Why Should You Learn a Foreign Language?

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Why Should You Learn a Foreign Language?

Why should you learn a foreign language? You, like many others, are possibly thinking about immigrants and how many of them never learn English. You’re probably thinking about how we live in America and if you want to live here then you should learn the language. Well, you may have a point.

But, that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m going to tell you why you should learn foreign language and why you should encourage your children to learn. You should also start them early. The earlier, the better.

dollar signs_full

MONEY

Money is the reason you should learn foreign language. While English is a major language, it only accounts for around 30% of the world Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and is likely to account for less in the future.  On average, you can earn a 2% bonus on your annual salary just by being bi-lingual. That number will only get larger over time.

accumulated-language-bonus

 

These numbers don’t take in to account Mandarin Chinese or Arabic. If you have an interest in working for the FBI, their most in demand languages are Swahili, Urdu, Farsi and Bahasa Indonesian.

When I worked in corrections, there were only a handful of employees who spoke Arabic. There were only two who could read, write and speak the language. Guess how many inmates read, write and speak Arabic?

Due to converting to the Muslim faith, about 24% of the US inmate population learns Arabic. That’s one-fourth of the population!

whispering-t13373

Another good reason to learn foreign language…wouldn’t you like to know what everyone is saying? Have you been somewhere and overheard someone speaking another language? Did you wonder if they were talking about you?

I learned Spanish and German in high school. I have always been fascinated with being able to communicate with others in their own language. I continued study in Spanish and now read, write and speak the language. In German, I can read, write and speak it but I am far from fluent. I may be able to read the words and pronounce them correctly, but I don’t know what most of them mean.

As I got older, I have found the less I practice the harder it is for me to retain. I have become very rusty in Spanish but I can usually keep up in a conversation. Although sometimes I have to say, “Habla despacio por favor”. (Speak slowly please.)

children learn

Children learn foreign languages easier than adults. Recent studies indicate that the best time for a child to learn another language is in the first three to four years of life. Children can learn almost anything if they are tasting, touching, seeing, and feeling information.

Their brains are like sponges. They are also better able to  identify subtle differences in sounds. The younger the learner, the better they are at mimicking new sounds and adopting pronunciation. The brain is more open to new sounds and patterns.

Think about what you can do to help your child be more successful. Here are some useful tools for language learning (books and software).

thank you in many languages

10 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Angela,
    I agree with you that learning another language will give the kids a better earning potential. But it shouldn’t be the only reason why they should learn another language.
    If you are interested in the culture of the country then it would be the best reason to learn their language. Learning a new language is very time consuming. If the children are not genuinely interested, it will be a waste of time – they will give up very quickly.
    Cheers,
    MisterWailor

    • Mister Wailor,
      Excellent point. I apologize for not covering that side of my reasons. I agree that a person should be interested in the culture as well. It does help with the learning and the drive to learn.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Angela

  2. I totally agree with you on this that if you are going to live in a foreign country then you should at least learn the language.
    Makes life so much easier and can open up additional doors.

  3. Hi, Angela. Yes, I do agree that young children learn things faster and easier than adults. I remembered when I learned Russian, my lecturer used to say the same thing too. It would be wasted if the parent does not let them learn the languages. 🙂

    • I think that is awesome that you learned Russian! I have heard it is not an easy language to master.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Angela

  4. Very good point that language can help with business. I think it’s also important just for the fact that it expands a person’s horizons. I started learning Spanish at age 8 – and kept on with it until College – it wasn’t terrifically useful until about 20 years ago (20 years after I got my Bachelor’s degree in it) – but then, it became a HUGE selling point for getting hired.

    I taught Spanish to public service workers for a couple of years, too – Nurses, Teachers, Utility workers, etc. Anyone who deals with the public nowadays in the US would do very well to have that ability.

    I’ve always been fascinated by other cultures anyway – and I really enjoy getting acquainted with Spanish-speakers!

    • Hi Vicki,
      I agree. Learning another language can be so beneficial in so many ways. It is also much easier to learn when you are younger!
      Angela

  5. A great article with good reasons to learn another language. Growing up in Switzerland, it was a necessity to learn at least one of the other national languages. In my case, I learned French as a second language in school, which made it so much easier to learn English later on. Currently I’m learning Thai, which has been a bit more challenging.

    I find one of the best reasons to learn another language is that it enhances ones worldview. Each country’s culture and people’s beliefs are deeply rooted in language and by learning new ways of expression, we also seem to learn new ways of comprehension.

    • Hi Claudio,
      I couldn’t agree more. I have always been fascinated with other languages. I have studied many different languages but am most fluent in Spanish.
      Angela

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