By Miriam Plieninger
One of the best things you can learn at any age is a new language. A survey by language learning app Babbel (www.babbel.com) found that over a quarter of Americans feel that a lack of language skills has held them back professionally. If that isn’t reason enough, here is a list of the main reasons you should start learning a foreign language now:
As companies continue to expand internationally in today’s globalized economy, many employers are hiring skilled multilingual individuals, who are capable of conducting business in different languages. Speaking the local dialect helps develop an understanding of the culture and the intricacies of doing business in a new country. This valuable skill creates stronger relationships that support positive, long-term business partnerships.
Learning a new language is a great confidence booster – it can help you become more outgoing, meet new people and inspire you to travel to places you never thought you’d go to before. When you begin to use what you’ve learned in a real-life conversation, and have someone respond back to you, there is an undeniable sense of accomplishment. You will exude confidence once you are able to speak a new language comfortably.
Learning a second language has great advantages for both your decision-making skills, as well as your ability to multi-task. A study by Penn State University found that learning and speaking a new language improved the overall functionality of the brain, as it becomes more adept at seeking out meaning and reasoning in unfamiliar words. Similarly, switching from one language to another was found to improve our ability to multitask.
Just like our muscles improve and grow stronger with exercise, our brains function better the more we use them. Studies have found that language learning techniques like memorizing vocabulary help to exercise the brain, improving its ability to memorize and retain information. In fact, it was found that bilinguals were more likely to remember names, shopping lists and directions than individuals who only spoke one language.
A 2012 study by Pompeu Fabra found that multilinguals were better at noticing false information and filtering it out as irrelevant. They were also more aware of their surroundings, allowing them to glaze over distractions and better focus on the tasks at hand.
Interestingly, learning and speaking a second language can actually improve your English. Focusing on the mechanics of a new language will make you pay more attention to the way you speak and write in your own, and develop new ways of expressing yourself.
Being able to speak another language, even if you aren’t fluent, can often set you aside from other tourists. Rather than sticking to English tours and tourist traps, knowing the local language will empower you to venture out on your own and experience a new city like a local.
Babbel is the language-learning app that empowers users to speak from the beginning. In language learning nothing is more rewarding than a real conversation.
The Babbel app for web, iOS and Android makes it easy to learn 14 different languages from 7 display languages. Bite-sized lessons fit into everyday life and are split into useful real-world topics, from introducing oneself, to ordering food and making travel arrangements. The app’s effective game mechanics ensure that learners stay motivated to achieve their goals, with the average user continuing to learn with Babbel for more than 12 months. Uniquely, every course is created specifically for each language pair by a team of education experts, linguists and language teachers. Fast Company Magazine recognized Babbel as the most innovative education company of 2016.
For more information, visit www.Babbel.com