This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience.
The benefits of learning a second language can never be understated. We are a species that thrives on human connection, and language is what connects us to one another. So why settle with only knowing one?
There is data proving that learning a second (or third) language helps with — decision-making skills, improves memory, social skills, and can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia by up to 5 years.
Knowing multiple languages does not increase your IQ, but it makes your brain more complex and actively engaged.
It’s true that it is easier to learn a language, as a child because our brains are more elastic when we are young, but it’s also never too late to learn a second or third language.
Here are 7 great reasons why:
Improves Decision-Making Skills
A study was published in 2012, showing that people make more analytic decisions when they think through a problem in their non-native tongue. This is because we think more deliberately in a foreign language. We see things as they are and without pre-judgments based on our previous experience with certain words and phrases.
People who speak other languages are better able to pick up nuances and subtleties in any situation.
Coming from a country that spoke another language, I had to learn the American culture, phrases, and figures of speech. It made me hyper-focused on observing how Americans communicated with each other. From facial expressions to hand gestures, it helps me to read people quickly and allows me to excel at my sales profession.
Improves your memory
Studies find that multi-lingual children perform better at tasks that require memory than monolingual children. Knowledge of more than one language contributes to a better working memory because more of your brain is at use.
Benefits your attention span
Knowing multiple languages can help you focus and deal with distractions. Bilingual people are used to switching between languages, and knowing when to do so. That means a lot of practice for the brain of focusing and filtering information.
Knowing someone’s language is the easiest way to make a connection. People are much more likely to open up to you when they feel comfortable. Make the simple gesture to speak someone else’s language and they will let their guard down. Language is the biggest factor that connects us to one another.
We live in a world that is more connected than ever before in human history. Through globalization, our economies are intertwined with one another (whether we like it or not).
There are undeniable social benefits and learning opportunities when we learn more than one language. We meet new people who come from different countries and have different views. Seeing beyond our own bubble is an effective learning tool. It’s a reminder that you can accomplish something in many different ways. All of which, with different reasonings to come to a solution.
I’ve met many interesting people from different walks of life because of my language skills. The knowledge and lessons learned have been life-altering. I’m a firm believer that every person offers something you can learn from (even if negative).
There are almost 8 billion people on earth. All of them have different stories and experiences. That excites me when I think about how much you can learn from that. Why stay in your bubble? Get out of your bubble and thrive.
Professional benefits – It widens job opportunities
Knowing multiple languages opens up professional opportunities that monolinguals won’t have. These opportunities are in areas like marketing, transportation, administration, sales, retail, banking, education, law, communication, public relations, tourism, and government. Corporations need employees who are bilingual or multilingual because of the many countries they operate with.
It also increases your chances of getting hired and getting paid more. Someone is more likely to get hired (and paid more) if they are multilingual, as opposed to a candidate with the same experience who is monolingual.
Another benefit of being multilingual is the flexibility of the careers you will have. It gives you the opportunity to move to other countries to pursue your career. Imagine working and coming home in the middle of the day to siesta when living in Spain. That’s something I can get behind.
Learn about things from a new perspective
Learning a new language and experiencing the culture makes you more open to different kinds of people and ideas. We live in a globalized world and a diverse culture in the United States. It’s a valuable skill to be able to pick up cultural cues for more effective communication.
You also have a higher chance of traveling when you learn a new language. What better way to immerse yourself in a new language than to travel somewhere where that’s all they speak?