Learning a second language is not an easy task, even for speakers of mutually intelligible languages such as Spanish or Portuguese. Among other things, you have to learn completely new vocabulary, grammar structures, and pronunciation. For many people, this process can be long and arduous, and there will be lots of moments when you feel like giving up. However, despite all the obstacles, learning a second language can bring numerous benefits to you that will make all the efforts worth it.
This article is a guide to why learning a second language is good for you.
Enhance Your Career Prospects
In a globalized world, knowing a second language can significantly enhance your career prospects.
The experts at livefluent.com explain that the number of jobs available to you doubles the moment you can speak another language fluently.
Furthermore, multilingualism is one of the top preferred skills for all occupations, regardless of your sectors and skill levels, and this demand is only going to increase as the world becomes increasingly globalized.
In every sector, the ability to have smooth interactions with customers, clients, and partners in their mother tongues is extremely important and it might just be a deal-breaker.
See More of the World Through a Different Perspective
Traveling as a speaker of the local language will give you a completely different experience from doing so as a non-speaker.
While access is the same for all travelers, travelers who speak the local language will have an easier time finding their way around the country, avoid common tourist traps, and have the opportunity to experience the country like a local.
Furthermore, the ability to communicate in the local language will help you understand the country better from the perspective of its people.
You will be able to better develop an appreciation for the culture and history of the place you are visiting, which will make your trip all the more memorable.
In short, you will be able to connect and interact with the place and its people in a way that is often impossible for people who don’t speak the language.
Especially if you are living in a foreign country for a long period of time, being able to speak the language will make it easier for you to adapt and enjoy everything the country has to offer.
Improve your Networking and Communication Skills
As well as being able to see the world through another lens, in a broader sense, learning another language can also enable you to become more appreciative of other people’s opinions and cultures.
After learning a second language, you can expand your social circles with speakers of the language that you have recently learned, but also people from other cultures as well.
Moreover, by learning a new language with its own vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, and idioms, you gain a deeper understanding and have a better command of your first language.
For example, by learning French, you could discover the etymology surrounding certain English words taken directly from French, such as laissez-faire, rendezvous, vis-à-vis, and know how to pronounce them correctly.
Stimulate your Brain
The learning process of another language requires your brain to actively exercise and challenges it to understand new concepts, new systems of rules, and structures associated with the new language.
As your brain continuously undergoes this training, you will have improved memory, cognitive thinking, and enhanced concentration.
In other words, you become smarter just from learning a second language.
The learning process will help increase your EQ (emotional quotient) as you become more able to adapt to changes with greater creativity and flexibility.
If that weren’t enough, language learning keeps your brain healthy and immunizes it from mental aging and cognitive decline (including dementia and Alzheimer’s) in your later years.
Make Learning Other Languages Easier
After you have learned a second language, you will realize that picking up additional languages suddenly becomes easier.
This is because the same learning techniques for one language are also useful in learning other languages.
As mentioned above, being able to speak in different tongues can induce many positive cognitive benefits, as your brain is trained to analyze and process different linguistic structures.
When you encounter another language, your brain will intrinsically break down the new language into linguistic structures and compare them with what you have learned.
This works in a similar fashion to muscle memory: as you learn one language, learning another becomes easier.
At the end of the day, what you are getting from learning a second language is not just the new language you can speak, but many other wonderful benefits that go along with it.
Knowing a second language can be one of the best things that you do for your life and your career.
So give it a try and see where this second language will take you!