ou may have heard that the easiest time to learn a new language is when you’re a child. While that’s true, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to learn a new language as an adult. In today’s world, learning a language is easier than it’s ever been and it’s usually free and easy to do. So, now that you know it’s possible, why learn that new language you’ve been thinking about?
Improved Cognitive Functions
So we’ve been reading up on the science stuff to give you the sitch on what’s going on in your brain when you learn a new language. Turns out… quite a bit.
We went through the scientific reports and we’ve come to the conclusion that not only does learning a new language improve your cognitive abilities, it can actually change your physical brain and makes it stronger and better.
That may sound like some pseudo-science mumbo jumbo, but if you want to fact check, you’ll find that, in simple terms, learning a language does wonders for your brain.
One word that reoccurs quite a bit when reading through scholarly articles and other media related to the benefits of learning a new language is neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is, “the ability of neural networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganization,” which means that your brain will become more flexible in what it can learn and what it can remember. Learning a new language can have a domino effect on your other brain functions by making your brain more capable of learning and remembering in general.
Learning a language and increasing your neuroplasticity isn’t just good for you while you learn the language, the changes that you’ll make to your brain can theoretically positively affect you into your elder years and keep you sharper for longer.
Broaden Career Opportunities
The list of job and career opportunities that arise after becoming bilingual or multilingual. At the bare minimum, this new skill can be an impressive addition to your resume. At most though, learning a new language can become a career.
To start with, almost any job in customer service will be impressed if you can speak more than one language, especially if it’s a language that’s commonly spoken in the area. Many jobs in customer service don’t require it, but there’s a high chance that your resume will be preferred to someone else’s who doesn’t have the language skills that you’ll have.
If one of the main reasons that you want to learn a language is the prospect of making a career out of it, we found a list of languages that would be best for that. That list also includes some companies that hire people mostly based on their being bilingual.
Some of the most notable companies there are Shmoop, Xerox, Verizon, BBC Worldwide, and so many more.
Travelling Abroad Isn’t Just a “Dream” Anymore
Like we said before, learning a new language can help you discover new and exciting opportunities in the career that you’re in, or in pursuing a new career. Part of that is the opportunity to pursue short or long-term employment in another country.
It’s strange to think about certain contexts, but there are so many positions in foreign countries that require someone to be able to translate from one language to another.
We’re not just talking about being an English teacher at a school in Paris, we mean that you could even pursue a position in a local governmental office. There are plenty of cities worldwide who need a speech translator for the mayor of a city or something akin to that.
We bring this up not to try to get you into foreign politics. We just want you to know that whatever field interests you, there’s a job position for an English translator that’s in that category in a city abroad.
You may take us up on that and find a job that would allow you to be a translator for.. .We don’t know… a food critic in Calabria, Italy. You may be almost fluent or fluent, but living in a city that speaks the language you will learn could turn you into a native-sounding speaker, which is the epitome of language mastery.
With that in mind, if you want to use this new language you’re learning to get out and travel the world, pick a language that is widely spoken wherever it is that you most want to visit or stay.
It Can Become Even Easier to Learn More Languages
Something that seems pretty intuitive but you may not have thought about yet is that learning one language can make it easier to learn more languages in the future. One reason for this is that many languages were born from other languages.
Some languages come from Latin, others from Greek or some other root language. If you learn a language like Spanish, learning another language from the same language root as Spanish like French would come relatively easy to you.
Understanding that some words sound like other words in languages with similar roots aren’t the only reasons for learning more languages being easier after you learn your first new language.
Part of why learning languages comes easier to those who have already learned a language is that they’ve wired their brain to learn and compartmentalize in the most effective way for learning a language.
The most effective way to learn a language is definitely dependent on the person though so make sure that you try out every strategy you can because what works for a random person on the internet, may not exactly work for you.
Regardless of what the perfect language learning strategy ends up being for you, it will translate into learning other languages as well
Encourages Time Management Skills
One of the main reasons for people deciding to not learn a language is that they think they don’t have time to make the kind of progress that they want to make.
We think that’s kind of a silly excuse… unless of course you’re Elon Musk, in which case, you actually don’t have the time -- also thanks for reading this, Elon.
Back to everyone besides Elon -- you definitely have the time to learn a new language. It’s as easy as setting aside 10-30 minutes of time every day. Every day may seem excessive, but in language learning, not taking a break in learning especially in the beginning stages is crucial.
If 10-30 minutes a day feels like too much for you, maybe you could ditch the pointless app you play right before going to bed, right when you wake up, or the app you use when you’re using the restroom, and replace any of those with a language learning app.
Figuring out how to take that time every day each week will probably force you to come up with some sort of weekly schedule so you can figure out exactly where to fit your language lesson in.
Inadvertently, learning a language will force you to make the most of your time, or at least plan a good amount of time ahead which will undoubtedly help with time management.
In the age of social media and streaming services, getting distracted and mismanaging time is extremely easy (and incredibly enjoyable), so planning out your week around when you want to take your language lesson could be just what you needed to manage your time a bit better.
This is maybe the most fun and immediate of the reasons to learn a new language. There are so many opportunities to make new friends!
It’s really easy to find a small or large community of people who are learning the same language as you. Those people can be conversation buddies, study buddies, or just end up being your regular ol’ buddy.
Finding people to talk to in the language that you’re learning is crucial to developing good speaking skills, so there are a lot of communities that help people who are learning a new language connect and talk to each other in order to improve their skills.
The last thing we’ll say is that we’ve shown you six great reasons why you should learn a new language. Can you think of any reasons not to? Exactly! Good luck learning!
Image courtesy of dailyevergree.com.