Learning a new language is hard. It takes energy and patience. It’s confusing. It can even be boring at times.
So is it worth it?
The short answer is yes.
Bilingualism is more than a way to communicate with others—that’s just the start. Becoming fluent in another language can have a positive effect on various aspects of your life.
Why You Should Learn a New Language
1. Social Connections
It seems pretty simple: The more languages you speak, the more people you can speak to. This means clearer, more convenient communication in business, travel, and social situations. But the social advantages go deeper than that. Learning a new language and having conversations with people from other countries encourages you to learn about cultures different from your own, which can lead to tolerance and understanding.
2. Brain Boost
Who doesn’t want to improve their brain function? Studies have shown that being bilingual allows you to develop better focus and concentration. Second-language learners can ignore distractions and retain information better than single-language speakers, according to another study.
Learning another language can also improve decision-making skills. Research suggests that thinking about a problem in a second language actually allows you to make decisions in a more logical, less emotional way.
3. Career Choices
Knowing more than one language offers a lot of career advantages. Job-seekers who know at least two languages generally have more career opportunities. A second language could also mean a higher salary and more chances for advancement within a company. Being able to communicate in another language also creates stronger business relationships.
4. Delayed Dementia
Learning a second language appears to delay some signs of aging in the brain. Although lifelong language learning provides the most benefits, there is evidence that learning a second language at any age can delay certain types of dementia by three to four years. This is thanks to the way you exercise your brain when switching back and forth between languages.
When you decide to learn a new skill, you’re faced with an enormous challenge. You need the discipline to stick to your goals and the courage to use your skills even when you’re afraid of making mistakes. When you begin to reach your goals, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. As you make further progress and begin to master your new language, you’ll gain confidence.
6. Improved Creativity
This one might surprise you: Learning a second language can actually increase your creativity. When you’re trying to communicate in another language, you might not be able to find the right words. As a result, you have to get creative and find a different way to express yourself.
Learning a language can also involve learning about different ways of life. This allows you to see the world from multiple points of view. When you’re able to consider other perspectives, you become a more creative problem-solver.
It’s clear that learning a new language offers many benefits—from brain fitness to social advantages to career opportunities. So what are you waiting for?