We all have different reasons for deciding to learn a second language. Some of us what to enhance our education or improve the chances of finding a better paying job. Others simply fall in love with the culture or how the language sounds.
Regardless of your motivation, one thing is for sure: by becoming proficient in another language, you enable mental abilities that you’ve never imagined before.
Here are a few.
1. Increased Brain Power
A foreign language comes with a new system of rules, vocabulary, and meanings, forcing the brain to switch regularly between languages to recognize patterns and deal with complex sentence structures.
By employing significant brain power, learning a second language improves your cognitive thinking skills, such as understanding complex concepts, reasoning, and learning. It can also boost your memory and heighten your problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
The more different and challenging the language you’re trying to learn, the more brain power you’ll use. So, don’t be afraid to go for an exotic language, such as Chinese. If you’re afraid that you’re not going to find a professional tutor who can help you learn the language, then you need to know that there are numerous services, such as Chinese teachers – preply.com where you can find private tutors and high-quality courses for every need, budget, and preference.
2. Improved Memory
As with any muscle in your body, the more you train your brain, the more powerful it becomes. Learning a new language involves memorizing rules and vocabulary and applying them to communication, making it a seriously good workout for your brain. Your overall memory is engaged, your think quicker and are better at recalling lists, names or directions.
3. Heightened Attention
Bilingual brains are constantly on alert to decipher which language people use to address them. As a result, they are more perceptive and can quickly spot and shut off irrelevant or misleading information.
4. It Builds Multitasking Skills
For monolingual individuals, switching from one task to another can be quite stressful. People who are multilingual, on the other hand, are used to it. Their minds are more flexible, as they constantly have to shift between two different language systems.
5. Enhanced Decision Making
Always juggling with words and senses, a polyglot has to judge nuances and quickly decide the best word or phrase to express his or her ideas. Furthermore, bilinguals learn to emotionally detach themselves from the rest of their options, thus lowering the risk of aversion. Proving to yourself that your decisions are right, it will help you become more confident in your choices.
6. Develops Creativity
With a new language, you experiment with words, phrases, and sentence structure that are different than in your native tongue. So, when you don’t remember the right expression for a particular situation, for example, you have to search your memory for an alternate one to explain what you want to say. This exercise trains your creativity and divergent thinking.
7. Learning a Second Language Improves Your Native Language
When you have to deal with new vocabulary, grammar, conjunctions and so on, you become more aware of the mechanics of a language – how it can be structured and manipulated. Inevitably, you’ll start comparing the second language with your native one which wasn’t studied as thoroughly, but it’s more intuitively. You’ll become a better listener seeing as you have to interpret meanings of different variations.
8. It Protects the Brain Against Aging
Knowing a second language can postpone the first signs of dementia for up to 5 years. In fact, studies have shown that learning a foreign language works significantly better than Alzheimer meds, which can delay the onset by just 6-12 months.
9. Increased Networking Skills
The best way to understand a culture is to experience it. Learning its language is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the particularities of a different culture. Not to mention, you’ll become more open to new perspectives and ways of doing things. Learning a second language opens up a world of possibilities and enhances your ability to connect with them.
Let’s be honest: learning a foreign language is no easy task, especially if you’ve picked one that has no roots to your native tongue. But as seen, mastering more than one language comes with a set of perks you can benefit from in your day to day life.