It is becoming more and more essential nowadays to be able to speak more than one language. You could always stick to knowing one language for the whole of your life but then you wouldn’t know how much you would be missing out on! Hence, we highly recommend you give it a go and try to learn some Française, Espagnol, Deutsch etc.
Here are some of the reasons why you should take up a new language.
1. It opens up a whole world of job opportunities
Learning a second language can open up a vast number of career opportunities. It doesn’t matter if it’s freelancing or working location-independently, being multilingual is always a valuable asset and there are plenty of situations where speaking two or more languages can improve your employment prospects.
In this fast-changing world, more and more companies are expanding and working into different countries. But obviously those companies won’t be able to do that if they didn’t hire globally-minded people who can speak at least one foreign language. For example, remember seeing those people at the airport travelling to foreign countries ‘on business’ all the time? Well that could be you.
No matter if we are talking about small or big companies, the ability to speak a second or third language would set you apart from other applicants.
2. Brain Boost
Ever heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well the same goes for speaking a second language. Hundreds of studies have proven this and demonstrated the cognitive benefits of learning another language, regardless of your age. Improved memory, and a longer attention span are just two of the few known positive effects of speaking two or more languages.
3. Make intercultural friendships
Have you ever felt a pang of regret when you meet someone from another culture and realise that you could have bonded with them on a much deeper level if only you could have spoken their language as well?
For example, if you were to go abroad for a few months and wanted to socialise and make friends with the locals. It is well known that a majority of the population speak English nowadays, but imagine how much more you would be able to bond with them and be able to immerse yourself in their culture.
4. Become safer in touristy areas
You know how everyone warns you to be careful when visiting touristy areas. Pickpockets are always on the lookout for obvious tourists to target and an encounter with those is never a pleasant experience. These so called ‘obvious tourists’ tend to be the ones speaking English or some other distant tongue, however this quickly changes when you know and use the local language.
5. Become a better learner
Every time you learn a new language, you will find it is easier than the one before. Why? With each new language you learn you will discover the most efficient way for you to learn a.k.a. you develop language hacks. Once you start learning, you’ll identify your own inefficiencies by trial and error and eventually eliminate them completely. Then when you decide to move onto a new language you will be able to hit the ground running.
6. Overcome the fear of ‘looking stupid’
If a foreigner walked up to you to ask you for directions and they struggled to communicate in English, you wouldn’t laugh at their effort, would you? You would most likely be impressed with their courage to come up to a stranger and ask for help. The same goes if the roles were reversed, hence don’t let this stop you from learning and practising a new language. You are not bound to know it perfectly from day one, but that’s what practice is for.
7. Enjoy works of art in its original form
Have you ever wanted to watch a French film with no subtitles, be able to read a manga or be able to understand the lyrics of your favourite Spanish songs? Works of art do not come only in English. Imagine how accomplished you’ll feel if you were able to enjoy them in their original pure form. You would also not have to deal with the usual bad translations or English dubs, which can sometimes scar you for life. Also, most of the time, original foreign films are much better than their American remakes!
8. Smaller chance of getting ‘ripped off’!
It’s no secret that some touristy places, charge different prices for tourists and locals. Even if you are super good at haggling, imagine the advantage you would have if you knew how to speak the local language. You wouldn’t have to overpay for gifts and souvenirs at markets when on your holiday.
9. You can do it!
You can give loads of reasons for failing to learn a language, however deep down you know that you can, you just need to have the desire for it. You are never too old, have the wrong genes or don’t have enough time. If it’s something you enjoy and really want do, you can overcome the excuses.
So quit hesitating and start learning!