Around 75% of Americans can only speak one language.
This is a tragedy considering the many benefits that we can gain from studying foreign languages.
Are you considering learning a new language? No matter whether you choose Spanish, Dutch, Swahili, or Mandarin, you’ll find there are many good reasons to!
In this article, we’ll look at just a few of the top benefits that come when studying foreign languages. We guarantee you’ll be reaching for your textbooks in no time.
1. Improve Your Memory
If you find that you forget basic things on a daily basis, then learning a language could be the answer for you. But sadly, only 7% of American students are enrolled in a foreign language class.
When we learn a language, our brain function is improved which means we remember more and more!
Furthermore, it doesn’t matter where you start your language learning journey for you to see these benefits. No matter whether you’re a novice or picking up a language you knew as a kid, you’ll be aiding your brain.
2. Delay the Onset of Dementia or Alzheimers
Currently, it’s expected that a third of Americans will die with dementia. It may sound completely unbelievable but by learning a second language, you will delay the onset of illnesses such as dementia.
Researchers believe that this works by keeping your brain engaged. As with any muscle, if you don’t use your brain power, you’ll slowly lose it. But, there are many aspects to learning a language that engage different parts of your brain.
Start by picking up a language textbook or download an app such as Duolingo to boost your brain health. With just a few minutes of listening, reading, or writing per day, you’ll be on your way to warding off brain illnesses.
3. Impress Future Employers
You don’t need to be fluent in a second language to impress an employer. Proving that you’re spending your free time learning a language will show that you’re hardworking, committed, and interested in other cultures.
However, if you are fluent in another language, then there are many companies that hire polyglots too.
For example, Netflix requires employees who can translate text or write subtitles. Alternatively, you could become a digital nomad and travel while teaching languages online.
Furthermore, by speaking more than one language, you will likely earn up to 20% more than your monolingual coworkers.
4. Make New Friends
Surely, one of the best reasons to learn a language is to converse with people while you’re abroad. Think of all the new friends you will make now that you can understand each other.
Perhaps you want to learn a second language to engage with someone who recently moved into your neighborhood? You’ll brighten up their day and improve your own life too!
There are hundreds of benefits to making new friends including increasing your feelings of belonging and boosting your confidence. Friends also help us reduce our stress levels!
5. Develop Confidence while Traveling
Is there anything more exhilarating than being outside of your comfort zone? Traveling is one of the best ways to do this!
Not knowing where you’ll eat your next meal, where you’ll rest at the end of the day, or who you’ll meet along the way is exciting.
But, sometimes it can be difficult to travel and not know any local language basics. If it has always been your dream to travel around South America, then make sure you start learning Spanish a few months in advance.
Check out this course to boost your language skills and make traveling easier!
6. New Respect for Other Cultures
It can be easy to see the way others behave as foreign or strange. When we develop language skills, we also gain respect for different cultures.
Therefore, by learning languages, you’re broadening your mind, becoming more tolerant, and going beyond the horizons of your local town.
While you’re learning, why not read books by famous authors in the language they were written in? This is one of the best ways to learn about a new culture and way of life.
7. Increase Your Creativity
Are you stuck in a creative rut? Instead of sitting in front of your computer or notepad for hours on end trying to create something new, take a break and learn a few foreign words. By doing this, you’re boosting your brain activity.
Over time, you’ll increase your creative capacity and find that it’s easier to enter a creative mindset. Famous polyglots include Hemingway, Mark Zuckerberg, Bradley Cooper, and Will Smith.
Furthermore, you’ll notice that other aspects of your life improve as you deal with problems in a more creative way!
8. Your First Langauge will Improve
Surprisingly, by learning a second language, you will improve your skills in your mother tongue. Not only will your vocabulary knowledge expand significantly but you’ll notice interesting links between your own language and your second language.
Learning will also raise your intelligence levels! Perhaps this is because you’re forced to think deeply about grammar rules and word meanings.
9. Become a Better Multitasker
Do you struggle with multitasking? Those who can switch between multiple languages are much better multitaskers than their monolingual friends.
As a result, if you’re always being told by family that you’re terrible at juggling tasks, start learning a language!
Studying Foreign Languages is Fun
It can be all too easy to give up while studying foreign languages. Set yourself achievable goals and try to practice for around 15 minutes per day.
In absolutely no time, you’ll find that you are able to have a conversation in your second language. They say you’re truly on your way to fluency when you start to dream in your second language too!
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