Why learn a foreign language? Certainly there are many reasons to learn a new language and just as many advantages of learning a foreign language. The following are but my own top ten reasons to learn a new language.
- You can expand your network. By learning a new language you can meet new people and speak to people you would otherwise have not been able to communicate with. For anyone in the business sector, this can be a very positive motivator!
- You can give yourself a career boost. Perhaps your company is expanding globally. By learning a new language you’ll be more marketable and perhaps in line for promotion by using your new skills.
- You can open your mind and cultural understanding. It’s easy to just settle for what you know, but what a wealth of knowledge exists in learning the ways of another culture. By learning a new language you not only learn a new way to communicate, but a new way to live.
- You can impress people around you. Whether you’re at a fancy French restaurant pronouncing all of the dishes with the ease of a native speaker or asking for directions on a Mexican street, you will impress those passing by or within earshot with your new skill.
- You can improve your decision-making skills. While this may sound a little strange, a study from the University of Chicago found that when people speak in a language other than their own original language, there is a tendency to make more prudent decisions. Who knew this would be a benefit to learning another language?
- You can study or live abroad more effectively. If you intend to study oversees, or are just looking for some adventure outside the boundaries of your home country, learning a new language can help you be more effective and less fearful of the unknown. Not to mention, you will be able to get what you want and/or need a lot easier than playing charades to make your point.
- You can expand your dating opportunities. Your soul mate may not speak your language, currently that is. By learning another language, you will increase the odds of finding that perfect person for you (if you haven’t already found them)!
- You can learn others languages more quickly. It seems like the more languages you learn, adding a second and third new language becomes exponentially easier. You are able to see patterns, learn linguistic techniques that may apply, and your mind is open to thinking, hearing, and speaking in alternate languages. Just be careful not to combine several in the same sentence or you might get some strange looks!
- You can improve your self-confidence. Learning another language is not easy, for most people, so the sense of accomplishment in mastering another language can do wonders for improving your self-confidence in other areas of your life as you learn more about yourself as well.
- You can challenge yourself to stay young. By taking on the challenge of learning a new language, you are keeping your mind active. This challenge will keep you on your toes and at the same time have a profound effect on your brain as it improves your cognitive skills and helps feign off boredom. A research study from University College London concluded that learning other languages alters the “grey matter”, the area of the brain that processes information, much like exercise builds muscles.
What are your top reasons to learn a new language this year? Please share below!