10 Best Benefits of Learning a New Language|
Plan on learning an additional language? Ever wondered what makes a bilingual person that extra bit special?
Well, as a professional translation agency (who has an undying love for languages), we’ve set out to find the 10 best benefits of learning a new language.
You might be surprised what being multilingual does to your brain…
Those who are proficient in more than one language have increased professional opportunities. Not only does it prove you have great brain power (such as listening skills and problem-solving skills), but it also helps in job roles that require multilingualism or translation. Eton Institute’s Language Development in the Workforce survey (September 2014) found that 89% of clients stated that multilingual employees added value to their workforce.
Being multilingual boosts your memory and learning abilities. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology found that bilingual children performed much better than monolingual children in terms of their working memory. Those who speak a second language may therefore be able to recall names, facts and figures a lot better and quicker than those who do not.
When your speaking two languages, you’re technically using different cognitive muscles simultaneously. In the same way you are able to multitask and switch between languages, you can juggle other tasks, too. A study by the NIH found that better working memories in bilinguals increase their ability in focusing and ignoring distractions. In other words, being able to multitask quickly and easily.
Learning a new language can open your horizons. It teaches you new customs, cultures and norms that are different or ‘alien’ to yours and gives you a new perspective on the world. It also gives you an added sense of humor – considering you can understand a joke in one particular language that isn’t funny in another. Your creativity is therefore increased when you are knowledgeable of other languages.
5.Improves Cultural Appreciation
Speaking of learning new cultures – learning a new language improves your cultural appreciation. In other words, it makes you more accepting of other nationalities and norms. Your exposure to different cultures will enhance your tolerance and give you a positive perspective of other customs, rather than remaining ignorant towards them.
6.Improves Traveling Experiences
There’s nothing worse than travelling to a new country and being unable to communicate with the locales – especially when you’re lost or in need of a toilet! Being bilingual gives you improved travelling experiences as you can resonate with the locales, their customs, and most importantly, their language. Connecting and interacting with people on holiday can augment your experience tremendously.
When you learn a new language, there’s always the possibility of stumbling across a few translation fails or making embarrassing mistakes – but that’s what makes you stronger and more proficient! The process of leaving your comfort zone, learning and making a fool of yourself is ultimately what will boost your confidence in the long-run.
8.Improves Decision Making
Learning a new language increases your ability to think critically, solve problems and make decisions. According to researchers at the University of Chicago, “people make more analytic decisions when they think through a problem in their non-native tongue.” In fact, being bilingual is beneficial when making decisions in a business or financial setting.
9.Improves First Language
When you embark on learning another language, you simultaneously improve your first language. This is because you are constantly building upon grammar, spelling, vocabulary and a different way of speaking, which you naturally compare to your native tongue. Being multilingual therefore makes you a better writer, speaker, and communicator in not just the target language, but the source language, too.
10.Improves Brain Power
All of these benefits ultimately come down to an improvement of your brain power and functionality. Did you know, however, that being multilingual actually affects the size of your brain? According to Science Daily, there is growth in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus when you are able to speak more than one language. Just like our other body parts, the brain also strengthens when you exercise it!