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Raquel Martinez  

10 good reasons to learn a foreign language


1. Just because you want to 

You are up to a great start already because you have the motivation, the firm desire to learn a foreign language

 

2. You become a natural multitasker 

When you learn a foreign language you get smarter and mentally sharper. Your brain power doubles, your memory improves, among other reasons, because you are capable to switch from one language to another
when talking even from the early stages of the learning process. Your chances of remembering items in a shopping list and names are higher compared to monolingual individuals (Pennsylvania State University research)

 

3. Culture understanding, awareness and appreciation 

When learning a foreign language you get to understand aspects and perspective of things and life from a foreign angle. Your mindset broadens, expressions and idioms - for example - are meaningful and make sense, others are funnier similar or the same to your mother tongue. Your understanding of a foreign culture helps you interact better with foreign people while travelling, with your business contacts, you make yourself more marketable, also a foreign language along with the cultural understanding you are introduced to the world of movies, music, cuisine, books, etc all in their original version allowing you to enjoy their original laughter, word plays,
recipes, story essence and more. At the same time you gain a more profound understanding of your own culture “A different language is a different vision of life”– Federico Fellini, movie director

 

4. You become someone else 

Have you ever imagined how you would sound in Spanish or French or if you are not a fluent English speaking person – how you would sound in English? You may discover something new in you when you learn a second or third language: a new voice of yours! You may also develop your creative side of the brain

 

5. You open doors to new and exciting opportunities 

Bilingual individuals are always – particularly in international or multinational companies or those dealing with international business accounts – more highly regarded and better paid thus more sought after. Who knows, you may end up working in a Spanish or French speaking country or developing your professional skills and enriching your work experience working in your native country (See reason 8)

 

6. Traveling is more fun and enriching 

When we travel we discover new places yes, try new foods and accumulate experiences as well, yes. Now, combine the above with a better understanding of the culture, language and idiosyncrasy of the country you are visiting thanks to your second or third language learning experience. You will, for sure, enjoy a more pleasant, stimulating and educated lifetime travel experience

 

7. Bilingualism delays Alzheimer

Research studies have proven that Alzheimer sign first appear in monolingual individuals at the average age of 71.4 whereas in bilingual or multilingual individuals this disease can occur at a later age – around 75.5 years of age. Remember, learning a foreign language exercises your brain (reason 2) so this amazing muscle like body part is strengthen so it can resist dementia. So, isn´t it well worth giving this learning experience a crack?

 

8. You become more perceptive and make better decisions

Different European and American universities through their extensive research have reached the conclusion that bilingual and/or multilingual people do better at focusing of relevant information, observing their surrounds, spot
misleading information leading thus to making better and well informed decisions. Bilingual or multilingual people are likely to think twice about a particular matter in the different languages they speak, will rationalize the
information provided and make a well thought conclusion. Factors contributing to the above are: different perspectives, understanding and appreciation of more than one culture and language, niche market, idiosyncratic and education (reason 3) Is it any surprise that Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot are skilled polyglots? 

 

9. You get to know your native language better

When you learn a second foreign language you also gain a better understanding and use of your own mother tongue. You reason it and when compare it with the language you are learning you discover interesting facts about your native language you never stopped to reflect upon.

“Those who know nothing of foreign languages, know nothing of their own.”– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

10. You increase your chance of making more friends and find true love

Because you learn a foreign language you are capable to communicate with many more diverse people and create long lasting relationships either in a business, social and/or family environments. The latter brings us to maybe finding your soul mate in another country or continent or culture who you could meet thanks to the enriching experience of speaking a second or third language. You can also meet people who share the same passion you do i.e. sports, books, food, charity causes, business opportunities, education and more



While you perhaps will only develop and experience some of the above skills and scenarios it is worth exercising your brain while you can.

References:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/10126883/Why-learn-a-foreign-language-Benefits-of-bilingualism.html

http://www.cla.auburn.edu/forlang/resources/twenty-five-reasons/ 





* Read about Tips and tools to speed up and improve your language skills everyday this year
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