Whether you are fascinated by another country's culture or considering taking a foreign language for work or school, learning a new language offers lifelong benefits. Technology and globalization provide opportunities to engage with others from around the world like never before. If you have had little exposure to another language, here are five reasons why studying foreign languages may interest you:
1. Learning has never been easier
In the past, language enthusiasts had to take formal classes or find someone willing to offer private lessons or language exchanges. Today, you can learn languages from the comfort of your home thanks to television, software, and the Internet.
2. Gain insight into other cultures
Once you understand the nuance behind a language, you begin to understand its culture. You may read or hear about another country, but fluency opens the door to its people. Comprehension can expose you to foreign books, films, and music -- even your favorite opera. You may also feel more comfortable hosting an exchange student or foreign travelers.
3. Enhance your foreign excursions
Maps and guidebooks point you to tourist attractions, but the locals can help you find the best places off the beaten path. When you can have a conversation in a native language, people are less hesitant to speak with you and more inclined to help you, which may also come in handy during emergencies.
4. Become more valuable at work
Companies are doing more business with international customers, increasing the need for employees with diverse language skills. You may be asked to travel abroad to close a business deal or improve customer relationships. Not only is it a paid trip to a foreign country, it increases your value and could lead to more opportunities in the future. Whether you are translating documents, writing a letter to a foreign customer, or interpreting an important conversation, fluency in another language gives you an edge at work.
5. Keep your mind engaged
Learning a new language requires memorization and repetition to commit new words and phrases to memory. Becoming a student again also reinforces your understanding of your native language. Simple techniques inherent in learning will keep your mind nimble and your skills sharp.
The world has become smaller, and your exposure to foreign languages will continue to increase. You may consider learning languages as a fun hobby or to keep in touch with the changing world around you, but your reward comes when you can connect with other cultures.
About the writer
Paul and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and researching all things related to childcare. They take care of all the necessary information related to "sitters". He personally think his blog will help finding information on all things related to a babysitter.