There are a million reasons why you might want to learn a new language. It might be to enhance your professional career, move to a new country, or make new friends.
No matter what your reasons are, learning a new language can have many benefits that you might not realize at first. It can result in higher brain function, delay physiological decline in old age, and boost your confidence.
Moreover, learning a new language opens up many new avenues for you both personally and professionally. If you are wondering what the hidden benefits of learning a new language are, you have come to the right place.
Here is a list comprising surprising benefits of learning a new language:
Improves memory and boosts brainpower
Your brain is like any other muscle in your body. It becomes stronger the more you train it. Learning a new language puts a lot of strain on your mind as it has to decode and learn completely new speaking, listening, reading, and even thinking patterns. This can end up boosting your brainpower and develop enhanced cognitive abilities, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.
Furthermore, it helps you improve your memory. Learning a new language requires you to learn complex grammar rules, vocabulary, and morphology. On top of that, you have to be able to recall all that knowledge at a moment’s notice. All of this acts as a great workout for your brain, which results in improving your memory and brainpower.
Sharpens your mind and makes you a multitasker
Multilingual people have a better understanding of their surroundings and environment. They are much better at recognizing irregular or unusual patterns and spot misleading information. Their minds are much sharper and aware of everything that is going around them. Consequently, they are quick at picking up new things which makes them extremely valuable as a person.
Adding to it, multilingual people are also great at multitasking. Their brains are trained to easily slip from one language to another, which gives them the ability to juggle multiple things simultaneously. Hence, it is much easier for them to multitask without taking on too much stress.
Enhances academic performance
Learning another language can improve your retention ability; thus, helping you perform better academically. While many people might not get the connection between the two, learning two distinct bodies of language engages certain areas of the brain that are responsible for retaining information and strengthening neural pathways that make it easier for one to access that information.
Research shows that bilingual or multilingual students have an easier time memorizing information and perform better in school than their monolingual counterparts. It also comes in handy while making friends in school and college.
With the increase in globalization, chances are that there will be many students from different cultures in your school. If you are proficient in more than one language, it will help you interact better and understand their culture as well. Who doesn’t like having a lot of friends in school, after all?
Helps in finding a job
Being bilingual is a marketable skill that you can use to earn a decent living. If you are already working at a company that is planning to expand overseas, knowing a foreign language can come in quite handy. Your company might choose you to spearhead the task of expansion because of your effective communication skills.
Even if you don’t have a job, you can still use the fact that you are multilingual to make some quick cash. You can sell your services as a translator, transcriber, or interpreter on different online marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, and the Freelancer.
While the online work market has increased drastically over the past few years, there is still a lot of work that can only be tackled by people who are proficient in multiple languages. Apart from that, you can also teach others and throw some warm up activities for an English class or any other language that you know. It will help you earn.
Expands career choices
Knowing multiple languages can open up a lot of doors for you when it comes to your professional life. Many employers prefer multilingual people over those who only speak one language.
It is because multilingual people can help them communicate their message to their foreign stakeholders and run their businesses smoothly. Remember that your language skills will give you a significant competitive edge over your peers or competition in a professional setting.
With more than 60 million Americans speaking a language other than English at home, employers look for people who have the ability to communicate their message with people in different languages.
Allows you to explore other cultures and traditions
As I briefly mentioned above, knowing a foreign language allows you to explore different cultures and traditions more deeply. It provides you with the opportunity to connect with people that wouldn’t have been able to converse with you, had it not been for your speaking skills.
This opens up a whole new world for you and expands the geographical scope of your personal and business contacts. While nowadays we can translate almost anything using the internet, there is a lot that is lost in translation. Knowing another language opens up opportunities to understand different cultural, traditional, and religious practices more intimately.
The bottom line:
Learning a new language gives you the emotional vocabulary to become a much more balanced human being. Your mind is as good as your speech and if you are an articulate and well-spoken individual, you will have no problem dealing with complex situations. However, if you aren’t an effective communicator, you will fail to communicate your message when it matters the most. This is why learning a new language can be a great investment in one’s self. Good luck, guys!