Growing up it was compulsory for us to learn a second language at school, i wasn’t too sure why and when exactly it would come in use. Let’s just say years later i do regret not paying enough attention in my french classes! You might be thinking i know English, surely the majority of the world do too? However the number one most spoken language in the world is Chinese, followed by Spanish and then English. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, or even if you’re meeting new people in London (over 300 languages are spoken here) it would really help you if you knew a foreign language. When i visited Morocco most locals preferred if i spoke french as opposed to English and sometimes even Arabic, as this is their unofficial second language. You will find wherever you travel you’ll meet people who speak a variety of different languages and if you know one of these it makes communication a lot more easier and more enjoyable.
Learning a foreign language has become much more easier now that we have the big world wide web packed with videos and blog posts teaching hundreds of different languages. There are many organisations around you that offer classes or also online companies who offer teaching a foreign language over Skype. Whether you’re looking to spend money on courses or learning for free, the ways of learning a new language are endless.
1. Job Opportunities
Your career opportunities will become endless when you speak a second language. As the world is ever changing rapidly, there is an increase of companies operating and working with other countries across the globe. Therefore companies like these hire global-minded people that can at least speak one other foreign language in order to make business plans and agreements easier. So having another language on your resume will definitely set you apart from other applicants and can often put you in a more favourable position. If the work you involve yourself with has regular contact with speakers of foreign languages the communication will become a lot more easier.
2. It’s good for the brain
Studies have actually shown that learning a foreign language will produce a lot of cognitive benefits. Learning a new language or already speaking one has proven to improve memory, have longer attention span, reduced risk of age related cognitive decline and generally gives your brain a boost!
3. Earn the locals respect
When travelling abroad knowing a few phrases on the local language will definitely help you out and will get you far. Some people may think as long as you know English you’ll be fine but truth is if you don’t make an effort to learn a few phrases you will come across as rude and ignorant. Many people abroad see you learning their language as a sign of respect towards them and their culture, this may prove to make your visit a lot more enjoyable. Not only will you be able to communicate more effectively but your confidence will get a huge boost as you’ll feel able to take on any challenge. When you speak the local language your experience will be a lot more different, people will not treat you as a typical tourist and will happily help you with what you need as you’re making an effort to mix in with the locals.
4. Love to shop? Haggle freely
You’ll often find when you go shopping abroad as soon as they hear your perfect English they may charge you higher price, there’s always one price for the locals and one for the tourists. But when you know the local language you can tell if the managers are cheekily telling the employees to bump the price up, so you can always surprise them with your impressive foreign language skills. You may haggle all you want but if you only exclusively speak English you might not be able to get your way. But if you make an effort to learn the local language then you’ll be able to play your way and end up saving quite a bit of money.
5. Make new connections
If you’re a native English speaker who speaks another foreign language then you’ll become a lot more interesting and will end up having more lively engaging conversation. You’ll be able+ to connect with locals and other native speakers which can lead onto you making deep connections or even long term friendships. Learning another language is a lot more fun and will make your travels a lot more enjoyable. It will allow you to get an insight into what the foreign culture is and will make you feel more at home when you’re in the foreign country.