6 Good Reasons To Learn A Second Language
Learning a new language may seem intimidating, but it’s actually a very rewarding process and quite achievable thanks to all of the resources available today. It’s not the easiest thing you can do, but it’s a lot easier than you probably think. If you’re thinking about learning a new language but are still not sold on the idea, consider these 6 good reasons to learn a second language!
1. Career Advancement
One of the main good reasons to learn a second language is the fact that it will dramatically increase your value and marketability in terms of your career.
You may think that this only applies if you work in international relations or in a related field, but any job can be enhanced by an ability to speak another language. Depending on your line of work, and who your business partners are, you could learn Arabic, since it’s a common language in parts of Africa and the Middle East, or perhaps Chinese since it’s spoken by so many people all over the world, or you can also learn Korean. As long as you know another language, you are opening opportunities both for yourself and for your employer.
Having a second language on your resume will inspire confidence among current and future employers because additional languages can help you communicate with new customers, increase sales opportunities, and it can provide you with better job opportunities.
2. Boosts Your Brain Power
Second, learning a new language has been shown to actually increase brain power and help stave off mental decline as we get older.
It’s believed that people who have learned a second language have greater verbal memory and can concentrate on difficult tasks longer than those who only spoke one language. Those who are bilingual typically have greater cognitive abilities compared with those who speak only one language. That’s because learning a second language is like learning a skill – it takes time and patience, and it actually makes the brain more active.
Because language is a complex thing – involving sounds, letters, and grammatical rules – learning a language is like doing advanced brain exercises. So the more languages you know, the better your brain health will be.
3. Gain A Deeper Cultural Understanding
When people are able to communicate with each other in their native languages, they end up sharing more of themselves.
Learning a second language may help you gain a cultural understanding that’s deeper than if you only spoke your native language. This is because when you learn another language, you’re able to understand the culture in a different way than if you only spoke your own. You’ll be exposed to new ideas and things that differ from your own culture.
You may even be more open-minded towards other people’s beliefs because of this difference in perspective. Especially if you’re learning a language from a country that’s very different from your own.
4. Travel With Ease
Another good reason to learn a second language is so that you can travel better.
If you have learned another language, then you’ll be able to communicate more easily in different countries where that language is spoken. While English is widely spoken, there are a lot of places where it isn’t really spoken outside of business. You’ll be able to ask for directions or order local food in your native tongue rather than standing out as a foreigner because you can’t understand or speak the words.
5. Experience More With Literature
One of the best reasons to learn a second language is that it allows you to experience literature and other writing in a new and exciting way.
When you read books or watch movies in your native language, there’s so much more than what meets the eye when compared with reading or watching them in another language. Things that may not have been intended by the author will be brought up, and you can learn a lot about different cultures through books. If you really want to experience a language as authentically as possible, then reading it in its original form is one of the best ways to do so. A lot of the time, there are things that are simply untranslatable, so the translator has to choose either providing the reader with the intended meaning, or with the intended pun, style, or rhythm. Either way, a lot can get lost in translation.
6. Learn About Your Own Language
When you learn another language, it also helps you understand your own.
Studying the similarities and differences between two languages can teach you what’s universal about them, as well as what separates them. Comparative linguistics is a bit advanced, but it’s one of the best ways to understand your own language better. It’s also helpful to know how your language is different from others in order to avoid the misunderstandings that can come with it. It can tell you a lot about how certain people have developed over the years and how their language developed with them.
The benefits of learning a second language are abundant! And there are so many reasons why you should make an effort to learn another one. Creating a challenge for yourself by setting yourself on the course of learning a second language is one of the best ways to improve your own personal development. It will make you seem more intelligent, make you more open-minded, help you travel better, read literature in a different way, and learn about your own language better. So what are you waiting for?