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Reasons to learn a new language

Whether you are planning an exotic holiday or want to expand your business prospects, learning a new language can open many opportunities that might otherwise be lost in translation.

Whether you are planning an exotic holiday or want to expand your business prospects, learning a new language can open many opportunities that might otherwise be lost in translation. Here are our top ten reasons to learn a new language.

1. Travelling

A trip to Rome is an experience in itself but think how much more fulfilling it would be if you could speak to the locals, understand their regional expressions and be able to really explore the country beyond the normal tourist attractions. Travelling almost demands familiarity with local languages or else you will risk missing out on the true cultural experience.

2. Improve your ability to learn

Research findings have shown that children who learn a second language learn faster in all subject areas compared to children who are not exposed to a foreign language. Adults also increase their capacity for learning and analytical reasoning through learning a second language.

3. Business opportunities

Though the internet has helped to expand many businesses to the far reaching corners of the world, without understanding regional languages and dialects, all of the opportunities gained would be quickly lost. The international nature of business demands a command of the languages in each area of the global economy you may service and being bilingual makes you a distinct asset to any company. Most companies prefer to deal with businesses that understand not only their markets and culture, but can converse in their native language as well.

4. Improve your studies by expanding your avenues of self expression

A new language offers a whole new world in terms of how to express your feelings and ideas and also challenges the way you use your native tongue.

5. Seeing important events through a global perspective

Many world events affect people from far reaching places. However, we almost exclusively rely on our local media to provide a complete picture of these events but these publications and broadcasts are actually created for a local audience and reflect only the regional views. Learning another language will give you an opportunity to truly see things from a global perspective - through the eyes of another culture.

6. Learn more about your own country

Even in your native country, populations are becoming more diverse and pockets of ethnic communities are becoming more widespread. Chinatowns, Polish shops and Asian markets are all great examples of where a second language could be used at home, giving you the opportunity to expand your local knowledge from a whole new perspective.

7. Increase your understanding and appreciation for art and culture

Many of the greatest masterpieces in art and literature were written in a language other than English and any attempts at translation often lose the essence of the work. Most colloquial expressions cannot be adequately defined from one language to another.

8. Career advancement

Many companies seek out employees that can carry their business message and products to larger and more diverse markets. Bilingual sales representatives and executives all represent a growing sector of modern business as more and more companies trade internationally.

9. To become more involved in humanitarian pursuits

If you are passionate about helping those less fortunate in developing countries, learning the local language will improve your chances of making a real difference. Whether you envisage yourself in the Peace Corps, as a volunteer or missionary, speaking the local language will help you to build trust relationships and to better understand the needs of those you are helping.

10. Self improvement

Diet and exercise programs may come and go, but once you have learned a new language, it is something you will keep with you for a lifetime. The skills you learn will enrich every aspect of your life for years to come.

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