Nowadays, being plurilingual is such a valuable skill that everyone desperately wants and needs, given that we live in such a diverse and multicultural world. As we know full well, connecting with others is more important than ever and speaking a foreign language certainly helps to break down any communication or cultural barriers. Not only that but being able to speak other languages opens so many fantastic opportunities for your career and travels, as well as making you a more confident, smart and open-minded person. In this blog, we’re going to explain why you ought to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to pick up a new language this year.
Brighter Future Career
“One language sets you in a corridor for life.
Two languages open every door along the way.”
– Frank Smith
In the words of the great psycholinguist Frank Smith, languages open so many exciting opportunities, particularly when it comes to your career. If you want your CV to really stand out from the rest, being plurilingual makes you truly unique, because, amazingly, the British Council say that only 38% of Britons speak a foreign language. It comes as no surprise that multinational companies from every sector are always on the hunt for plurilingual employees as they can offer a set of skills which others simply don’t have. Whether that’s communicating with clients overseas or translating important documents, linguists always come in handy and that’s why they are so high in demand. Those linguistic abilities could take you overseas on swanky business trips or you might even consider relocating abroad, so languages give you an opportunity to explore exciting new avenues and see the world.
Learning a language not only transforms your travelling experience, but research shows that it also does wonders to your mind. Recently, the Telegraph reported that according to several breakthrough studies, monolingual adults on average first develop signs of dementia at 71.4 years of age compared to 75.5 for plurilingual adults. This is no coincidence, as grasping a whole new set of vocabulary naturally strengthens your memory and switching between languages seriously improves your multitasking abilities. In addition, subconsciously you become better at solving puzzles by formulating all those different linguistic structures and applying difficult grammar rules. All in all, the overwhelming evidence demonstrates that being plurilingual really enhances your cognitive skills, while greatly reducing your risk of developing serious mental illnesses.
Why Stop At One?
As all linguists know… once you’ve learnt one foreign language, you immediately get the urge to pick up another. Having been through the whole learning process before, you’ll already know which techniques work best for you and ultimately, you’ll master it quicker than other newbies. Interestingly, many languages also share the same linguistic roots, such as Spanish, French and Italian which all originate from Latin, therefore already knowing one would instantly make picking up the others a lot easier.
Travel The World
If you’re planning ahead for a big holiday post-lockdown, then you should start learning the native language now! Whether you’re backpacking through South America or going on a romantic trip to Paris, there’s simply no denying that being able to speak the local language will make your life a whole lot easier. Interacting and immersing yourself with the locals will make your experience a lot more fulfilling and you would learn a ton about their way of life. What’s more, taking an interest in different cultures will make you more open-minded and perceptive towards diversity. Who knows, maybe the people you meet will even pass on some excellent tips or recommendations, which a standard tourist would never know about otherwise. Building these relationships and making an effort will go down really well wherever you are in the world, and you may even form some strong friendships along the way.
Languages are a gift and they can really change your life for the better. Whether you want to progress your career or go on the adventure of a lifetime, speaking a foreign language will always make a difference and you’ll be thankful that you took the time to learn it. With a little practice and taking a lesson or two a week, you could really hit the ground running and grasp a new language in no time… so what are you waiting for?
If you feel inspired after reading this blog and are keen to take on the exciting challenge of studying a new language, then why don’t you check out our Foreign Languages page to find out about our upcoming courses.