Learning a new language is a tough undertaking. However, there are many benefits to learning a new language that make it tremendously worthwhile. Knowing some of these will do a lot to motivate you as you pore through the textbooks, sit through language classes and practice your new language skills with native speakers.
Here are five proven benefits to learning a language that you probably weren’t aware of:
1) It Boosts Your Brain Power
Learning a new language keeps your brain healthy and sharp. Studies indicate that multilingual individuals are especially good at analytical tasks. The constant “switching” between languages helps stimulate and develop the part of your brain that is tasked with problem-solving and analyzing information. This increase in brain activity has been proven to delay the onset of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
2) A New Language Opens a Window to a New Culture
Learning a new language automatically opens you up to a new culture and society. As you learn, you automatically become more interested in the cultural traditions of the societies who speak the new language you are studying. Sure, you can learn about a new culture without you learning its language, but doing so allows for a deeper, enriching experience.
A lot of the time, a mobile interpretation services app can’t fully communicate the special nuances and meaning of what is being expressed in the foreign language. As you learn the language, watching movies in that tongue, singing along to songs in the language, or reading literature from the relevant language will open a whole new world to you that is both captivating and inviting.
3) Become a Better Communicator Overall
Picking up a new language forces you to improve your reading, comprehension and listening skills while making you think about how your own language is constructed. Most people rarely really think about the rules of their own native tongues, but language learners are made to think of grammar, syntax and construction of their own mother tongue in a way that makes them better communicators overall.
It goes without saying that acquiring a new language connects you to more people – both people who are native speakers of the language you are learning, and fellow learners of the language. It also saves you money, as you won’t have to splurge on an interpretation services professional to help you understand an important business or medical meeting.
4) Makes Travel Easier and More Enjoyable
If your goal is to become a world traveler, learning new languages is a must! Traveling is significantly less of a hassle and more fun when there isn’t a language barrier you have to contend with. You don’t have to worry about getting lost or not understanding what a native speaker is saying to you. You can communicate with locals without having to resort to translation books or charades.
Knowing a language is especially useful when traveling in a country that speaks a similar language. You’ll be able to get the “gist” of what locals say, which makes travelling a lot easier. Knowing Spanish, for example, allows you to somewhat understand other Romance languages like Portuguese, French and Italian.
5) Minor Languages Are Better Preserved
Language is one of the hallmarks of a unique society. According to the United Nations, half of the more than 6,000 languages that exist in the world will disappear by 2100. More than words will be lost if so many languages die out, such as a culture’s heritage and traditions. Because only one-third of global languages keep to a writing system, the oral tradition of stories, jokes and other important messages of cultural import may be lost by the end of the century if more people do not step up to the plate and learn a rare language.
Opting to study a lesser known language can help safeguard the beauty, culture and diversity of language. For example, the Cherokee language has a word for that feeling one has when seeing an adorable little kitten for the first time: “oo-kah-huh-sdee” – a sensation that does not have its own word in the major languages of the world. These words are worth preserving as part of a living language.
Denise Recalde is a Senior Content Writer at Day Translations, a human translation services company. A seasoned writer and editor with eleven years of experience under her belt, she is a bonafide wordsmith who loves playing with the written word creatively and always takes care to lend a certain hue of snap and color to her drafts. Always one to rise up to challenges, she has traveled to 14 countries and has worked on a smorgasbord of writing projects that spanned several industries, from finance to health to beauty and fashion.