5 Reasons You Should Learn A Foreign Language
Bonjour! Hola! Guten Tag! Ciao! Ola! Ohayo! Marhaba!
How many of these are familiar to you and how many are not? They are all a simple ‘hello!’ in different languages and just the fact that you might not have recognized all of them as being so, should be reason enough why you should take up a foreign language A-S-A-P! Here are some more reasons if you’re not on board yet:
1. Further your opportunities.
While another language can be an ornament for your CV, it can give you that edge over your peers. Globalisation has resulted in the formation of what Arjun Appadurai calls the ‘global cultural economy’. Not only do businesses involve in international trade, but, many firms operate in more than one country, leading to them to needing employees that can represent the home country as well as adjust well to the host country. And, if you happen to know the language well, you can end up with a really good job!
Opportunities may also include the chance to study abroad. Knowing another language can open up vistas for you to go to that particular country for higher education. E.g. German language helps a great deal if your dream university is in Germany. Apart from that too, knowledge of a language could help you explore manuscripts and educational resources in that language, helping you a lot in your theses or projects.
2. Boost your brain power.
There are numerous cognitive benefits of learning a foreign language. It results in memory improvement, longer attention span, and a reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline.Researchers at University College London have found that learning a new language boosts grey matter in the same way as excercising build muscles.
3. Revamp your travelling experience.
Not knowing the native language of a place makes you an obvious stand-out, and gives you away as a tourist. This could lead to exploitation by frauds in things as minute as transportation, e.g. overcharging for a cab etc. Similarly, souvenir shops often have different prices for locals and tourists. If you converse in the local language, you not only shrug off your ‘tourist tag’ but, also don’t have to pay what the price tag says! Because the tag will have the ‘touristy’ price on it. Furthermore, if you decide to bargain, a bargain in the local language is much more likely to work than a bargain in languages foreign to that land.
4. Appreciate art the way it was intended.
Translations are anything but the original in a different language. The essence of the item is certainly lost, be it a song, a movie, a drama, or a book! Subtitles may make comprehension easier. But, there is nothing like understanding what the on screen characters are speaking in their voices. Sub-titles are also a distraction! In fact, being a fan of a foreign entertainment industry, e.g. being fond of Korean music, is an exceptional source of motivation right there for you to learn Korean!
5. Explore new cultures.
You would be surprised at how closely linked language and culture are. Learning the language familiarises you with the do’s and don’ts of that culture e.g. which words are appropriate and which aren’t. Differences would help you broaden your mind to the diversity of the world and be more accepting of just how much is out there to be learnt and appreciated.
By: Bushra Nagaria
Cover Image: Via spectrumnews.org