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

The importance of mastering a foreign language at an early age are well known. Multilingual youngsters are more creative, better problem solvers and more analytical. It’s also easier to learn a new language if you’re younger, as you won’t query grammar rules, you won’t develop as strong an accent, and it will seem fun, instead of a chore. Nonetheless, learning a foreign language when you're older can still have many social and economic benefits. This article will explain the benefits of learning a second language for jobs, travel and intelligence.

The demand for multilingual employees has doubled across the past five years, and consequently there are more economic benefits of learning a second language than ever before. Bilingual employees are sought after because they have skills such as creativity and problem solving. Additionally, picking up a language demonstrates you’re able to commit to learning another skill. Being bilingual also opens up a variety of industries, such as travel, hospitality, translation and the military. There are also many benefits of learning a foreign language for business development, as bilinguals are able to interact with contacts all over the world. Bilingual workers are also important for customer service. Sibur, for example, sells to 80 countries, and consequently they seek bilingual workers to connect with international clients.

There are multiple benefits of learning a second language for travel. In order to learn a new language, you will also have to study a different culture, making you increasingly understanding and empathetic of foreign nationalities. Linguists are also known to be better problem solvers, so will be able to conquer travel challenges, like losing your passport or getting lost. Understanding the language of the destination you’re visiting will also improve your safety. While you could use translation apps, like TripLingo, to communicate in a difficult situation, being bilingual speeds up interaction. There are also social benefits of learning a second language while on holiday, as you will be able to communicate with the locals, who can offer restaurant and accommodation recommendations. You could also save money, because you will be able to negotiate at markets and won’t have to hire a tour guide.

The list of cognitive benefits of bilingualism is endless. The Baycrest Rotman Institute has discovered that linguists use fewer brain resources to complete memory tasks. This assists in preserving brain health and defends against memory loss and cognitive decline. That’s why those who can speak many languages are much less likely to develop alzhiemer's disease. The cognitive benefits of learning a second language also affect one’s mother tongue proficiency. Learning another language helps you to improve listening, speaking and writing skills that are valuable for both languages. People who are able to speak several languages are also more analytical and have a greater attention span, which improves both professional and personal lives.

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