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10 reasons why you should learn foreign languages
Many of us have toyed with the idea of learning a foreign language (or even several). But mostly there is not enough time or motivation to not only tackle the “foreign language” project, but also to pull it off. I would like to introduce you to 10 reasons why you should definitely learn a new language.
1. You gain more confidence
If you are ready to learn a foreign language, you will quickly notice how trust in you grows. The learning progress gives you enough motivation to stay on the ball. You will also receive a lot of compliments from others who would not trust themselves to do so. Even native speakers will be impressed by your skills and will be happy to hear that you speak their language.
And don't worry, nobody expects perfect grammar and fluency from you! You will see how much positive feedback you get when you apply your newly acquired knowledge. This will give you the courage to tackle other projects that you may not have thought of yourself before.
2. You stay fit in your head
That might sound a bit paradoxical, but learning a foreign language can help you stay healthy and fit. By dealing with vocabulary and foreign grammar you get your brain cells on their toes. In this way, your brain is trained and you not only increase your memory, but also do better in tests and exams, according to surveys. In addition, a study by University College London found that people who speak two or more languages are less likely to suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer's in old age than their peers. So you can see that you can not only stay healthy through exercise. There is also a lot that can be done for your sanity by learning a new language.
3. You have more "fun" when traveling
When you learn a new language, your vacation travel will change too. Instead of staying in large resorts and club hotels or just staying in the tourist centers, you may find the courage to mingle more with the locals in the holiday destination. This can be a bit unsettling at first, but you will quickly notice how open and friendly people are to you when you approach them and try to speak their mother tongue. In addition, you will gain completely new impressions of your travel destination away from the usual tourist routes and experience many adventures. With good foreign language skills, your vacation will be an exciting experience and you will return home with many great memories.
4. You learn to make better decisions
A study from the University of Chicago found that learning a foreign language helps make better, faster decisions. People who grew up bilingual have more confidence in themselves and often rethink things in the other language before making a final decision. A second language could actually help make life's big and small decisions easier, as it makes us more open and a little more risk-taking.
5. Foreign languages make you sexy
British dating agencies have actually found that an accent makes you sexy. So if you want to impress your foreign crush, just try to speak their language without being ashamed of your German accent. Many people are attracted by a foreign accent and that is precisely what makes you special. You do not believe me? Then check out the study!
6. You make new friends
You will already meet new people in the language course and you may develop a good friendship with one or the other. Those who take part in language trips even get to know language students from all over the world. Often the friendships persist even after the language trip and you visit each other in their home countries or stay in contact via social media. The newly acquired language skills will also help you to communicate better with people from other cultures. This can create one or the other great friendship in which you learn a lot from each other.
7. You can live, work or study elsewhere
A new language can enable you to live, work or study in another country. This is the perfect opportunity, especially for adventurers! Have you always wanted to live on a wonderful South Sea beach? Or be accepted into an American university? Foreign languages can open the doors to these goals for you. Maybe you are lucky and find your dream job or partner while you are abroad.
8. You get a career boost
Nowadays it is almost essential to have a good command of at least one foreign language if you want to find a great job or climb the corporate ladder. All companies want applicants with broad language skills. Our world is becoming more and more globalized and the large companies mostly operate internationally, which is why they expect their employees to be able to communicate with people around the world. A study has even shown that employees with very good foreign language skills often receive a higher salary than those who do not have these skills. Interestingly, that was the same study that said foreign languages make you sexy. So, success at work and love! What more do you want?!
9. You experience new cultures
When learning a foreign language, one is concerned not only with memorizing vocabulary and praying down grammar, but also with the culture in which the respective language is spoken. This gives you an insight into other people's everyday lives, into their traditions and way of thinking. This is very helpful when you want to find your way abroad, but also helps with business negotiations, as you understand your counterpart better. A new language can expand your horizons enormously.
10. You become more open & tolerant
A foreign language helps you understand other people better and see the world through different eyes. All people are shaped by the culture in which they live and behave accordingly. You may question your behavior and compare it with others. You can also better deal with what is seen as right and wrong in other countries. You will quickly notice that the ways of thinking and acting that you know may not always be the best and that you are more tolerant and open towards others.
I hope I was able to convince you to learn a new language! In any case, there are enough reasons.
Images by Gabriel Saldana and Charles Clegg, Flickr / Creative Commons
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