Habla español? Parlez-vous Français? Or English is the only language you speak and you have never even tried to learn a foreign language? In a modern world, where the boundaries are blurred due to the internet, speaking English is not enough. Even when working on an all-important essay, you may notice that your research lacks some important material as it is limited only by one language. But if you speak at least two languages, you can increase the value of your essay as you will use materials that most of the students cannot use.
Of course, you may insist that everyone learns English as this is the most widespread language in the world and there is no necessity to learn other languages. But is that true? English is only the third place, as the most widespread languages are Chinese and Spanish. Your excuses are not effective. You just need to learn a foreign language!
Why Learn New Languages?
If you still think that you do not need to learn another language, check out these 8 reasons that will explain to you why it is so important. Perhaps you will change your attitude or find something that will impress you even more than speaking fluently in Chinese or Japanese.
1. Boost Your Cognitive Functions and Memory
Our memory becomes worse with age. When studying at school and at university, we get to know something new every day. We learn pieces of text or verses by heart, try to keep all information that professors give us in our minds, discover something new and do everything possible not to forget that information. But being adults, we use the knowledge that we have previously gained and rarely learn anything new. Our memory becomes weaker, we start to forget things quicker and quicker, and cannot keep important information in our minds. However, those who learn foreign languages work on their memory all the time. Their mind is more flexible, and they can perceive and keep more information.
Additionally, learning a language influences your cognitive functions in general. You literally become cleverer when you learn a second language. You mother tongue also becomes better. Your analytical functions improve. You start to find the correlations and links between different areas of studying and implement them in your research.
2. Avoid Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's is one of the diseases that ruin lives. Problems with memory like the inability to remember the name of a new acquaintance has nothing to do with it. Alzheimer's is a loss of memory that provokes a total disorder: sometimes, a person forgets years. Along with these years, a person forgets people, even the ones whom they loved. Studies suggest that speaking at least two languages delays dementia, and in most cases reduces the chances that a person will ever get this disease. This is because when you speak two languages your brain changes its functions. As your brains is a muscle the regular training makes it stronger and less prone to neurodegenerative diseases.
3. Boost the Skill of Multitasking
While psychologists keep discussing multitasking, linguists and those who speak at least two languages easily deal with several tasks simultaneously. Again, this is about how our brain functions and how its functions change when a person starts to learn a second language. The example is simple: every notion has two words to mark it. When you look at a book, you know that this is a book, but you also know that this is el libro. Your brain gets used to complete at least two functions at the same time.
4. Learn Other Cultures
Language is an essential part of any culture. Besides, while studying a foreign language, you also study another culture: the history, the government, the nature, behaviour of people, traditions and customs, religion, etc. Learning a foreign language is all-inclusive, it is more than just learning words and grammar. Learning other cultures has its own benefits – the world becomes more open to you.
5. Reveal New Job Opportunities
The job market is full of opportunities. However, not everyone can use them as the demands are very high. There is one requirement that frequently makes us forget about the career growth or a new job – fluent knowledge of another language. Today, most of the companies work in the international market and it is crucially important for them to have specialists who speak other languages. This is especially important for corporations that work with Asian and Scandinavian markets. So, in this case, Swedish or Chinese language would be relevant.
6. You Can Raise a Kid Bilingual
Parents always want their kids to grow up clever, tolerant, and open to the world. The easiest way to do that is to teach your kid to speak two languages since their earliest childhood. It is not enough to just hire a teacher who will come two times a week, it is essentially important to speak with a kid in two languages all the time. If you do not know a foreign language, it will be impossible. Take care of your kid’s future – start to learn languages before it's too late!
7. Travels Became More Comfortable
Do you know that feeling when you go to another country but you have to use the dictionary all the time, even to ask for a cup of coffee? If you know the language of the country you can forget these uncomfortable moments. Besides your travels will become more interesting as you will be able to communicate with people without language barriers.
8. You Can Do More Profound Research
For students, studying a foreign language is essential. Perhaps the most wonderful feeling is to find some research or investigation (or the materials for research) that have never been used by other students. Foreign languages allow doing that. For example, you can use the investigations that have never been translated into English of famous Russian linguists or analyze how Japanese students implement research in their studies.
Speaking several languages had been a prerogative for the royals. However, today this is available for everyone. The resources for studying languages are uncountable. The only thing you really need is desire. Do not miss the chance to change your life for better – learn new languages and expect enhancement of the quality of your work, study, and social life.