Learning a foreign language can be beneficial in so many ways. One reason of which few are aware, is that learning a foreign language can help make you smarter. Learning another language exercises your brain, and according to Anne Merritt of the Telegraph UK, this helps to “improve the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognise, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems”. This skill helps the multilinguist to boost their negotiating skills, and according to Merritt, perform better on standardised tests, particularly in the area of vocabulary and reading. The multilinguist’s nature to switch from language to language is also cognitively beneficial, and according to a study from the University of Pennsylvania, this improves their multitasking skills.
On the corporate side, having a foreign language or two under your belt can prove to be quite an asset when owning a business. Usually the goal of a business is to be profitable whilst providing services for others, at a reasonable price. With knowledge of another tongue, businesses can expand not only locally, but internationally into other countries where services are needed. Clients can be obtained across the globe, and by speaking the language of your clients, there is a better understanding of business deals, and thus the creation of stable and well put together business relationships. On a personal level, a bilingual person would be more likely to get a job over a monolingual individual, as they would possess all of the cognitive benefits of being multilingual, in addition, they can aid in connecting with a wider range of people.
Learning a foreign language is not only beneficial for reasons related to the languages being learnt, however it can help us to improve our own language! According to Merritt, being able to speak another language, makes us more aware of the mechanics of language, such as grammar, syntax and conjugations. In this regard, multilinguists are forced to take a look at their own language and its manipulations, thus making them sharper at writing, reading and it also improves their listening skills. They become more attuned to their own language and are able to ascertain things the monolinguist typically does not, thus gaining a more profound understanding of it.
Becoming multilingual can have a variety of advantages for the individual. Aside from the common benefits such as traveling, learning a foreign language can make you smarter and improve your cognitive skills. It helps businesswise, making companies and people globally accessible and even helps to improve the way we speak the language we were taught at birth. As such, it is safe to say that learning a foreign language can be an excellent asset and thus improve many aspects of life.
If given the opportunity, would you learn a foreign language? Do you agree with its importance? Let us know in the comments below!