Five reasons to learn a new language

Sprechen sie Deutsch? Maybe you should…

Whether you’re interested in travelling to new places, you’re looking to move your career forward through an international job, or you just want to expand your skillset, learning a new language could be the perfect way to hit your goals. And it isn’t actually as hard as you might think to get started.

To help you decide whether or not to ditch the phrase book, here are five reasons you should learn a new language:

 

To have better experiences travelling  

There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in a new culture.

But even the best local travel tips and TripAdvisor reviews don’t make up for getting-to-grips with a country or city for yourself. Knowing the language means nothing gets lost in translation – allowing you to find hidden gems you would otherwise have never been aware of.

Looking for a quiet spot for lunch? Just ask. Sick of overpaying for souvenirs? Haggle like a local. Just don’t want to get lost as soon as you leave the airport? This’ll have you covered too.

Take that crooked cabbies/rickshaw drivers/confused looking relatives of other airplane passengers holding large signs you can’t understand…

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They’re not as hard as you think

OK, so technology has its drawbacks. But not, it seems, when it comes to languages.

There are a wide range of online resources and apps out there to help you learn everything from Dutch to Dothraki – many of which are even completely free to download.

It’s by no means an extensive list, but some of our favourite language apps include Memrise, Babbel, and the excellent Duolingo. And if you’re looking for something a little more structured, there are a variety of discounted language courses out there which could result in a recognised qualification.

And, because you can download all the materials straight to your phone, you can learn on-the-go – no matter where you are. All you need to do is choose which language you want to learn, download, and get to work.

Commuting may never be the same again…

 

You’ll make yourself smarter

Learning a new language means more than being able to read foreign menus in a fancy accent.

A number of studies have proven the cognitive benefits of being multilingual, showing that you can sharpen your long term memory and attention span as a result of picking one up.

Other skills you could gain through studying include the ability to multitask and think more logically, better decision making and analytical skills, and a deeper understanding of foreign customs and culture.

And that’s without even taking into account the refresher course your own knowledge of English language and grammar will go through.

Finally, a way to put your present participle tense confusion in the past.

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To earn more money

Bilinguals get bigger bonuses. Fact.

That’s because, not only are their skills in-demand around the world (more on that in a second), they’re also an excellent way to set yourself apart from the competition.

Even if you don’t work in a position where your language skills are in constant use, experts estimate that your pay is generally somewhere between 2% and 10% higher than your peers across almost every industry – simply because you have them.

And whilst that doesn’t seem like a lot in the first instance, that extra saving could add up to over £600 over the course of a year for those earning over £30,000 – and net you thousands of pounds  worth of future savings.

Translation? You’re guaranteed to be laughing all the way to the banco.

 

You’ll improve your career

Finally, adding another string to your linguistic bow will open doors when it comes to your career.

In fact, 15% of all jobs on reed.co.uk posted on reed.co.uk cite language skills as beneficial in helping you secure the role. And with English only being the third most spoken language in the world, it stands to reason that you’ll be eligible to apply for more jobs globally.

It isn’t just finding work that you’ll find easier either. Being fluent in other languages means you’ll be able to better communicate with people across your company, and be much more difficult for them to replace – effectively making yourself indispensable.

And with the opportunity to travel the globe through relocating for work, volunteering abroad, foreign business trips and beyond, there really aren’t any career drawbacks to learning a brand new language.

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