What are the personal and career benefits of learning a second language?

The benefits of mastering a foreign language at an early age are well known. Bilingual children are more imaginative, stronger problem solvers and more analytical. It’s also easier to learn a new language if you’re younger, as you won’t question grammar rules, you won’t develop as strong an accent, and it will seem fun, instead of a chore. However, picking up a different language later in life can still have multiple social and economic benefits. This article will outline the benefits of learning a second language for jobs, travelling and brain power.

The list of cognitive benefits of bilingualism is endless. The Baycrest Rotman Institute has discovered that linguists use a fewer number of brain resources to carry out memory tasks. This helps to preserve brain health and defends against cognitive decline and memory loss. Consequently, those who can speak multiple languages are less likely to develop alzhiemer's disease. The cognitive benefits of learning a second language also affect people’s mother tongue proficiency. Learning a new language helps you to pick up writing, listening and speaking skills that are beneficial for both languages. Individuals who can speak multiple languages are also more analytical and have a greater attention span, which aids both personal and professional lives.

There are several benefits of learning a second language for travel. In order to learn another language, you will also have to study another culture, making you increasingly empathetic and understanding of different nationalities. Linguists are also well-known to be better problem solvers, and therefore will be able to tackle travel challenges, such as losing your passport or getting lost. Being able to speak the language of the country you’re going to will also enhance your safety. Even though you could use translation apps, like TripLingo, to converse in a difficult scenario, being multilingual speeds up interaction. There are also social benefits of learning a second language while abroad, because you will be able to interact with the natives, who can provide restaurant and accommodation advice. You could also save money, as you will be able to bargain at markets and won’t have to hire a tour guide.

The need for multilingual employees has doubled across the past five years, meaning there are more economic benefits of learning a second language than ever. Multilingual employees are in demand because they have abilities such as creativity and problem solving. Furthermore, learning a language shows you can commit to learning another skill. Being multilingual also opens opportunities in a wide array of industries, such as tourism, hospitality, interpretation and the military. There are also several benefits of learning a foreign language for business development, as bilinguals are able to network with people all over the globe. Bilingual workers are also important for customer service. Sibur, for example, is active in 80 countries, which means they require multilingual workers to connect with international clients.

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