Being a language learner and co founder/CTO of Skill Silo, a live language learning company, I am constantly being asked: “Why should I learn a new language?” or “What are the benefits of learning a new language?” The answer can vary from person to person, but there are a few reasons that apply to almost everyone.
Let’s start with the most impactful benefit; your career. Whether it is for advancement, or higher pay, employees who are multilingual have a major advantage. It is a fact that employees who speak more than one language are paid higher wages for the same job as mono-linguals. (Source). What’s interesting to note is that different languages have higher pay. The benefit of career advancement is coupled to the industry and company you are working for. If your company is seeking individuals for global travel and you speak the local language vs another employee who doesn’t know the language, the choice is obvious.
The other two benefits of why you should learn a second (or third) language are more personal.
If you are fortunate enough to travel the world, you will undoubtedly find yourself in a situation where speaking the local language is helpful – if not, you’re not traveling properly, but that’s for another time. Ever been exploring a new city and wanted to eat at a tasty local restaurant without guessing the menu items? How about public transportation – ever get lost or were unsure of where to get off/which direction to travel? You don’t need to know the full grammatical structure of your host’s language to ask for directions or for food recommendations. Basic conversational skills with emphasis in various contexts can be a lifesaver.
Lastly, learning a new language is fun and mentally challenging. You get immediate results and can actually apply your new skill in the real world. Learning new phrases and speaking to others within minutes of comprehension is rewarding. Advanced calculus is fantastic, but when was the last time you used it outside of a classroom? Being mentally challenged/stimulated is incredible for your health and brain. You will boost your memory, and be able to identify patterns more quickly. (Source)
There are dozens and dozens of benefits to learning a new language. Above I outlined the three most common benefits and reasons to learn a foreign language. Depending on your situation there are other benefits not mentioned, but ones that are just as valid. Time to start learning!
If you are interested in learning a new language, give Skill Silo a try! You get to choose your own teacher and meet with them, 1-on-1, without having to leave home. Upon registering, you will receive a free 30-minute lesson in any of the languages they offer. Even better, by using coupon code STUDENTS10 you will receive 10% off your first purchase!
This article was contributed by guest author Judah Lamm.