Top 10 Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

Learning a language is a good way to get out of your comfort zone. However, it's not just putting vocabulary and grammar into your head, or connecting with new people. There are other cognitive benefits you can acquire and even apply them in everyday tasks. If you want to expand your horizons, learning a foreign language is one of the best ways to do it, especially in the modern world where bilingualism is essential for not only careers, but your life as well.
The Top Ten
1 Enhanced memory

When you learn a new language, you drill new words into your head and apply new information in various situations. This reinforces your memory, making it quicker to remember words even with minimal revision, thus improving your memory skills overall.

This is especially apparent if you are learning a language related to your native one, as it opens multiple opportunities for connecting the dots with words, a fundamental part of human memory.

2 Better socializing skills

It isn't just writing and reading that improve one's language skills. To properly master a language, a person should also learn how to speak it, as this is a major part of learning. Balancing these three aspects solidifies your knowledge of the language.

Additionally, learning a language can open up opportunities to speak with people from different countries. If you tend to be awkward in conversations, learning a foreign language can be a perfect excuse to engage with others.

3 Better career opportunities

The combined benefits of learning a language contribute to having an upper hand in the job market and better career prospects. It increases the chances of being accepted for higher-salary jobs. Although not always guaranteed, it expands your opportunities for different occupations and enhances your resume.

I can confirm that. I earned myself a job because I could speak two languages.

4 Exposure to other cultures

Culture is a major part of learning a language. It's always better to learn a language while immersing yourself in other cultures, which can change how you view the world.

Learning a foreign language can better prepare you to integrate into that culture and bypass language barriers, even if you haven't traveled to a country where the language is spoken.

5 Delays symptoms of Alzheimer's and Dementia

This doesn't mean learning a language decreases the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease or dementia. The more time you dedicate to learning languages, the more resistant you are likely to be to the symptoms of Alzheimer's or dementia.

Studies have shown that although bilinguals have the same incidence of these conditions as monolinguals, they can delay the onset of symptoms by up to a couple of years. Think about it: lifting weights increases your physical longevity. Learning a language is like mental exercise, which in the long term keeps the brain functional for a few more years.

6 Working internationally

Learning a language makes it easier to apply for international jobs, including teaching your native language, such as English, in a foreign country. This can be very helpful for those in disadvantaged countries. You can earn a worthy salary while polishing both your native and foreign language skills.

7 Makes traveling easier

Exposure to a foreign language makes you more familiar with signs and a foreign country's culture. You become more confident in talking with locals, creating memorable experiences through immersion.

I've heard so many stories of people having trouble when crossing borders or just with basic things during travel.

8 Improves your native language

While we were young, we mostly absorbed our native language and its syntax through osmosis from our family. As we grow older, we tend to be more conscious about syntax, conjugations, and other grammar rules.

Learning a foreign language can increase your awareness of how you use your native language, allowing you to polish your grammar errors and communicate more effectively. This is more evident if you're learning a language close to your native one.

9 Sharper creativity

Having a larger vocabulary can open up opportunities to be more creative and witty with words, especially through idioms. How you use the language determines your creativity, but absorbing more vocabulary allows you to express ideas that might not be easily conveyed in your native language.

10 Refines your multitasking skills

Studies have shown that bilingual people perform better at multitasking than monolinguals. Since switching languages is easier for bilinguals, this indirectly improves your multitasking skills in other areas. You'll notice more detail when jumping from task to task in a fast-paced environment, according to a Pennsylvania State University study.

The Contenders
11 Changes your brain for the better

Learning a language sharpens your memory, problem-solving skills, and creativity. It enables your brain to reorder itself to be more adaptable, connecting neurons in new ways and changing how you analyze things.

Although we learn new things every day, this is more evident when learning a language, as it stimulates your brain. This is called neuroplasticity.

12 Boosts your self-esteem

Learning a language is a good way to step out of your comfort zone. It's bound to be a difficult journey but comes with wider opportunities and abilities in the end. Even if a language seems useless to you or others, it can still indirectly improve you in multiple domains.

With this in mind, you'll realize how capable you are, boosting your self-esteem. It is not only necessary for seeking more knowledge or expanding your career but also helps in the long term.

Being able to speak two or more languages and use them for your job or when traveling is very gratifying.

13 Understanding foreign music

We tend to have some favorite songs in foreign languages we don't understand. Learning a foreign language may break that barrier and give you an entirely different appreciation. Listening to songs can be very useful for language learning and may expand your musical taste, helping you appreciate different cultures.

Even if you don't entirely understand the lyrics, it is a great way to hone your listening skills in the foreign language you're learning. Overall, it's a fun way to keep you motivated.

14 Improves reading skills

Reading is a fundamental part of learning. This is especially evident when learning languages closely connected to your main language, particularly with similar words.

15 Not needing a translator

Yes, plenty of us have experienced that moment when we had to spend an additional minute trying to translate the words a person was trying to say. Learning a language can obviously eliminate that problem.

16 Not needing subtitles

Subtitles are useful if you are an intermediate in a foreign language. However, if you feel near mastering the language or can understand most of an episode without assistance, subtitles are no longer needed.

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