The advantages of learning a foreign language at an early age are widely known. Multilingual youngsters are more imaginative, better problem solvers and more logical. It’s also easier to pick up a new language earlier in life, as you won’t question grammar rules, you won’t develop as strong an accent, and it will be enjoyable, instead of a task. However, learning a different language as an adult can still have plenty of social and economic advantages. This article will outline the benefits of learning a second language for jobs, vacations and brain power.
The demand for multilingual staff members has doubled in the past five years, meaning there are more economic benefits of learning a second language than ever before. Bilingual employees are sought after as they have abilities such as creativity and problem solving. Furthermore, learning a language confirms you can commit to learning another skill. Being able to speak multiple languages also opens up a range of sectors, such as travel, hospitality, interpretation and the military. There are also lots of benefits of learning a foreign language for business development, as bilinguals are able to communicate with others all over the world. Multilingual employees are also essential for customer service. Sibur, for example, sells to 80 countries, meaning they require multilingual staff members to communicate with international customers.
The list of cognitive benefits of bilingualism is endless. The Baycrest Rotman Institute has found that multilingual people use a fewer number of brain resources to carry out memory tasks. This helps to preserve brain health and defends against cognitive decline and memory loss. That’s why individuals who can speak more than one language are not as likely to develop alzhiemer's disease. The cognitive benefits of learning a second language also impact people’s mother tongue proficiency. Learning another language helps you to improve speaking, writing and listening skills that are valuable for both languages. Those who are able to speak several languages are also more analytical and have a better attention span, which improves both personal and professional lives.
There are many benefits of learning a second language for travel. In order to learn another language, you will also have to study a different culture, making you increasingly understanding and empathetic of different nationalities. Linguists are also known to be stronger problem solvers, so will be able to overcome travel issues, such as losing your passport or getting lost. Knowing the language of the country you’re going to will also enhance your safety. Although you could use translation apps, like TripLingo, to converse in a stressful scenario, being multilingual speeds up interaction. There are also social benefits of learning a second language while abroad, as you will be able to converse with the natives, who can offer restaurant and accommodation tips. You could also save money, since you will be able to negotiate at markets and won’t need to hire a tour guide.