Language is our thing here at Creative (if you hadn’t already guessed 😉), and we understand the impact it has on society as well as its intricate intertwining with communication. However, many people underestimate the importance and benefits of learning a foreign language, so we thought we would break it down for you!
Read on to find out five reasons why anyone can benefit from learning a second (or third!) language… And no, it’s never too late to learn a new language!
1. You are likely to become smarter (well, kind of…)!
Many people argue that being bilingual comes with its downsides, such as the fact that our brain gets confused when it processes things going on around us. However, this only constitutes one of the myths surrounding language.
It has been proven by various studies, in fact, that being bilingual actually makes us smarter! There are many benefits to learning a second language, and among these is the fact that the way our brain works changes, making it develop in a different way.
More specifically, when you are bilingual, your brain is basically carrying out two tasks all the time. When speaking in one of the languages they know, bilingual people never “switch off” the other one; hence, their brain is literally doing two things at the same time!
That is why studies show that bilingual people are more likely to stay focused and be able to multi-task than their monolingual counterparts. Their brain activity is constantly triggered by having to switch between one language and the other.
As a result, when you are bilingual, some parts of your brain are stronger, especially those responsible for high-level thought, multi-tasking and sustained attention.
2. Speaking more than one language might land you a job!
If being smarter isn’t a good enough reason to learn a new language, here’s another benefit for you: career opportunities.
In a globalised economy such as the one we all live in, knowing more than one language is one of the skills that every employer seeks when looking for the perfect candidate to hire.
Every company is potentially looking to grow and expand into new countries, and what could possibly be more useful than an employee who can directly communicate with the new market, hence making the expansion smoother? The answer to that question is probably nothing!
What’s more, this all comes with an added bonus: higher pay! As we have established, a bilingual employee is extremely valuable – more often than not, more valuable than a monolingual one. This means that when you speak more than one language, your employer is probably going to acknowledge this additional point on your CV with a higher salary.
Some posts in the tourism, education, language sectors and more are much more likely to be granted to candidates who speak more than one language. Imagine being the manager of a luxurious resort and being able to communicate with most of your customers without struggling to make conversation… Most definitely a bonus!
3. Learning a foreign language is fun!
Of course we all care about our careers and our brains, but let’s not forget the fun part!
Some people only focus on the obstacles of learning a new language, and let’s be honest: it can be rather daunting imagining yourself learning all that new grammar, vocabulary, and so on. However, what most people ignore are all the positive factors involved.
Once you’ve completed the first stage, when everything is so new and different and often hard, then it’s all fun from there (we promise!). The excitement of learning how to pronounce a new word, the thrill of having your first conversation with a native speaker… These are all priceless emotions only learning a foreign language can give you.
Not to mention the revelation and delight to be had watching a film or reading a book in the original version! This allows us to suddenly discover nuances of the masterpiece that we would have never been able to see and appreciate before.
4. Speaking a foreign language opens our mind to a whole new viewpoint
And what about the whole new world unfolding before your eyes? Learning a second (third, or even fourth…) language means not only being able to make new friends, be they fellow learners or native speakers, but also discovering a brand new world through your French, German or Spanish (the list can become very long!) eyes.
Many researchers have focused on the fact that the language we speak affects the way our mind thinks and processes things around us. Some languages focus on the action, others on the outcome, and so on. This extremely fascinating aspect also implies that bilinguals can “get the best of both worlds”. A recent study shows how bilingual people see events through a different perspective depending on the language with which they are being stimulated.
Moreover, learning a foreign language allows us to dive into a new culture and detach ourselves from ours, even if just for a moment. In this way, we are able to see other people’s culture – as well as our own – through brand new eyes. There are an incredible number of languages out there and each and every one of them gives us a different insight into the world.
5. Knowing a foreign language considerably improves your travel experience
Last but not least, learning a foreign language will make your travels ten times better, smoother and more enjoyable.
Aside from freeing you from the awkward silence and embarrassing miming in an effort to find the public toilet or reach a famous landmark (we’ve all been there, haven’t we?), being able to communicate in the language of the country you visit results in a completely different experience. You will learn so much about this new culture, changing not only your trip but also your whole life (no exaggeration!).
Speaking the language of the place you visit also shows a lot of respect for the locals, who will welcome you with a much warmer approach. They will most likely be very appreciative of any effort, even as little as learning how to greet them in their own language. It puts a smile on their faces (and no we don’t mean they are laughing at you!).
You will soon become friends (how good is that?) and our bet is that they will probably show you sides of the place you wouldn’t have been able to see without the guidance of a local.
The benefits of learning a foreign language
All in all, learning a new language might start as a tortuous journey, but it will soon turn into an incredibly exciting and enriching adventure! (we can testify to this). It will allow you to see the world through new eyes as well as become more cultured, and open-minded… and you will even make loads of friends along the way!
However, it must never be assumed that knowing a foreign language means becoming a language professional! This requires specialised training, which is something that here at Creative Translation we always look for in our linguists before we work with them.
If you are in need of professional translation services to communicate your message effectively in any given language, give us a call today on +44 (0)207294 7710 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.