There are roughly 4,500 languages in the world that have more than 1,000 speakers. Yet many people go their whole lives only knowing one of these: the one they’re brought up with. How can somebody benefit from learning a new language? Here are four benefits that we think will inspire you to take up some language practice
Fully experience the world & other cultures
Without being able to speak the language of a country, you can often feel like a passenger and complete outsider, experiencing things on the surface but never fully getting involved in what is going on. Even when the people there can speak English, meaning often doesn’t fully or accurately come across and you lose out.
Being able to speak the local language gets rid of all of these barriers and means you can fully integrate into the culture and achieve a whole new level of experience. From experience I can say that on my Year Abroad, living in Spanish-speaking countries and knowing how to speak Spanish allowed me to take part in activities and go to places that I would not have at all been able to had I not studied Spanish for years prior.
This is the main motivation for most people to learn a language, and the one that leads to the best experiences.
Open up a whole new world of entertainment
There are already a ridiculously large number of books, TV shows and films out there which you can spend your time consuming. And in our current age, with the likes of Kindle and Netflix around, it’s never been easier to access all of these. However, by speaking another language this pool of great content and entertainment can grow to be even bigger.
Some of the greatest works come from other languages, and although most of them have now been translated into English you’ll never get the true feel of a text through a translation, or of a film through a dubbed version. Although this can be difficult at the early stages of learning a language, I will never stop encouraging people to try to fully immerse themselves in entertainment in their chosen language.
And I’ve said all of this without even mentioning music, the way so many people are easily able to access a new language! With the help of Spotify you can easily listen to music from around the world, and participate in waves of music such as that of reggaetón at the moment!
Future job opportunities
In a world that is ever more globalised, there is an increasing demand for workers highly skilled in foreign languages to be able to maintain relationships with other countries and to carry out business overseas. Learning a language doesn’t close any doors on what you will be able to do in the future, but it will certainly open up lots of opportunity, with companies looking at you to be the Spanish guy or girl in the office or even potentially to live abroad in countries where your chosen language is spoken.
Give your brain a real workout
Regardless of all of the above, one of the best reasons to learn a language is the stimulation that your brain receives from it. Having to switch between two languages and think in another language pushes your brain to a new level, one that will assist you in any other learning you have to do.