Knowing English as a primary, native language has tons of advantages. In so many countries around the globe one can go around easily knowing that other people have learned one of the most spoken languages on Earth. But what if you happen to wander in a more remote area, let’s say in Spain, or Italy, where people haven’t had much interest in English and sign language isn’t an option either. Except maybe for pointing to the mouth in a restaurant; but would you know what you’re actually ordering? Avoid eating surprise dishes with more than two eyes or legs, that you’d have to guess or grab an encyclopedia to identify, and consider learning a new language. For this, and other solid reasons, marked here below, we advise on embarking on this beautiful adventure.
1. Challenge and improve brain function
Learning a new language is a real treat to your brain. Not only does it help with mental aging and cognitive decline, but studies have shown that training those neurons also impacts creativity, making you more open to a rich imagination. Studying new grammar rules and taking on a new vocabulary, learning hundreds and hundreds of words, improves memory function, helps with higher focus, increases the ability to multi-task and makes you a better listener. Put that beautiful brain to work! It can take it.
2. Establish connections and stay open minded
Imagine being on a trip and crashing at a party with lots of interesting, happy people, having a good time, and not being able to chat with any of them. If you land in a friendly country like Spain, this is quite a possibility. Knowing the local language adds to the experience as a tourist, and opens the doors to understanding a culture at a whole new level. Plus, you’ll feel like you belong, and you will get the best touristy tips from those who know what is worth visiting, eating, or staying away from!
3. Better chances to get into the preferred college or job
Whether looking at schools in the US or considering studying abroad, knowing a new language adds to your abilities and gives you better chances of getting accepted. Not to mention longer term, adding two or three foreign languages to your resume will make you stand out and is also a great conversation subject during an interview. People who speak foreign languages are seen as more interesting and well-rounded. You might not be “the most interesting person in the world,” but you’ll definitely have an edge.
4. Deepen your knowledge
Knowing a foreign language will give you the opportunity to read favorite books, magazines, newspapers, online articles, in their original form, without the loss of meaning that happens through translation. A poem written by Baudelaire will not feel the same when read in English. In order to capture the author’s message, the best way to go about it is to read in it French. Plus, when researching online for certain information, or even products, understanding the manufacturer’s main language will give you the best details and accurate descriptions.
5. Gain more confidence
We feel this is a great reason to learn a language! Especially for the shyer ones of us out there. Not only does it add to the overall set of skills that you have acquired, but it is also something to brag about, talk about with other students or people who are into the same hobby. And perception does matter. Don’t you think someone sounds cooler when they say they’re part of the Spanish Club, or French Club? We do. Anyone willing to learn one, or more new languages shows a desire for adventure and lots of open-mindedness. So, how adventurous do you feel?