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

The advantages of learning a foreign language at an early age are widely known. Bilingual children are more creative, better problem solvers and more logical. It’s also more straightforward to pick up a new language if you’re younger, as you won’t query grammar rules, you won’t have as strong an accent, and it will be enjoyable, instead of a task. However, mastering a foreign language when you're older can still have multiple economic and social benefits. This article will highlight the benefits of learning a second language for jobs, travel and brain power.

There are multiple benefits of learning a second language for travel. To learn a new language, you will also have to learn about a different culture, making you more understanding and empathetic of different nationalities. Language learners are also known to be stronger problem solvers, so will be able to tackle travel challenges, such as losing your passport or getting lost. Understanding the language of the destination you’re visiting will also boost your safety. While you could use translation apps, like TripLingo, to converse in a stressful scenario, being multilingual speeds up interaction. There are also social benefits of learning a second language while away, as you will be able to talk to the natives, who can give you accommodation and restaurant advice. You could also save money, because you can bargain at markets and won’t have to use a tour guide.

The list of cognitive benefits of bilingualism is never-ending. The Baycrest Rotman Institute has revealed that multilingual people use fewer brain resources to perform memory tasks. This assists in preserving brain health and defends against cognitive decline and memory loss. Therefore, those who can speak two languages are less likely to develop dementia. The cognitive benefits of learning a second language also affect people’s mother tongue proficiency. Learning another language helps you to develop speaking, writing and listening skills that are useful for both languages. People who can speak multiple languages are also more analytical and have a better attention span, which improves both professional and personal lives.

The demand for multilingual recruits has doubled across the past five years, meaning there are more economic benefits of learning a second language than ever before. Bilingual people are sought after because they have abilities such as problem solving and creativity. Moreover, picking up a language proves you’re able to commit to developing another skill. Being multilingual also opens doors to new sectors, such as travel, hospitality, interpretation and the military. There are also lots of benefits of learning a foreign language for business development, as bilinguals can interact with individuals across the globe. Multilingual staff members are also vital for customer service. Sibur, for instance, sells to 80 countries, which means they seek multilingual individuals to interact with international customers.

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