It’s easier to adopt a second language as a child, but even if you have passed that stage, it’s never too late to be bilingual. By this, I do not mean knowing how to speak pidgin language and your local dialect, I am referring to being able to speak your local dialect, English, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, and more.
Here are the top reasons why you should consider adding more languages to your vocabulary:
1. It Helps You Build Better Relationships With People
In Nigeria, if you’re meeting someone for the first time and you speak his dialect, he identifies with you as his brother. It might not be so when you speak French with a French man, but he will be more at ease, knowing that both of you have a common ground of communication.
It also creates social ties easier and helps you sustain the relationships you have attracted. This is because language is the core tool to help us better in understanding morals, beliefs, and passion of other people.
2. It Develops Your Memory
Researchers have found numerous positive impacts that being bilingual has on the brain. Being acquainted with two languages helps you process information about the surrounding environment more effectively, meaning you become a faster learner. Also, children who speak a second language typically have better working memories, compared to their monolingual peers.
3. You Become a Better Traveler
It’s usually nice to have a translator, whenever you’re traveling to a place with and unknown tongue. However, the best translator is your brain. If you are able to speak the language of the place you are visiting, it makes your trip more fun and less hectic.
Speaking the local language, even if it’s just the basics, will open more doors to you and will help you connect with the locals on a new level.
4. You Strengthen Your Brain
This is also in connection to boosting your memory. Scientists believe that switching between different languages triggers the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for problem-solving, multi-tasking).
Bilingual people are also better at paying attention to their environment and analyzing it. This skill comes from being able to tell which language is spoken so that one can quickly switch between different languages. Knowing two languages also makes you more creative as well as increases your capacity of understanding your own dialect better.
5. Reduces Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer
According to Brian Gold, a neuroscientist at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, knowing two languages can reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s and postpone dementia. When conducting a test with bilingual seniors, researchers discovered they were better at tasks that required them to sort out colors and shapes, when compared to monolingual peers.
6. You Appear More Attractive
How do you feel when you meet someone who speaks at least two different languages? Are you attracted to them for that singular reason? Do you wish that could be you? Well, that could be you if you learn.
A recent international survey confirmed that bilingual people tend to appear more attractive compared to monolinguals. Over 79% of survey respondents from around the globe agreed that a person speaking a second language instantly seems more appealing. However, the most attractive languages, according to the research are French, Italian, Spanish, and English.
5. You Have More Career Prospects
Some job openings require that you speak more than one language and if you do, your resume stands a higher chance of fetching you a job. A recent survey proved that bilinguals in the US earn at least $7.000 or more annually compared to monolingual peers with the same kind of work experience.
So what are you waiting for? Start from learning at least two other languages in your locality aside the one you speak, Then step up your game by enrolling in courses that teach international languages such as French, German, Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, and more. All the best in your new venture.