Multiple reasons exist as to why you should seriously consider learning a new language – no matter how old you are. With the sheer amount of online materials that exist to help you learn a new language, picking up a new language is easier than it ever was before. Of course, there will be difficulties and challenges to learning a foreign language; but, in case you needed some grounded encouragement, here are a few identified benefits as to why starting now would be in your best interest:
Teaching yourself a new language is a highly rewarding experience and a terrific confidence booster. As you work through your doubts and fears, learn about a new culture, meet new speakers of the language you’re studying, and even travel to places where you can practice the new tongue, you learn more about yourself. As you seek mastery, along the way you’ll be encouraged by native speakers, which will both motivate you and boost your confidence.
Live or Study Overseas
If you’re looking to tackle a new project, open some new doors in your life, and go down a life path that augurs excitement and adventure, learning a new language may be one of the best means to acquiring this goal. As you gradually learn the basics of a new language, you naturally start to wonder – wouldn’t it be something to go and study the language in another country? Maybe even live there for a time? When a new direction in your life is needed, knowing a second language will grant you greater access to the world and introduce you to opportunities of a lifetime. (Do you dare?)
Discover Another Culture
The arts, theater, poetry, literature, food, movies and music – these are only a few of the cultural fields that open up to you when you learn a new language. Though it might be useful to book in-person interpreting services when you especially want to imbibe in the local culture of a place, even this can take away from the genuine feel of a culture that only comes when you speak the local language.
Become More Open-Minded
When you learn a new language, you open your mind to new customs, philosophies, and ways of living that help you become a more understanding individual, overall. As you immerse yourself in the foreign culture, you become aware of the fact that we are all tremendously influenced by our environments. Seeing the world from such a different perspective makes you more open-minded and lends to an enriching, eye-opening experience.
Boosts Your Brain Power
A University of Chicago study found that bilingual people have a lower tendency for so-called loss aversion, which is when you are too focused on the “here and now” to make decisions that benefit you in the long-run. The study’s researchers found that bilinguals are more confident with their decisions after thinking it over in their second tongue and seeing if their initial conclusions still make sense.
Impress People Around You
You could be out on a date and drop a correctly pronounced word here and there. Or impress a band of native speakers who never ever would have thought you speak their language. The truth is learning a foreign language – even if you’re still in the learning-the-basics stage – is bound to make people like you more. The fact that you’re willing to be humbled to pick up the rudiments of a different language, and even will yourself into becoming a fluent speaker, deserves accolades and respect. When you’ve reached the fluency level of no longer needing to hire an over-the-phone interpreting professional for your business meetings, you know all the hard work has paid off!
Denise Recalde is a seasoned writer and editor with eleven years of experience under her belt. She has worked on writing projects that range from business to nutritional health to translation services and spent a total of five years working as the English News editor for a top ranking food industry site. Bilingual and a world traveler, she has been to 14 countries and spent about one-half of her life in the US and the other half in Argentina.