If you have a deep desire for literature beyond your own culture, and also want to lengthen your social circle, learning a foreign language might sound like a good idea! With increasing globalization, the urge to be among the 17% multilingual people in the world is progressively higher. Although English is considered to be the global language, it does not mean that it enjoys the reputation of vox populi.
Adding another language to your skillset can help with your career prospects, corporate success, college admission, study experience, and also personal development. In fact, bilingualism is almost on the verge of getting outdated and multilingualism is the new prose now. Here are numerous perks of having a grasp of a foreign language, some of which we are going to be discussing at the moment. So, let’s get started…
Enhanced cognitive and mental ability
Cognitive learning encourages people to take a hands-on approach to learn. Developing cognitive skills allows students to build upon previous knowledge and ideas. Each new language you learn increases the serving parameters of the brain muscles.
Being habituated in using different rules of grammar improvises a person’s vocabulary and increases memorization as well. You will notice that you are at ease in remembering minute details, for instance, your weekend’s shopping lists, phone numbers, names, and directions as per a study conducted by the University of New Brunswick Canada. You will also find the next language you learn to be much easier. This seems magic but it’s true.
Added multitasking capabilities
In today’s fast-paced environment, people are most likely to find themselves in a situation that demands multitasking. This is genuinely a hassle but learning a new language might sort this by magnifying your multitasking capabilities.
According to a research experiment conducted by the Pennsylvania State University, the volunteers were asked to use a driving simulator and do different distracting things at the same time. The results showed that volunteers who were multilingual speakers or knew more than one language made much fewer errors than others. Researchers evidently laid this to the fact of cross-language interaction at any stage of language learning.
A language learner often needs to jump between two forms of speech, writing, and dialect. This skill boosts their brain to multitask in every probable intricate situation they face in their life.
Better self-control and creativity
In the study of foreign languages, feelings are essential. Language learning improves people’s tolerance to the unknown and ambiguity and that is true for people knowing more than one language. A multilingual brain always tends to choose the correct words in the most efficient manner since it constantly analyses what we say out and becomes a lot better behaviourally. There’s no better measure of self-control.
People who are highly balanced multilingual tend to be more creative. This is consistent with the previous research, in those multicultural experiences, including intensive immersion of multiple cultures or the ability to speak multiple languages, are positively related to creativity. This is normal for them isn’t it? New imagery, structure, rhyme or rhythm always also come across their minds in everyday communication and a wide range of ideas and practices, such as advertising, slogans, and humor.
Improved attention and consciousness
Being multilingual significantly improves one’s chances of being a better student. Why? Because the majority of these students are found to be doing better in standardized tests. Learning about grammar, sentence structures can also enhance one’s English skills as well since the person is constantly comparing the grammar with another figure of speech and perfecting his/ her own.
Rational capabilities also increase with language, since language allows us to make our thoughts explicit. In the Stroop task experiment, people were asked to call out the color of the words appearing in front of them. It was inferred from the experimental results that multilingual named the color of the word more quickly when the word and its color didn’t match. Thus, here is a clear sign that being able to cognitively ignore the irrelevant information and focus on the relevant things means better inhibitory control.
To enable oneself to become a part of two manifold communities makes you smarter and gain self-confidence to a great extent. American psycholinguist Susan M. Ervin-Tripp mentioned in her research paper- ‘Emotion in Bilingualism‘. Some bilinguals are found to possess two different personalities. She elucidates, ‘When we are in situations demanding a change in language, we may have a strong sense of a shift in values and feelings.’
According to Babbel‘s head of didactics, Katja Wilde, people can even take on different character traits when speaking different languages. She also told that some people even speak louder in one language than another,’’
A new language arises new emotional viewpoints and improves better understanding of one’s own passions and hysterics, thus triggering better communication with other people and oneself.
Easy travel experiences
Traveling around the world is much easy when you are well-versed in the local language of that place. You may not find English-speaking people everywhere and that is why for an instance, if you know French, it will help you travel across France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, and a number of African countries. Spanish speaking skills will enable you to explore Spain and South America.
Just imagine how comfortable you may find yourself to be when you connect to the local people around you and they give you a more unique experience as you are bound to agree that staying with a local host while traveling can offer you a captivating experience in the traditions and culture.
Knowing what food to order without pointing at pictures and asking for directions when you get lost is also a bonus. Seemingly simple materials, such as travel guides, tourist brochures, signposting, and information that people often use when on vacation, could be translated correctly.
Versatile job opportunities
Knowing multiple languages has many perks in the job sector as it shows potential employers your skills and dedication. You might find your place in the fields of sales, marketing, tourism, law, teaching, public relations, transportation, and government. Increased cultural sensitivity is also an added advantage.
An interpreter can earn around Rs.1000 and Rs.2000 per day. In the case of start-ups, companies are looking for people who can negotiate with manufacturers of other countries and communicate with customers who don’t speak their native language. The demand for foreign language skills is driven by the domestic market and not the foreign market exclusively these days.
Suitable candidates can also break into the Indian Armed Forces, RAW, paramilitary forces, embassies. The External Services Division of All India Radio broadcasts transmissions in 27 languages out of which 15 are foreign. Therefore, one can also explore opportunities to work in print and electronic media.