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

Not only because you are drilling new words into your head, but you are applying new information into various situations the more you use your brain. This reinforces new information to be remembered and you'll be more quicker remembering words even when revised a few times, which overall improves your memory skills. This is especially apparent if you are learning a language that is related to your own native language which opens multiple opportunities for connecting the dots together with words, which is a fundamental part of human memory.

Love the list, these reasons are valid, but it's also worth mentioning that most bilanguage people are taught from a young age, and that it gets harder and harder as you get older to retain a whole language. So it's also not a bad thing to not try to learn, 'cause that's also pretty reasonable and understandable.

2 Better socializing skills

It isn't just writing and reading that improves one's language skills. In order to properly master a language, a person should also learn how to speak in the foreign language they're learning on, as this also sums up a major part of learning. Having these three balanced together solidifies your knowledge on that language. Nevertheless, learning a language can also open up opportunities to speaking people from different countries. If you tend to be awkward at conversations, learning a foreign language should be your perfect excuse for other people in your foreign language.

3 Better career opportunities

All the combined benefits to learning a language also contributes to having an upper hand to the job market and a better career overall, and increases the chances that you will be accepted in a higher salary job. Although it's not always guaranteed, it definitely expands your opportunities of getting different occupations along with having a better-looking resume.

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

I must admit this hasn't really helped me yet but maybe at some point.

4 Exposure to other cultures

Culture is a major part of learning a language, and it's always better to learn a language while getting immersed in other cultures, which in result can change how you view the world. While language is a major part of culture, learning a foreign language can prepare you better into integrating oneself into that said culture - as well as bypassing language barriers, even when you haven't traveled into 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 you dedicate your time learning languages, the more you are likely to be resistant to the symptoms of Alzheimer's or dementia. Studies have shown that although bilinguals have the same cases as monolinguals, they are able to delay the onset of those symptoms by up to a couple of years. Think about it, when you are lifting weights, you are increasing your longevity. Learning a language is like mentally putting yourself into exercise, which in the long term makes the brain functional for a few more years.

6 Makes traveling easier

Because of exposure to language, not only you'll get familiar with signs, but you are more likely to be familiar with a foreign country's culture and be more confident in talking with other people. That way, you can make memorable experiences from immersing yourself in the country.

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

7 Improves your native language

While we were young, we mostly absorbed our native language(s) as well as their syntax through osmosis from our family. Yet as we grow older we tend to be more conscious about syntax, conjugations, and other rules of grammar than vocabulary. If you're older, learning a foreign language can increase the awareness of how you often use your native language, thus you'll be able to polish your grammar errors and communicate effectively. This is more evident if you're learning a language that is close to your native language.

8 Sharper creativity

Having more vocabulary can also open up opportunities to be more creative and witty with words, especially through idioms. Of course, how you use the language determines your creativity, but the more vocabulary absorbed, you may be able to speak sentences in ways that can otherwise cannot be properly spoken in your native language.

9 Working internationally

Learning a language makes it more easier to apply to international jobs. That includes teaching your native language such as English in a foreign country. This can be very helpful to those who live in disadvantageous countries. Not only you can earn a worthy salary, but you'll polish both your native and foreign language skills this way.

10 Boosts your self-esteem

Learning a language is also a good way to get off 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 may seem useless to you or others, that would still indirectly improve you in multiple domains. With that in mind, you'll realize how capable you are and that itself can boost your self-esteem. Not only it's necessary for seeking more knowledge or expanding your career, but it helps your life in the long-term.

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

The Contenders
11 Changes your brain for the better

It's not only that your memory, problem solving skills, and creativity are getting sharper. Learning a language enables your brain to re-order itself to be more adaptable - as well as your neurons "connecting the dots", thus this changes how we see and analyze things in perspective. Although we learn new things everyday, this is more evident when learning a language as it stimulates your brain. This is called neuroplasticity.

12 Refines your multitasking skills

It has been shown that bilingual people perform better at multitasking than monolinguals. Since switching from language to language is easier for bilinguals, this indirectly improves your multitasking skills for most other tasks. Hence, you'll catch more detail jumping from task to task in a fast-paced environment. According to a Pennsylvania State University study.

13 Understanding foreign music

We tend to have some of our favorite songs based on a foreign language which we have no clue about. Learning a foreign language may break that barrier and could possibly hit you with an entirely different vibe. Not only listening to songs can be very useful to language learning, but it may also expand your palette in music taste which can play a large part in appreciating different cultures. Even though you don't entirely understand the lyrics, it is a great way to hone your listening skills based on the foreign language you're learning. Overall, it's a fun way to keep you going.

14 Improves reading skills

Because reading is a fundamental part of learning in general, this is evident when you learn languages that are closely connected to your main language, especially words that are very similar to those of your language.

15 Not needing a translator

Yes, plenty of us experienced that moment we had to spend an additional minute trying to translate the words a person's trying to say. Obviously learning a language can eliminate that problem.

16 Not needing subtitles

Subtitles are actually useful if you are an intermediate at your foreign language. But if you feel that you are near mastering a language, or you can understand a majority of an episode without an aid, then subtitles are no longer needed.

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