ECTACO Info | 12 reasons to be proud of knowing a second language
- It increases intelligence – Whether you learn a language as a child or later on in life, there is an increasing amount of evidence that being multilingual provides an added advantage in communication, cognition and social interaction than those who can’t speak a second language .
- It increases your understanding of your own language – “Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own” – Goethe. This is true! Monolinguals rarely think of how to use a word and congregate a sentence as it seems natural; bilinguals understand the structures of their own language a lot better.
- It increases your enjoyment of culture – Of course you can enjoy culture with only one language, but those of us who can speak a second language usually are able to enjoy it a bit more.
- It increases your resistance to mental illness – There is evidence that knowing a second language may decrease the risk of mental illness. There is also research showing that the ability to speak more than one language may reduce the susceptibility to Alzheimer’s .
- It enables you to stand out from the crowd – Gaining entry to the best colleges and universities is a challenge, aspects of your life have to stand out from the crowd. Knowledge of a second language is a great way to stand out.
- It enables you to study overseas – You may like to enhance your international outlook and take your studies overseas. This will almost certainly mean knowledge of the language you are travelling to will be essential as lectures and seminars will be held in the language of the host country.
- It increases employability – It’s an incredibly competitive job market at the moment, wherever you are. Recruiters are looking for the crème de le crème and they have a lot of applicants to pick from, knowing a second language will make you stand out. It also increases opportunity to roles you wouldn’t have had the option to apply for as they require languages as a must.
- It gives you greater mobility – Thinking about emigrating? Want to work in a new foreign city? Knowing the native tongue will almost certainly be essential. Even if they use English in the office, getting around town, going out in the evening and activities at the weekend will require interaction in that countries native language.
- It allows you to discover entertainment from around the world – You can gain access to a new multitude of cinema, books and music. A whole new media is available to you in your new language.
- It enables travelling – Want to go travelling? Perhaps take a year out or a sabbatical? Knowing a language may not be essential; well trodden back packer routes have some great tourist organisations and companies set up to cater to you. But if you fancy going off the beaten track and exploring somewhere new, not in the tourist brochures; knowledge of the countries language will be of great assistance. You can converse with the locals and really get to know them.“If you talk to a man in a language he understands it will go to his head, if you talk to him in his language it will go to his heart” – Nelson Mandela
- It allows you to engage in business globally – Globalisation has meant that businesses coordinate their efforts all over the world; international organisations need to be able to communicate with each other to function and this means speaking to each other. Unfortunately we don’t all speak the same language, a trait that’s not going to change soon, so knowing different languages helps communication within business.
- It’s just plain sexy – Let be honest, people who speak more than one language are considered more attractive and intelligent. It’s just sexy.
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