The benefits of learning a second language

by Jennifer Smith

Learning a new language takes time and dedication. Once you do, being fluent in a second language offers numerous benefits and opportunities. Learning a second language is exciting and beneficial at all ages. It offers practical, intellectual and many aspirational benefits

In today's world, there is over 7000 languages and learning at least one will help you in life massively. Although it has been proven that it is easier for children to learn a second language, it is certainly never too late to learn, and the benefits definitely reward the effort and dedication.

Whatever your age, being bilingual certainly has its advantages, especially in today's global society. Here are the top benefits of learning a second language:

Blackboard with various languages writing on it, courtesy of Shutterstock

Better job prospects

In today's business dominated society, being bilingual can only be an advantage and gives you a competitive edge when searching for jobs, or maintaining your current employment.

Companies who plan to expand into overseas market are constantly looking for bilingual staff, who of which are well-paid and receive excellent benefits, as they will ultiamtely give the company a huge competitive advantage.

By learning a second language, you will be indispensable at your place of work as you can easily bridge the cultural gap between the two countries, and those with the ability to speak a second language are more likely to find a job.

Brain health

Medical studies has shown the positive effects learning a second language has on the brain.

Studies showed that learning a second language significantly delayed the onset of many brain related diseases such as Alzheimer and dementia, compared to those who can only speak their native tongue.

Travel and leisure

Learning a new language opens up a world of new opportunities. If you choose to learn a commonly spoken language, such as Spanish, French or German, you can travel practically anywhere in the world and not have trouble with translations.

You can confidently go about your business and in another country and speak freely to locals and other travellers. You will have a much better experience as you can effectively communicate with much more people, which will ultimately open up your mind and put things into different perspectives regarding the different cultures of the world.

Improved first language

As we go about our everyday lives, we rarely give a second thought to our own grammatical structure and vocabulary. However, when learning a new language, many people find they have a greater understanding of their first language.

Learning a second language focuses your attention on the grammatical rules constructions of that language. This experience gives people a new insight into their own language and ultimately leads to them improving their mother tongue, which will improve their everyday lives.

Improved understanding of the world

Learning a new language gives you a greater global understanding of the world we live in. Even by learning a few phrases, never mind a whole language, you will access many fascinating cultures around the world and understand the differences between the two countries.

You will have access to a whole new array of film, music and literature, and a greater understanding of the history and culture of the nation and ultimately a better understanding of the way the world works, including politics and security.

Experience new cultures

The world is a cauldron of rich and interesting cultures. Learning a new language allows you to access many different cultures across the world.

You will have the chance to see fascinating new things from a new perspective, which not many people can, and connect with the new people all over the world.

Different culture has its own music, style, history, literature and many more interesting things which you will be able to enjoy and understand. You will be able to connect through books, TV, the internet and converse with a whole countries worth of people, ultimately broadening your horizons, interests and views. A whole new world will be open to you.

Achievement

Learning a new language is a an achievement anyone can be proud of and is extremely satisfying. Once the hard work and effort has paid off, you will experience the many benefits associated with learning a new language and you will have a new found confidence.

Learning a new language will open up our world in ways a monoglot a monoglot would never have the chance of experiencing. Your mind will be constantly be engaged and you will gain an insight into many different cultures. Learning a second language also makes it easier to learn a third, which will certainly broaden your horizons.

What do you think of this blog? Can you think of anymore benefits of learning a second language? If so, please leave your comments below.

Written by Jennifer Smith on behalf of Kwintessential, the translation specialists.

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