According to UN, there are currently 193 independent countries around the world. People of those countries speak different languages. In order to broaden our horizons, become more open minded and socialize with folks from all over the globe, we tend to learn a new language because the benefits of learning a Language are many.
Most of the time we decide to learn more commonly used languages, English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, etc. In the remaining, less often cases, we want to learn languages that are not as likely to be taught in school and are rare: Hindi, Hebrew, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and so on.
A lot of people want to become polyglots, study and speak as many languages as they can. Others are not as much interested in it. Of course, there are reasons and motives behind our desire to learn a lot of new languages, following tons of advantages. However, it’s a bit hard to find downsides to it.
Perks of knowing a second language are so many, that you could categorize them in groups of the ones that are more similar to each other.
If you happen to be an avid traveler, willing to visit many countries, get to experience new cultures like a native, meet new people and communicate, then learning a new language is hands down an essential thing for you.
Travelling is about your cognitive development; It’s about digging deeper into the culture and all their differences. Imagine travelling to the beautiful Italy, fluently speaking Italian, socializing with the carriers of that amazing culture with ease, not needing anyone to translate for you, avoid sales-assistants who speak poor English and make the process confusing and had for you. Does this not inspire you to learn the language in order to travel to the country it is spoken in to experience it first hand?
Do you have friends that speak more languages than you do? Don’t you find it fascinating, how a person can learn and speak another language that is completely different from their mother-tongue? Or have you ever failed while pronouncing “bruschetta” at a fancy restaurant?
Well, if you are the type of person, who is driven by the motive to impress their social circle and never have to experience an awkward moment of mispronouncing, then what better way can you find, if not speaking 5 more languages? However, keep in mind, that impressing others is secondary, so choose to learn a language you like in order to impress yourself and surprise your own skills first, and make it just one of the many motivations to continue.
If you speak more than one language, then you have probably experienced and noticed that your brain starts thinking over some situations in the other language. Thinking over a decision in different languages in your head is proved to help you make better and more rational decisions while also reducing the risk of getting tangled up in your thoughts about gaining and losing. Also, learning a new language trains your brain to work faster, that is why, according to a lot of distinguished scholars and their case studies, the students who are learning a new language perform and score better on standardized tests.
If you love cinema or literature, you have probably experienced watching movies with translated voiceover or subtitles or read books translated into your native language. But that sometimes defeats the purpose, since the real pleasure of understanding the plot, the emotions of the actors lies beneath the language itself, the phrases, idioms, different language tricks that authors may use, humor, etc. That is one of the many benefits you will get if you learn a foreign language: you can finally manage to acquire and perceive information in another language. Once you do it, you are free to watch your favorite movies and read your favorite authors in their original languages.
This equally refers to both getting higher chances to be hired, and having a lot more choices for job types. It is proved and to a certain point even obvious, that out of two qualified candidates for a vacancy, the odds will be in favor of the one that speaks more languages. One reason to this might be the process of globalization taking over the world in the recent years. This leads to a number of businesses expanding their companies overseas, leads to the further development of world trade, international relations on both political and economic platforms, and what lies at the core of those expansions is the language barriers that need to be conquered. That is why knowing foreign languages can help you get more job opportunities in pretty much every sphere of economy. Starting from tourism, commerce, politics, every area needs professionals who are fluent in more than one foreign language.
In the past few decades, exchange programs have reached extreme popularity in the world. There are all types of exchange programs: educational, cultural, work related, etc. A lot of opportunities are given to students who want to pursue their degrees abroad or take part in short-term or long-term exchange programs, attend a summer school language courses, get a professional fellowship in another country. And all of these experiences are based on the practical knowledge of another language.
The outcome of learning a language abroad is extremely rewarding in a number of ways: smart is attractive, it trains your brain to work faster, you are free to enjoy your favorite shows in their original languages, you even get to dream in another language. Knowledge is key. Knowledge of another language is an even better, multi-functional key that is able to open way more doors. So if you have all the chances to learn, why not use it?