Communication is easier today than it has ever been before. Thanks to machine translation, we are able to communicate with one another, even though we speak different languages, through software and apps.
If you have ever used machine translation, however, then you know it is an imperfect technology. Computers can directly translate the words being written or spoken. To have accurate communication, a fluent translation often adds or subtracts words to create a similar meaning between languages.
Machine translation cannot do that successfully. That is just one reason why learning a second language is still important. It allows you to fully understand what someone else is saying.
Here are some additional reasons as to why learning a second language can be a life-changing event.
What Are the Benefits of Bilingualism?
#1. It improves your cognition skills.
Learning a second language does more than improve your ability to communicate. It also improves your ability to recognize, perceive, and assimilate new information. Students who are studying a foreign language often achieve better scores on standardized testing in reading, mathematics, and overall vocabulary.
#2. It improves your memory.
Your heart and your brain have more in common than you might think. In many ways, your brain also acts like a muscle. When you use it often, the stronger and more resilient it becomes. When you learn a second language, you’re engaging the limbic system of the brain. Over time, as you become fluent in the new language, you’ll likely find yourself remembering things like directions or your grocery list with better clarity.
Engaging the limbic system by learning a second language may also reduce the risks of developing dementia, or even Alzheimer’s disease, later in life.
#3. It allows you to multitask efficiently.
Bilingualism or multilingualism requires your brain to switch between tasks quickly and repetitively. Switching between the various structures of different languages improves the executive functioning of the brain. For tasks, such as driving, which require fast decisions with multiple input points, learning a second language allows you to comprehend the information you receive with more accuracy. That, in turn, leads to a better decision.
#4. It opens doors to new opportunities.
From 2010-2015, the demand for bilingual workers in the United States more than doubled. Employers are looking for people who can speak a second language at every level of hiring, including entry-level jobs.
Just studying a second language correlates to a 2% rise in your annual income. For the average worker in the United States, that would translate to about $1,000 more each year.
There are new opportunities for travel when learning a second language as well. You can explore with greater ease, engage in conversation with people comfortably, and embrace new cultures on a local level.
#5. It improves your language use.
Each language follows specific rules of structure. We do not always follow those rules when we communicate with one another. It’s not the end of the world if you misspell a word or use an improper grammatical structure. It just happens. You’ll find that when you learn a second language, how you engage others with your native language improves as well. This happens because you must actively think about how you are expressing yourself.
#6. It improves your decision-making skills.
We are emotionally tied to our native language in numerous ways. How we communicate with others invokes an emotional response. Over time, this can lead to a certain level of bias in how decisions are approached. When learning a second language, you begin to distance yourself from this process. Instead of thinking emotionally, your brain processes information through logical progressions.
That leads to decisions which tend to be more perceptive and beneficial. With improved decision-making skills, a boost in confidence tends to occur as well.
#7. It allows you to form new relationships.
In a survey conducted by Babbel, 71% of people in the United States said that speaking a second language makes a person seem more attractive. 90% of people said that they would start learning a new language if that allowed them to pursue a new relationship. More importantly, about 3 out of 4 people who speak a second language have a higher emotional intelligence when engaging with differing perspectives.
Are You Ready to Begin Learning a Second Language?
Learning a second language can be personally satisfying. Being bilingual can also provide a number of specific benefits which can only be found when you begin the learning process.
With resources like LingoHut at your disposal, you can begin learning a new language without worrying about a large upfront investment. All you need is a few minutes of time and a willingness to embrace bilingualism.
Why not get started today?