Learn a Second Language Today

Learning new languages can be a hassle for some, but the benefits are worth the struggle. Not only can learning a new language aid in teaching you about the language/culture you’re learning about, if you’re really investing your time into learning a new language, you can learn a lot about language in general.

Firstly, you will be smarter by learning a language. Learning a foreign language has been shown to enhance memory capabilities. It can also lengthen your span of attention, which can be very important if you live a naturally busy lifestyle, especially if you multitask. Being bilingual gives you the potential benefit of becoming more creative as a person, along with improved decision making. In fact, doing activities like playing chess, cognitive puzzles, and other brain-training activities have been shown to improve the function of your brain, both in short and long-term.

Another amazing benefit is that being able to fluently speak a second language allows for more career opportunities. When you think about it, many large companies have offices, or locations of some sort, in several countries or regions. Sometimes, a higher-up may be working with you and they tend to speak another language, or maybe a customer does speak, and may only speak another language. It would be a huge advantage for you to be able to speak another language, especially if the management values that skill of yours. You can work in more diverse domains, and in addition to that, you may be able to take up a role as a translator/interpreter, which can allow you to travel around to different locations in your profession.

Learning another language is crucial for appreciating and gaining an understanding of other cultures. Most of what we get to know about other cultures can be filtered heavily, diluted, or quite simply misunderstood and misconstrued. Now it does need to be said that “only” learning a foreign language will not give you the best understanding of a culture, but it is an under-recognized way to learn about a culture. You can enjoy music, movies and TV shows that are exclusive to the country or region that the foreign language you’re learning is also a part of. You will be able to understand cultural differences, and be more accepting of other people, their customs, traditions, religions and other things of the sort.

In addition to appreciating other cultures, you can be sure of the fact that learning a new language, may or may not be pretty necessary for foreign travel, especially if you plan on staying for a while. It is pretty advantagous for you to be able to speak a foreign language that is spoken in many countries, (other than English), like Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, etc. depending on the regions you plan to travel to. It can actually drastically change your experience in a foreign country if you do not know that country’s language. It can make simple tasks like ordering food, asking for directions, talking to officials and reading advertisements or street signs incredibly daunting if you do not know a foreign language. By being able to fluently speak a foreign language, you will be much more, “equipped”, and prepared to converse with locals and just become immersed in a new culture.

A quite underrated and unknown plus-side to acquiring the capacity to speak a new language is that your ability to speak your own native tongue becomes sharpened. Ergo, you can gain better communication skills. Multilingual people have the capacity for being able to express themselves to a much higher degree of accuracy, and are able to grasp subtle meanings more effectively than others who cannot understand and communicate with more than one language. Studies show that people who can speak another language tend to be better at nonverbal communication, which is just incredible. Adding onto this, you will be able to better understand linguistics, and general language arts when you learn a new language.

Finally, a spectacular long-term advantage of learning a new language is that it “can” help to prevent long term neurological diseases, aging of the brain and cognitive deficits that come with aging. I am talking about diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, etc. I need to emphasize that this is nowhere close to 100% certain that it will prevent these diseases, nor can it “cure” them. All I am simply saying is that training your brain to be more capable of performing a wider range of functions, can help to, at the very least, delay the symptoms or progression of such diseases. According to Glasglow Memory Clinic, (Scotland’s Leading Alzheimer’s Clinical Research Center) studies have shown, in the past, that bilingual people tend to show signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s 4.5-5 years later than the people who only speak one language. They have also stated quite simply that one of the best ways to keep your brain active and alive is by challenging it, and “the process of becoming bilingual exercises your brain, challenges your concentration and boosts your key problem-solving skills.” They have also stated, ” Obviously, we can’t completely prevent a certain decline in memory that comes with age, but keeping the brain in good working order and expanding your knowledge through learning a new language can delay the progression of dementia later in life.”

To wrap things up, I just want to conclude with maybe one more added side effect of learning a second language. That is, you might get a boost in confidence. It can be a pretty great feeling being able to recognize when somebody is speaking that different language you know, whether it be on TV, in a song, or maybe just a reference to that culture, which you can now understand because you now know that foreign language. In addition, you might just have an edge over other people who can only fluently speak one language. So, in conclusion, I strongly recommend for you to learn at least one more language. There are so many benefits, and it far outweighs the struggle to do so. If you are struggling, there are plenty of resources online that you can have access to, including language-learning apps like Duolingo, Babble, Rosetta Stone, and many more that are specially designed to teach you how to speak a new language of your choosing. There are also plenty of resources on YouTube that you can find to help you along the way. Remember, it will take time. Nobody learns a new language in just one day, think about it, it took you how long to learn your native language? Now you’re learning a second one, BUT, you are doing so with the knowledge acquired over at least a decade of learning. You got this, so I encourage you to give it a try.

Sources:

https://www.translateday.com/benefits-learning-foreign-language/#:~:text=1%20Makes%20you%20Smarter.%20One%20of%20the%20biggest,be%20able%20to%20recognize%20when%20somebody%20is%20 (Used for some additional, general supportive information to help base my claims)

http://glasgowmemoryclinic.com/news/learning-language-prevent-dementia/ (This is the link to the information posted by Glasglow Memory Clinic)

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