Why learn another language?
Here are a few of the best I’ve come across. Speaking a second language will…
1.Open Up a World of Job Opportunities
Learning a second language opens up a ton of career opportunities.
The world is changing fast. More companies than ever are doing business in several – often dozens of – countries around the world, but they can’t do it without hiring globally-minded people who can speak at least one foreign language. Even in small, local companies, chances are that the ability to speak a second language will set you apart from other applicants.
2. Give Your Brain a Boost
Speaking a second language each day really can keep the doctor away! Memory improvement, longer attention span, and a reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline, are just a few of the known positive effects of speaking two or more languages.
3. Establish Deep Connections and Cross-Cultural Friendships
You can’t learn every language in the world and have an intimate knowledge of every single culture out there. But if there’s even one culture that you’d like to understand better, or even one person in your life you’d like to know better, then one of the best ways you can start is by learning to speak their language.
4. Get an Outsider’s Perspective about Your Own Culture
Language and culture are intimately linked. Learn another language and you’ll have insight into another culture.
Too many people go their entire lives never questioning the universal “truths” they take for granted in their own culture. But step outside this narrow scope, and it’s like stepping out of the Matrix; once your eyes are truly opened to that new perspective, you can never go back.
5. Become More Interesting and Meet More Interesting People
If you’re the one who speaks two or more languages apart from your mother tongue, you’ll have many more lively, engaging conversations about a variety of topics than you ever would have had otherwise.
Sure, you could spend your life trying to get by in your mother tongue everywhere you go, but that’s boring. Be fun! Be interesting! Be multilingual!
6. Stay Smart in Touristed Areas
There’s always a danger of obvious tourists being targets, or getting hassled by touts, which can ruin your experience of a place where people are actually warm and genuine. But everything changes when you use the local language.
A skill to speak the local language will open much more doors to unforgettable sites and beauties of the country.
7. Become a Better Learner
As you spend time learning your first foreign language, you’ll identify your own inefficiencies and eliminate them. You’ll start gaining momentum in your chosen language and learn more and more quickly. Then you’ll be able to hit the ground running with the next language. You’ll be on your way to polyglotism before you know it.
8. Conquer Your Fear of “Looking Stupid”
If a foreigner walked up to you to ask for help with something like directions, and they struggled to find the right English words, and made many mistakes but were obviously trying hard, would you feel like laughing at their effort? I doubt it. You’d more likely be impressed with their courage to walk up to a stranger and speak a language imperfectly. That’s a person who has conquered their fear of making mistakes in front of others, and has managed to communicate with you and gotten help with what they need.
If you decide to learn a language, and you start by speaking from day 1, then you’ll get over your fear very quickly. Not only will you be able to communicate effectively in a new language, but your confidence will get a huge boost, and you’ll never be held back from trying any new skill.
9. Thinking Logically
This may sound surprising, but when you make a decision in your second language, you’re more likely to think logically and avoid basing your decision on emotion.
There’s no way around it. Humans are emotional creatures. Everyone is guilty of making decisions too hastily and too emotionally. But if you learn to speak another language, you’ll learn to think in that language. And when you think about your decisions in a foreign language, that emotional bias tends to go away and you end up choosing the more logical outcome.
10. Enjoy Works of Art in their Original Language
If you’re a fan of any type of foreign media – or you’d like to be, but aren’t interested in experiencing it in your own language because of all nuances lost in translation – then this is an excellent reason to start learning that new language. You’ll already have a very clear goal in mind, so you’ll know what type of vocabulary will be most useful to learn, and you can use those materials as a study aid as you progress in your new language.
11. Pay as the Local
Tired of overpaying for gifts and souvenirs at markets when you go on holiday? It’s common knowledge that at many of these places, there are two prices: one for locals and one for tourists. If you make the effort to learn the local language, then you’ll end up saving quite a bit more money than you would have otherwise. And the best part is that you’ll also be participating in an authentic cultural experience in the country you’re visiting.
So What are You Waiting For?
Everyone has their own unique reasons for wanting to learn another language. But while the reasons may be different, they can all be put into action in the same way: by committing to stop making excuses, and to start speaking the language you’ve always wanted to learn.
Once you’ve held your very first conversation in a foreign language, trust yourself: you’ll never look back.