We live in an extremely interconnected, fast-paced world. One where, thanks to the growing influence of modern technology, people from all around the world can communicate to each other in a moment’s notice. As a result, it is becoming more and more of an advantage to know another language in order to keep up with the changing times.
Below are six reasons why knowing a second language is an amazing skill to have!
It helps when travelling
If it is one of your life’s ambitions is to see the Seven Wonders of the World, knowing another language will definitely be beneficial to you! Firstly, knowing the native language of the place you are visiting makes travelling so much easier and more fun. For instance, being able to simply read a sign or ask someone where the nearest bathroom is can make a big difference in, or even potentially save, one’s day. Knowing the language also allows you to communicate with the locals of the area, resulting in wonderful conversations with people who you would have never been able to communicate with if it wasn’t for the luxury of being bilingual.
It adds to your resume
Knowing another language is a huge benefit when looking for a job, especially as the world is becoming more and more culturally interconnected. It is for this reason that having an extra language listed on your resume usually draws potential employer’s interests and can greatly impact your chances for getting the job. Similarly, the ability to speak a foreign language can also help gain a promotion. Additionally, bilingual job applicants have an advantage when applying for careers in leadership, management, communications, and international business as these jobs are generally very appreciative of someone who is proficient in a second language.
It expands your cultural knowledge
Not only does being bilingual grant you easier travels and more job opportunities, it also greatly increases how deeply you know the culture that language is derived from. This is influential for a number of reasons; however, the biggest one is that it creates a sense of understanding and connectedness to the language’s origins. Also, the ability to connect and share stories with people in their own language can lead to many exciting discoveries about the world that one may have never been exposed to if it wasn’t for the knowledge of a second language. Beyond this, gaining an appreciation for another culture enables one to grasp a more profound understanding of their own culture and can lead people to positively contribute to society.
It can makes you smarter
Beyond gaining more appreciation for different cultures, learning a foreign language also increases one’s brainpower in many ways. For instance, multiple studies have shown that adults proficient in two languages or more had better concentration skills and performed better on attention tests. This also coincides with the unrefuted fact that those who are bilingual also score better on standardized reading comprehension, vocabulary and math exams. Additionally, all of these academic enhancements can be attributed to how learning another language improves one’s memory due to constantly exercising the brain as though it is a muscle.
It can improve your health
Since studying another language is essentially an amazing mental workout, it is no surprise that another benefit of knowing a second language is that its helps to keep you healthy. In fact, according to a study conducted by Edinburgh University and Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, scientists have recently began to see that people who are bilingual tend to develop dementia up to five years later than those who are monolingual. This can be linked to the results of having a strong memory due to the constant mental exercise practising another language results in. In addition, the study also suggests that the act of switching between languages is a form of brain training that is unique and incredibly helpful in understanding the effects bilingualism has on the onset of dementia.
The joys of learning a new language are never-ending and rightfully so, since learning one is no easy feat. For this reason, once a second language is perfected, people usually jump at every chance they get to utilize their bilingual skills. There is just something special and exciting about being able to hold a conversation with someone or communicate thoughts and ideas in a language that was once foreign to you. Beyond this, knowing more than one language also helps people understand more about who they are in the midst of all the cultural immersion learning a new language brings into one’s life.