globalization and companies moving around the world; the need to be bilingual has become more of a requirement. Some companies may pay more for someone who can speak English and Dutch than only English. Being able to learn a new language can make you more marketable and set you apart from other candidates. Also, if you plan to live and work in another country then learning a new language is vital not only for job prospects but for better assimilation. If you have a good command of languages you can even start your own business!
Exercise Your Brain
Research has shown that learning a new language can easily sharpen and stimulate your brain. There are cognitive benefits such as memory improvement and recall and less risk towards cognitive decline and dementia. Studies show that those learning a new language develop better analytical thinking and receptiveness to other areas of learning.
Have More Enriching Travel
Language is one of the primary barriers foreigners have when going abroad. Having knowledge of the local language gives you an advantage over being a tourist. Directions and getting around your new environment will be easier. You won’t have to rely on translator apps. Even knowing the smallest of words can help you. Before visiting the Netherlands I made sure to study useful Dutch phrases and it really made a difference when interacting with locals. The truth is that locals appreciate the fact that you speak their language and may even be more receptive towards you. And this can totally alter your travel experience for the better.
English speakers have it easy since many countries will speak English. However, there will be many moments where you won’t be able to find someone who speaks it. In these scenarios having knowledge of another language can be helpful, especially if you travel frequently. Find out from locals where the best places are to eat, go shopping and avoid the touristy places. This makes traveling more rewarding and enriching. More so, language skill provides an opportunity to interact and connect with people and learn about their culture.
You Can Pick Up Other Languages Quicker
If you know one language it may be easier to pick up two or three others because of the similarities. For instance, knowing Spanish will make it easier to pick up French and Portuguese. Likewise, speaking English would therefore make learning Dutch or German being that they are in the same Germanic family.
Learn More About Your Native Language
When you learn a new language you gain a better understanding of your native one and how it functions. You start to pay more attention to the grammar, structure and word order. For instance, when learning French and Dutch I came to better comprehend what auxiliary verbs were in English. Prior to this I would have not been great at explaining it in my native tongue!
Learning a New Language Is Fun
It’s cool to have another language to add to your repertoire. Make more friends and communicate with people you normally would not. Maybe you can talk with your friend if you don’t want others to understand.
How Can I Learn a New Language Or On My Own?
There are countless Youtube videos, movies and tv shows that you can watch. In fact, many bilingual and monolingual people claim they gained fluency through the media. You’ll be able to hear proper intonation and repeat things in the comfort of your home. Watching movies with the subtitles on is very helpful or otherwise watching it in the native language too.
Another great tactic is reading books or newspapers the language you are learning, particularly more advanced literature. I find that this really builds up your comprehension and vocabulary. I keep a dictionary by my side so I can look up any words I’m not familiar with. How about jumping on a skype call with your international friend and exchange language. Talk for 30 minutes in their language and another 30 minutes on your own. There are helpful apps that enable you to do a language for free or for a minimal fee like italki.
Final Thoughts On Why you Should Learn a New Language
Having lived in four countries I understand the importance of learning a second language. In today’s globalized and interconnected world, knowing a second language is a great asset to have no matter what part of the world you’re in.