The reasons to learn a new language in today’s world are endless! From getting the most out of your travels, to making new friends, to pushing yourself intellectually, with so much international communication and cultural opportunity available, there has never been a better time to take on this valuable, exciting challenge and master a different language. Where to begin? The world is the limit! Whether investing in one of the romantic Latin languages, learning an Asian or Arabic dialect, or studying something woven in to your own personal heritage, each unique language from each country holds its own mysteries and benefits, and it is simply about choosing the one that most speaks to you. Still not reaching for the Italian/English dictionary? Not to worry. Here are 7 wonderful reasons to learn a new language that will have you translating your way around the world in no time.
1. The Travel
With so many fascinating countries to explore there is no shortage of amazing travel experiences to be had out there and learning a new language is the ideal opportunity to take advantage of each one! Practice your Spanish as you order a glass of wine off the coast of Spain, or develop your Portuguese as you work on your tan in the sunny streets of Brazil - each language you choose to take on will have a unique trip just waiting for your passport stamp. Furthermore, avid traveler or jetting off for the first time, one of the best reasons to learn a new language is that it can greatly enhance any travel experience - with even a small amount of the local dialect you can interact more easily with the people, better understand the signs, menus and directions, and absorb so much more of the culture. Paris in the Spring, anyone? Mais oui!
2. Cultural Experiences
With all of the advances in technology and communication, the freedom for global travel, and the international connections in today’s societies, to master a different language is to truly open yourself up to learning, interacting and exploring unique cultures, the world over. Think exciting foreign foods, mysterious histories, new religions, traditions, and celebrations - even learning a new language from a culture living in your community can unlock the door to all kinds of experiences you may never have had without this challenge. Beyond the knowledge and understanding you will inevitably accumulate in the process, you will also be providing the opportunity for another culture to learn about you, and these types of connections are so important in the goal of maintaining a productive, peaceful, and open global community.
3. Potential Career Opportunities
Associated with travel and cultural connections, another one of the best reasons to learn a new language is the potential for greater career opportunities. With so much business being done internationally through e-commerce, Internet communications, and diversification in to new countries, many companies are looking for employees that can master a different language and contribute to their foreign expansion. The ability to interact, even on some level, in the dialect of another culture can often give you a competitive advantage over others applying for the same job, or potentially provide you with greater opportunity for travel and even relocation within the company you already work for.
4. Stronger Mental Health
It has been said that we should never stop learning, and yet, as we grow older, many women fail to pursue new skills, broader experiences, and increased knowledge, stuck in the same habits day in and day out. Learning a new language is beneficial well beyond the travel, career and cultural opportunities - it can be an incredible way to invest in taking care of your own mental capacity and personal health! By pushing yourself intellectually, improving your memory, rounding out your skill set, and keeping your mind active, this challenge can help you to stay sharp, increase your sense of independence, and generally inspire vitality, improved learning skills and continued education. Plus, you can use your new language to then continue to broaden your life experiences and health - no downsides here, clever girl!
5. New Friendships and Romance
Fostering friendships internationally is one of the many great reasons to learn a new language, and an exciting way to see the world and connect with people that have unique perspectives and different ways of living from you. Communicating in someone else’s dialect, even imperfectly, shows a willingness to engage yourself in the world around you - expanding your own knowledge, ideas and views of the world - and in my experience, people are often more than happy to try and understand you, or to laugh with you after a particularly funny mistake, when you are making the effort to connect in their native tongue. On that note - single ladies, keep in mind that a little foreign love affair could have you very grateful you spent that time diligently practicing your second language... Remind me again how you say “tall, dark and handsome” in German?
6. Improved Self-Esteem
Taking on a new challenge, especially one that requires such time and energy as to master a different language, can often lead to improving your self-esteem with feelings of accomplishment, success, and empowerment. There is a direct link between pushing yourself to work hard at something and feeling like a more well-rounded, confident person, and learning a language is such a wonderful challenge as it is something to be built on - developed over time, little by little, with feelings of triumph growing along with your vocabulary, conversational skills and reading level. Also, there is a widely accepted notion that women and men who speak more than one language have a certain sensual appeal, a particular “je ne sais quois” that can only come from knowing how to order your coffee “au lait” with a stunning accent... True, this data is perhaps not scientifically confirmed but you tell me if you don’t feel more self-assured and even a little sexier speaking a different language. All science aside, feeling good is the same in every dialect.
7. The Fun!
One of my favorite reasons to learn a new language is that it can lead to a lot of fun. I speak French, Spanish and Italian, as well as my native tongue of English, and I can tell you from my own personal experience that learning those three additional languages contributed to some of the funniest, most memorable moments of my life. From attending high school in Spain and confusing the word for chicken with the slang word for a certain male body part, much to my classmate’s hysteria, to expressing my admiration in broken Italian for Giorgio Armani after seeing him on the street in Italy, as he graciously let me get through the words, to the French my father taught me when I was a young girl that I still naturally use when I am really excited, much to the endless humor/confusion of everyone around me - plain and simple, the fun behind my experiences with learning a new language has been immense and there truly is an opportunity for you to develop your own memories, funny experiences and individual stories as well. I am confident that you will have just as much fun as I did... perhaps more?! Perfecto!
With so many reasons to learn a new language, there has never been a better time to take on this rewarding challenge and begin exploring the world’s dialects one beautiful word at a time. Think of all the travel, fun, friendships and amazing experiences you can have by opening yourself up to to developing this new skill! With so many wonderful readers from around the world, our Stalkers no doubt have stories to tell about their own experiences learning another language. We would love to hear from you! What languages do you all speak? What language would you love to learn and why?
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