Many schools or universities require the study of a foreign language. Before you start resenting the very idea of it, consider that it could be to your advantage for you to study and master a foreign language. Make no mistake about it: the whole world does NOT speak English. For anyone who has travelled to anywhere but the very largest of the world’s capitals, local people still primarily speak the local language and not English. To speak with them, the only way to do so will be to learn their language.
Here are 5 reasons to why you should study a foreign language:
1. Meet new friends: Learning a foreign language opens up the door to your getting to know more people and expanding your social network. If you are studying a language such as Spanish, Portuguese, or Chinese that is spoken by a large percentage of the population, you will be literally potentially tapping into a communication network with hundreds of millions of people that was previously off limits to you. If you are studying a less popular language, just think how much more valuable you will be since there are fewer foreign speakers of it.
2. Become a more globally-viable businessperson: In the world of business, communication is king. It does not matter how well you can program a computer, do accounting, or design new products: if you cannot communicate with other people, you will not find the success you deserve in the business world. Learning to communicate in a foreign language effectively increases your value as a communicator. And, many people who become proficient in a foreign language end up actually improving their skills as a communicator in their native language, as well. Learning a foreign language makes you a better communicator overall, and it therefore makes you a more attractive employee or partner in the world of business.
3. Expand your mind: Speaking a foreign language with fluency truly means switching channels to another way of thinking. Once you become fluent enough in the foreign language you are studying, you will find your consciousness actually expanding to accommodate your new ability. Each language has its own set of vocabulary, phrases, and concepts that do not directly translate to other languages. The result for multilingual people is that they actually force their neurons to grow and connect in new ways. Effectively, you become a little bit smarter and more mentally flexible.
4. Become more attractive: Looking to impress your husband, wife, date, or that cute person that you see whenever you go shopping? Becoming conversant in a foreign language is a great way to bring yourself up a notch on the attractiveness scale. People who expand their horizons are almost always perceived as more attractive than those who are always happy with the same-old stuff, year after year.
5. Understand the world better: The world is getting smaller. Leaders and individuals in different countries are making decisions each day that affect all of us in economic, environmental, and political terms. By studying a foreign language, you equip yourself with an additional lens through which to view the actions, thoughts, and worldviews of other people. This will help you make more balanced decisions about how to act or react when you learn about world events.
Mastering a foreign language can be quite a challenge, but for each new word you memorize, for each new verb you learn to conjugate, you will be making yourself more interesting, more economically viable, and even a bit smarter and more attractive.