Why to Learn a Foreign Language
Learning a foreign language is something that more and more people are taking an interest in these days. In the United States, about 20 percent of university students have taken it upon themselves to learn a second language. In Europe, however, this figure is much higher at 92 percent. Some people even travel abroad to learn a language from native speakers in the local community.
There used to be a time when knowing how to speak a foreign language was a novelty or something that made an impression on others. But these days, it quickly becomes more of a necessity, and knowing one or two foreign languages will definitely make your life easier.
Advantages of learning a foreign language
Learning a foreign language may take some effort, but it actually helps a lot in many ways. Here are some of the most frequently mentioned advantages that you can enjoy when you learn a foreign language.
Thanks to modern technology, the world is getting smaller every minute, and global communication is almost a mandatory part of everyday life for many people. Whether it is for work or social purposes, many of us are in constant interaction with people from all over the world. Needless to say, we don’t all speak the same language. While some people are very creative in communicating without words, this method is still very limited. In order to bridge the communication gap and understand each other better, we should focus on learning a foreign language.
Experience new cultures
Traveling is a wonderful experience. You get to see new places, try out different cuisines, mingle with different people and experience new cultures. But all of this can be difficult if you cannot communicate with the locals in their native language. Therefore, if you want to make the most of your travel experiences, it is highly recommended that you at least take a crash course in the language of your destination country before you depart.
More career opportunities
Nowadays, many job openings are from international companies. This means that while you will not necessarily be transferred to another country, it is very likely that you will be communicating with business partners or customers from different countries. Thus, fluency in a foreign language will certainly be an advantage of your CV. Some companies also require applicants to speak a specific language in order to qualify for certain positions.
Improved cognitive skills
Even if you don’t think about traveling or applying for a new job, learning a foreign language can be very beneficial. Studies have shown that learning a language, no matter what, can significantly improve cognitive skills. There is also no age limit for this kind of mental improvement, but the sooner you start learning, the more you can improve your mental prowess. In addition to mastering a new language, you will also have better memory, improved problem-solving abilities, enhanced creativity, and so on.
Bigger social network
Even as you begin the process of learning a new language, you have probably already started making new friends with those who are in the same class as you. That’s what it is, you all have something in common already in your interest, to learn the same foreign language. The journey of learning a new language is actually very unique and memorable, and it’s very likely that you will become friends with the people you meet along the way. And of course, once you know the language, it will be very easy for you to build a bigger social network in a global environment.
Prevention or delay of dementia
In line with the benefit of improving your cognitive skills, learning a foreign language has also been linked to the prevention or delay of the onset of dementia. Studies show that bilingual people are less likely to suffer from dementia.
Choosing a foreign language to learn
If you are applying for a job in a foreign country or you already have a travel itinerary, these plans determine which foreign languages you may want to learn. But if you don’t have such plans, there are many other factors that can help you decide which foreign language to learn. Perhaps your mother or father has a family from a certain country — you can pay homage to your roots by learning the language of your ancestors. If you love watching Korean or Japanese movies, you can enjoy them more if you learn the language and not just read the subtitles.
Interestingly, native English speakers are less likely to learn a second language than non-native English speakers. They probably don’t feel the need to do so as English is the most widely used language online. But now that you are aware of the many benefits of learning a new language, you may want to take the plunge and start learning that second language soon.