Do you speak any other language apart from your mother tongue? This question is becoming more and more popular among professionals aged 20-40. Why should we learn a different language from ours? Is it trendy? Would we get more chances to find our soul mate? Or is it just a reason to become more competitive in the job market? Being bilingual has hundreds of benefits; however the most important reason to learn a new language is that you desire to learn it. In this sense, motivation seems to be the key to the whole process - and in this multilingual world, here are eight truly persuasive reasons to become a language learner.
1) You´ll Become a Multitasker
Studies have shown that multilingual people have better task capacities. According to a study from Pennsylvania State University, bilingual individuals become smarter as they get used to working in two different language systems. In this sense, learning another language is also a good way to improve your memory (Bilinguals are better at retaining shopping lists and names). This is because the brain is like a muscle that works better when it gets exercised!
2) Learning a Third Language Gets Easier!
This is very simple. Once your brain has started working in a foreign language (which involves getting used to different constructions and memorising rules), it will be ready for a third one! This means that you will be more aware of language and you could even develop a better ear for listening. Several experts said that the action of learning a new language can make you better in speaking your mother tongue. It´s all about advantages!
3)Free Access to More than One Culture
This is one of the most beautiful treasures hidden behind languages. Who doesn't want to find out more about other cultures and traditions? If you become fluent in another language, you will have the chance to get close to people. You can make new friends and maybe you can find love. But it's not only about the people, it's also about the pleasure to read a book in the author's language and forget about the translations (You can actually feel what he or she felt while he was writing the novel). And of course, you'll be able to watch a film without subtitles and hear the actor's real laughter. And yes, that is priceless!
4)You’ll Become Someone Else
It is said that people change personality when speaking another language. Have you ever thought how would you sound in Spanish? This language, for instance, is often related to warm people and physical proximity. This is because once you learn a language you also learn the social procedures of that culture and may find yourself picking up a few new social habits outside the constraints of your usual circles.
5)Bilingualism can Delay Alzheimer's
Several studies have revealed that for monolingual adults, the mean age for the first signs of dementia is 71.4; however, for those who speak two or more languages, the mean age for those first signs is 75.5. If bilingual brains can better resist dementia, I guess it's well worth it to give it a go!
6) It Can Open Doors For You in The Job Market
As companies become more international, there is an important need for employees that are fluent in different languages. People with language skills are more valuable in the global job market. The knowledge of more than one language is necessary in most sectors. For instance, the travel sector is one of the most attractive, especially for young professionals. International companies such as Expedia offer different types of careers with languages all over the world. Remember: Try to offer what others don't have.
7) Travelling Will Be Even Better!
We all know that English is considered as “the international language”, however we also know that it's not the same going to Italy and speaking to the locals in English as if were to do it in Italian. Wherever we go on a holiday, if we don't speak the official language of the country we are visiting, we'll be missing all those little things and secrets that make that destination so fun. Speaking Spanish, for instance, is today incredibly useful for travelling. Have you ever thought of how many Spanish speaking countries you could visit in the world? There is no doubt: You speak the language, you win.
8) You´ll Become More Tolerant
Last but not least: Being able to speak another language will make you more tolerant and can encourage people to cut down racism. In other words, it will encourage you to be more open to others. And don't forget that once you can communicate in another language, you will also be able to bring new perspectives to other groups of nationalities and help them to be more tolerant.
After reading this, I hope you are now curious to learn a second language and discover the great fun that there is behind it.
It's good to Be Bilingual! by Marta Lopez Garcia was first published on Fluent, The Language Learning Blog. Join our newsletter for more language learning tips and a free copy of the Guide to the Best Language Learning Resources.