Something I have been really interested in from a very young age is different languages. I think there are many reasons for learning new languages but my favourite, and arguably the most important, 5 reasons to learn a new language are outlined below.
As long as I can remember I have wanted to learn multiple languages. It wasn’t until much later on in my life I found out there was actually a name for it, a polyglot. I had no idea what a polyglot was. I’m not even sure why I have always wanted to learn foreign languages because my family can only speak English. I never grew up listening to foreign music or watching foreign movies either. Also, I was not exposed to a lot of different cultures in the small community I grew up in. Deep down I think I have just always known that knowing multiple languages has its advantages.
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5 reasons to learn a new language
1. Brain training
There are countless studies that have shown that learning a new language and being bilingual or multilingual is good for your brain. Being able to converse in multiple languages has benefits for your brain. Science has found that learning multiple languages leads to a growth in areas of the brain, the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex. These parts of the brain are associated with our memories, thoughts and actions. Language learning slows the effects of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. It has also been shown that those who learn a second language, irrespective of age, performed better on attention tests and were far better at concentrating.
Learning a new language is great brain training because it keeps our brains active, continuously learning and developing.
2. More employable
There is no doubt those who can communicate in multiple languages are seen as more employable. Australia is a very multicultural country and we all live in a very connected, global world. Knowing more than one language is very beneficial for businesses and so you may be looked upon more favourably. Whether you work as a customer service assistant in a hotel or an investment banker, knowing languages will get you a long way in your professional life.
3. More authentic travel experiences
Have you ever travelled to a far-flung country and communicated to everyone on your trip in English? However, when people travel to your home country, they are expected to speak English? This is a double standard. Here in Australia, many people can only speak one language, however many people all over the world, particularly Europeans and Asians can speak multiple languages. Being able to converse to locals in their native tongue will create more authentic travel experiences. Knowing even just a little bit of another language may give you preferential treatment. If locals can hear you attempting to speak to them they will appreciate your efforts.
4. A deeper appreciation of other cultures
I personally think this is the most important thing on this list. By learning to read, speak, write and understand another language allows you to appreciate all aspects of other cultures. Understanding and appreciating other cultures include learning about their traditions, their foods, the way they dress, their art, literature, film, music and pretty much anything else you can think of. These things are connected to language and are important to understand. By learning a new language you are exploring all these things and gaining a deeper knowledge and appreciation for that culture.
5. It’s fun
Lastly, learning a new language is a whole lot of fun. I personally find it a rewarding challenge and is something I really look forward to doing every single day.
Learning a foreign language has never been easier because of this amazing resource we have, the internet. The internet has made it possible for us to learn pretty much any language we want to learn in whichever way we want to. If you don’t enjoy learning a new language it probably means you’re not learning the right language, or you’re not undertaking fun activities. I’m a big believer in using a range of techniques together, I don’t think it is possible to learn from just one source. Try using multiple apps, listening to foreign music and podcasts, reading books and news sites, watching Youtube videos, writing a journal, completing textbooks and also taking classes.
Remember that while language learning can be difficult and it definitely is, it should always be fun. If you don’t find it enjoyable you may be more likely to give up.
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