Top 5 Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

Have you always wished you could speak another language for bragging rights? Envied the polyglots? Wanted to communicate better with different people groups you encounter or understand foreign movies? If your answer is yes, you should definitely try learning a new language. Not only will learning a foreign language help you in those areas, but you will also reap many other benefits from learning a foreign language.

1) It will improve your overall brainpower

Learning a new language will make you smarter. When studying another language, your brain will have to work constantly to associate meaning with words, recognize patterns, and communicate on new levels. This will increase your ability to problem-solve and think analytically.

2) It will expand your understanding of your own language

As you explore the semantics of a new language, you will actually gain a better understanding of your own language. You will be forced to understand concepts and terms about the new grammar that you must associate with your understanding of your own language, thus growing your native language skills. Studies have shown that children who are bilingual perform better in their native language and often read earlier than others who have not studied another language.

3) It will give you better employment options

Companies and businesses are always looking for ways to expand either by growing overseas or by servicing international clients, and any additional language that you speak is a valuable skill that you bring to the table. You can expect more employment opportunities and better salaries if you can speak a foreign language.

4) It will enhance your memory and delay age-related deterioration

The more you exercise your memory, the stronger it will become. Learning a new language gives you just the opportunity to do that by memorizing new rules and lots of vocabulary. By stretching your memory in these feats, you will grow your ability to remember other things as well. Hopefully, you will notice the benefit as you can more easily recall shopping lists and names.

This executive function of the brain also helps to ward off diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia by storing a cognitive memory reserve in your brain. It is not a full cure, but studies have shown that these age-related diseases can be warded off for up to several years through language study!

5) It will give you a better appreciation for cultural diversity

Each language has its own history, cultural phrases, and areas of emphasis. For example, Chinese uses different words to describe relatives that are on your father’s side and mother’s side. Hebrew has only one word for “like” and “love”, whereas Greek has several with varying degrees of meaning.

Learning a language can open up a whole new realm of perspective that you did not realize you were missing out on. It is like opening a door to a new world as you begin to view it through the lens of another language. It gives even everyday objects more depth as you begin to know them in new words.

As you experience this new depth of worldview, you will also begin to see other cultures more meaningfully. You will grow to understand some of the differences that you thought used to set you apart, as well as appreciate the beauty of them.

Speaking a foreign language is like communicating soul-to-soul with the native speakers of that language. It will definitely put you in their shoes so you can view how they perceive the world.

If you have contemplated learning a new language before, it is time to buckle down and do it. With all the wonderful programs available, it does not even have to be difficult, and with all the health, cognitive, income, and cultural benefits, it is more than worth it.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.