At SpeakALanguage we love to say that you open many doors by learning a new language. You open doors when you travel. You open doors to meeting new people and experiencing new cultures in a way you can’t do if you don’t speak their language. You also expand your opportunities when you learn a new language. You have many different opportunities in your job if you can speak a new language. You have opportunities to help others in your local area that might need help with translation. Here are 7 reasons to learn a new language.
1. Travel – Travel, travel, travel. Yes, in many places in the world you can get around by just speaking English but let’s get real, your trip will be exponentially more enjoyable if you learn to speak some of the language where you’ll be traveling. Talk about opening doors! Especially if you like to travel off the beaten path, away from all the tourists, where people probably don’t speak English. I’ve traveled to many places in the world where pretty much no one spoke English. I was in China a couple of years ago and except for my co-worker, not one person spoke English. For an extrovert like me it was like being in prison not being able to say anything to anyone. When I traveled to Chile, although not many people spoke English, I was able to speak enough Spanish to get by and it made my trip so much more enjoyable.
When traveling abroad you’ll find that people really respect you if you can speak some of their language. You don’t have to be fluent but the fact that you even tried will impress the locals. I’ve even read somewhere that learning a new language will help you save money when you travel because you can better haggle with the locals. Win-win.
2. Relationships – You’d be surprised at how many people are finding “the one” online. The problem can be when “the one” doesn’t speak your language. Communication is greatly helped when you both speak the same language. On the other hand, if you and your significant other both speak English and decide to learn a new language together you can use that skill to speak with each other…..without anyone knowing what you’re saying. It’s like you’re speaking in “code”.
3. Brain Power – Learning to speak a new language will help feed your brain and will help your brain stay engaged as you use it. It’s been said that learning a new language can protect against Alzheimer’s or prevent the onset of Dementia. Regardless of if this is true, learning a new language will help to stimulate your brain and improve your memory which is important as we get older. It will help your brain stay active and healthy. Bilingualism is healthy for your brain!
4. Advance Your Career – Speaking a second language will help with different work opportunities. It may give you the opportunity to travel abroad. It may help you bring in more international clients. It may just make you more sensitive to the other people and cultures you work with. And depending on your job and what language you speak it may make you indispensable to your company. Chinese and Spanish are both good languages to know in the business world.
5. Make New Friends and Network with People All Over the World – Technology has made the world so small. I can download a free app on my phone and text a friend in Turkey. I can even call that same person…for free! If you’re anything like me and you love to meet new people and experience new cultures learning a new language is a fun way to meet new people. It is so rewarding to really get to know people. And if you’re able to communicate with them, in their language this experiences becomes even more rewarding.
6. Genealogy – I’m always amazed at how many people I meet that want