Discover 10 Surprising Benefits of Learning a Second Language

In today’s modern world, learning a second language is more vital than ever before. Beyond economic benefits, learning a new language has proven mental and psychological benefits. Once you get past it being a struggle, the benefits await you.

You might also be surprised by what learning a second language can do for you. Certainly, it can help not only with self-development and self-esteem but also at work, which is especially important in our modern economy. 

You may feel that you are too old to learn a new language or worry that you won’t be any good at it. But if you’re considering learning a second language but are not sure where to start, here are some reasons that may persuade you to take the plunge.

1. You Can Travel the World Easier

Learning a second language is quite beneficial to those who do so for many reasons. One reason that people may choose to learn more than one language is related to travel. There are many benefits that come from being able to communicate with native speakers in their language. 

This can eliminate any important communication barriers and help you get around easily when exploring foreign countries. Whether for business or leisure, speaking two languages gives you an advantage when you visit other countries. Language barriers are a pain, and if you can speak with locals in their tongue, it’s that much easier to get around. 

Imagine landing in Italy and not having to rely on wireless internet to order off the menu or just order a coffee with your croissant. When you know the language, you can find the best food, avoid tourist traps, and procure better deals.

SEE: Is Turkish Hard To Learn?

2. You Will Have An Easier Time Getting a Job (It’s a Plus on Your CV)

In today’s increasingly globalized world, knowing more than one language can increase your chances of getting a job. Hiring managers will be interested in seeing a second language on your CV. Knowing additional languages is often necessary for a job, especially within international companies. 

Speaking a second language gives you an advantage when applying for jobs as more opportunities emerge in the international market. Whether you are applying for a job directly related to the language or not, it gives you an edge over other candidates.

SEE: Here are the skills to put on a resume

3. It Will Make You More Aware of the World and Its Cultures

If you want to get out more and enjoy a wider view of the world, learning a language might be the perfect option. Getting to know a foreign language means also getting in touch with the people who speak that language. As a result, you will be able to communicate with people who, due to different cultural backgrounds, think about life in a different way. 

Traveling or living abroad is an opportunity to learn about another culture. Knowing their language can help you feel safe and confident. Different languages are spoken in different parts of the world, so if you travel a lot, speaking these languages can make it easy for you to communicate with other people. 

You will be able to understand that there are different ways of thinking and interpreting events, customs, and traditions and you will learn how to live with them.

SEE: Explore the importance and implementation of multicultural education

4. Improves Memory and Brain Function

Several studies have shown that learning a second or third language increases brain development. These may include cognition, memory, and concentration. Learning a second language can influence your memory, as well as other brain functions. Furthermore, learning a new language doesn’t just help your resumé. It can also help keep your brain sharp and improve your memory, no matter how old you get. 

This happens because when you learn a new language, you’re learning to communicate your thoughts and feelings in a whole new way. By learning another language, you improve your ability to multi-task and switch between tasks quicker, which in turn helps keep your mind sharp. The concept itself also helps strengthen your memory and cognitive skills.

Don’t stop at learning 2 or 3 languages, challenge yourself. Immerse yourself in the language and culture by visiting the country of origin. 

SEE: Discover tips to learn faster and be more productive

5. Get Transcription or Teaching Jobs

If you’re fluent in another language, it can open up a world of job opportunities for you as a translator or teacher. Do you like teaching? Did you ever feel like maybe you could help someone else learn your language? 

Then maybe this one is for you. There are several job opportunities around the world which require English speakers, or some other second languages, so why not try it? You might just find that you actually like doing it and make some money while at it.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of translators and interpreters is expected to see a faster than average growth of 18% through 2026.

SEE: Discover tips to make money speaking another language

6. Increase Confidence and Self-Esteem

Learning a second language helps with identity formation and self-esteem. By studying the culture of another country, you can better understand your own and come to terms with who you are as a person. The more easily you acquire knowledge of another language, the greater sense of personal confidence and accomplishment you will feel. 

Yet, learning a new language can be a challenging process. You might feel frustrated that you are unable to communicate what you want to say at times, or you might lack confidence when it comes to speaking in public. 

However, to effectively learn a language, you have to learn how to accept the trials and tribulations of becoming fluent. You need patience, dedication, and perseverance to continue practicing your newly acquired language skills. As you start to see progress, this will increase your confidence and self-esteem.

7. Encourages Creativity and Critical Thinking Skills

Being bilingual enhances cognitive development and improves mental flexibility. It’s been proven that people who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

Learning a new language is not just about the new words you learn; it’s also about expanding your way of thinking. While learning a language, you are inevitably exposed to different cultures and ideas that challenge conventional thought, which can be really fun. 

Don’t forget that different languages have different constructions, and many phrases or expressions have no direct equivalent in another language. This requires you to think differently and creatively when translating from one language to the next.

SEE: Understand critical thinking skills

8. Helps Open Doors and Broaden Your Horizons

The world has become a global village thanks to technology, which has connected the world and made it possible for people from different corners of the earth to communicate with each other. 

Learning a second language opens doors for you in this era as you can now travel to almost any country and be able to communicate with the natives. No matter where you are in the world or what corner of it you come from, there is a particular language that would enable others from across the globe to speak to you.

In the case of an international job application, employers are more likely to hire you if you are familiar with the local language. This will save them the trouble of having to do training. Additionally, even if you do not plan to travel or work internationally, learning a new language opens your mind to new ideas and possibilities.

9. It Makes You Smarter in Your Native Tongue

Much of the research regarding bilingualism shows that learning another language in childhood can improve your cognitive functions and overall brain health. But did you know that learning a second language as an adult can do the same for your native tongue? 

According to one study, adults who speak two languages show better attention control and concentration compared to those who speak just one. This is because you’ll become more aware of grammar rules and how to use them in your native language. 

This understanding of grammar will also help you when learning other languages and potentially learn more about the world as a whole. Being able to speak more than one language increases your chances of success.

10. Learning A Second Language is Fun

Learning a second language is something you will never regret. While it can take a lot of positive encouragement, learning a new language can be an enjoyable experience. 

Imagine giving instructions in French to the taxi driver who is rushing you towards the airport so you don’t miss your flight. Mostly, when you travel, you feel completely out of place and helpless, but learning a new language can give you the confidence that you need.

Learning a second language is truly a fantastic experience. Wherever you focus your efforts, whether it is French, Spanish, or Mandarin, there will definitely be some unique and interesting things to learn. You could travel more easily and make new friends while enjoying different foods, music, and movies.

Which Language is the Best to Learn These Days?

It depends on what you want to do. If you want to learn a language for personal growth in terms of expanding your worldview, experiencing new cultures, and making new friends, then Spanish is a good choice. 

Perhaps you are interested in business or technology, then Mandarin is a good choice. If you are interested in scientific research, then French or German is a good choice. English remains the most popular and most useful language in the world. 

Since most education systems have English as the primary language, it is easier to get a job in your own country. It is easy to travel, as you speak one common language with almost all the people you meet. When living abroad, it gives you access to the expanding world market.

SEE: Here are the best languages to learn

FAQs

Is language learning easy?

If you are under the impression that language learning is an insurmountable task, well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not. Obviously, it takes time and effort. If you are willing to commit to a challenge and persevere even when you are feeling down and out, then learning a new language can be a breeze.

SEE: Find out the hardest language to learn

How old do you have to be to learn a second language?

There’s no age limit for learning a second language. Some argue that children and young adults have an easier time picking up foreign languages than older adults. However, studies show that there is no specific age that is better for learning a second language.

How long does it take to learn English?

It takes about 12–16 weeks of classes for average learners, or about 360 hours of instruction, to reach basic fluency or the advanced beginner level. This means that you’ll be able to understand and produce sentences like, “I want to buy a train ticket for tomorrow.”

If your goal is to speak and understand English, then you have choices. You can study structured learning programs, teach yourself from books, or learn as you go through listening and reading. If you’re taking a structured approach, how long it takes to learn English will vary depending on your classes, dedication, and aptitude.

SEE: Find out if English is hard to learn

Final Thoughts 

Most people learn best when it is relevant and fun. Learning a second language can be both. I have provided you with a list of the benefits that come with learning a second language. As you can see, there are many reasons to teach your child, or even yourself, a second language. 

Starting to learn a second language is a great accomplishment, and it could even help you lead a happier, healthier life. So remember that it’s never too late to learn or to start learning: you might be helping your brain and your overall health along the way.

It is important to note that the key to learning a second language is practicing with native speakers so that you maximize your learning experience.

Finally, some platforms will make your quest to learn a second or new language easy. Discover the best free and paid platforms to learn languages

Thanks for reading.