Some people see learning new languages as nothing more than a hobby while others wouldn’t dream of visiting a foreign country without first mastering at least a passable use of the native language. You may be multilingual for any number of reasons. Perhaps you learned multiple dialects in the home, or maybe you had to take foreign language courses as a requirement for school credits. It could be that you learned a language in the course of your work. But whatever prompted you to speak, read, write, or otherwise tackle to topic of a second (or third, or fourth) language, you might not be aware of the many benefits that come with being multilingual. Here are some that you will surely enjoy when you learn multiple languages.
- More job opportunities. Regardless of your line of work you will likely find more doors opening to you when you speak multiple languages. Whether you’re interested in some type of service profession (retail, food industry, etc.), you’d like to work in translations, or you’ve got your sights set a lot higher (international attaché?), the ability to communicate with people in more than one language could just help you acquire gainful employment. Companies that exhibit the ability to help customers even if they don’t necessarily speak the native language are sure to get more business than their unilingual competitors, and you can help them to do that.
- Improved intellect. When children are exposed to multiple languages early on, they tend to realize advancement in other areas as a result, showing signs of increased mental development all around. But students of all ages (even adults) can enhance their education through language and open their minds in ways they never thought possible. Exposing yourself to foreign language can change the way you look at the world and create comprehensive avenues that would otherwise be unavailable.
- Increased understanding of language. Okay, so this one sounds a little obvious. But what you may not realize is that learning another language can help you to gain a better understanding of your native tongue, including vocabulary, grammar, and language structure. However, it can also make it easier to learn other languages that are in the same vein. For example, learning one romance language (like French) could help you to understand the basic structure and even some vocabulary in a related language (like Spanish). And obviously, learning one form of a language could make picking up offshoot dialects much easier.
- Globalization. The interconnectedness of world cultures that has come with economic expansion and the growth of internet and mobile communications has brought people closer together, virtually shrinking the planet and neutralizing barriers that have long existed. Learning other languages can help you to close the gap even further and take advantage of this globalization.
- International travel benefits. Even if you decide to tackle linguistics via Sixth Form College London, Wales, or the Caribbean so that you can further your personal dreams of international travel, you’ll find that learning multiple languages can make all aspects of travel easier, from getting through customs to finding your way around foreign locales to haggling with local merchants. In short, it can improve your trips immeasurably.
Sarah Danielson is a freelance writer and part time student. In her spare time she likes to go hiking and help with an animal rescue out of Los Angeles, California.