There are many benefits to learning a new language. For example, you won’t need to desperately point to the menu when ordering food in a restaurant or struggle asking for directions when abroad. But there are many other perks that go beyond upping your holiday game. We’ve rounded up 7 of them and just these alone are bound to get you hitting the books or developing your language abilities with an online course.
It could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s/dementia
We all get old. It’s a basic fact of life. But that’s doesn’t make it any less scary. Especially as, according to the Alzheimer’s Society, an estimated one in 14 people over the age of 65 – and one in every 6 over 80s – are affected by dementia. You may be sat there now thinking that your 60s are years and years away; however, putting the effort in to learn something new now can help to delay symptoms by up to 4 years. Why? Because learning a new language, and practicing it throughout your lifetime, helps to keep your brain agile, thereby reducing the severity of cognitive decline later in life.
Your first language will improve
To learn a new language you have to look closely at the mechanics of language, such as grammar, punctuation and spelling. Therefore, you will be more aware of the intricacies of language and this consciousness will be transferred over to your native language. Consequently, you’ll find that you will become a better communicator in your mother tongue as you’re able to make the most out of the language at your disposal.
It enriches your life experiences
There’s a whole world out there ready to be explored and understood. And an appreciation of a country is just not possible if your only experience of it comes from Google or your local takeaway; you can only truly connect with people of a different culture by communicating with them in their own language. Speaking their lingo will enrich your interpersonal experiences and demonstrate your respect for their culture, which makes people more likely to welcome you into their way of life.
By immersing yourself in a new culture, you will also have a greater awareness of others and an increased sensitivity to their values and beliefs, along with a broader worldview. What’s more you’ll also be able to:
- Enjoy foreign films and literature in their original language
- Appreciate certain traditions and history
- Build relationships with people across the world and create friendships that may last a lifetime
These little things all help us to lead happier and more enriched lives.
It enhances memory
If you think that learning a new language will be detrimental to your other studies, you should think again. The process of learning a language is so complex that it actually boosts your brain power, keeps your memory sharp and improves your attention to detail. So, you may find that developing your language skills will make retaining and learning other information easier, thereby giving your studies a boost. Plus, once you've become fluent in a new language it will be much easier for you to grasp another, so you can look forward to a lifetime of easy learning!
You’ll become a fantastic multitasker
It is no secret that multitasking is hard. But, if you’re bilingual, you are likely a master multitasker without even realising it. This is because, if you know multiple languages, you are constantly juggling words and phrases and switching from one to another. And this has been proven by science: a 2012 study found that those that knew multiple languages were able to switch between tasks more effectively than monolinguals, showing a direct correlation between multitasking and bilingualism. Which brings us to our next benefit of learning a new language…
It boosts creativity
Research has shown that people who are bilingual are more creative than their monolingual counterparts. This is because, if you understand multiple languages, you often have to find alternative words to describe something that has no equivalent in a different language. Bilinguals therefore have to experiment more with language in order to find the words or phrase to express what they’re trying to say. Therefore, by learning a second language you will become more creative, a trait that you can carry over into multiple aspects of life, not just during your language study.
You'll improve your employability
The world is becoming increasingly connected every day, and this has majorly transformed the business world. People fly across the globe for business meetings and the global economy is booming… For businesspeople, learning a new language is not advantageous, it’s essential.
Communicating with business partners or colleagues in their native language helps to establish trust, which may solidify strong business relations in turn. Because of this, people who speak multiple languages are desirable to many employers. So, a second language on your CV could really help you to stand out in a competitive career landscape.
You’ll also open yourself up to a wider range of job opportunities, in a range of different industries, across the globe. For example, the translation and language industry is big business: in 2018 it was worth over 46 billion US dollars, which equates to approximately 36 billion in UK pounds. And you could translate from pretty much anywhere in the world… This means that an additional language could not only boost your career, it could also change your life.
If you're ready to reap the benefits of learning a new language, start your language learning journey with Online Academies today. Head over to our language course category and choose from 16 exciting languages. Whether you’re a language beginner or know 3 languages fluently but want to increase your language knowledge, you’re bound to find a course that takes your fancy.