Risha Khan is a bookworm. She loves learning new languages. She is currently learning Turkish and Arabic.
Languages are the means of communication, be it verbal or non-verbal (sign language). When you learn a new language, it makes conversations much easier and also helps you in making new friends. Being fluent in more than one language is known to have many social, psychological, and lifestyle benefits. Read on to discover the advantages of becoming bilingual/multilingual.
1. Delays the onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s
As you get older, the body becomes weak, so does the brain. Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) is located in the frontal lobe of the brain. It is a part of the executive system responsible for memory, planning, organizing, making decisions, multitasking, and impulse control. With age, this system weakens resulting in memory loss.
When you learn a new language, the processors (cells) of the frontal lobe become reinforced. It happens because two languages are constantly competing for attention. ACC enables switching between languages while focusing on a word or a sentence. This process rewires the brain and increases the density of the Gray Matter Volume (GMV). Gray matter, like white matter, is an essential part of the central nervous system. It is made up of neuron cells that are found on the outer surface of the brain which is responsible for processing information. The density of this matter represents the level of intelligence in an individual.
Bilinguals frequently use this portion (ACC) as compared to the monolinguals. There is no breaking point because the more you use it, the more flexible it becomes. This compensates for memory loss, thus delaying the symptoms of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
2. Improves Cognitive Abilities in Children
A child’s mind resembles a clean slate. The lessons inculcated in this stage of life have a deep impact on the brain that remains intact for a lifetime. This is the perfect time for learning new languages. Adding a foreign language to the school’s curriculum is known to improve the academic performance of the children.
Since the bilinguals exercise executive control all the time, their brains become sharp and they exhibit better problem-solving skills and reasoning capabilities as compared to the monolinguals. It also enhances their social and emotional skills because they can understand different cultures. When your children will become bilingual or multilingual, their chances of landing a better job also increases manifold.
3. Increases Competitiveness in the Job Market
Companies love to hire versatile employees who will help them in expanding their business. So when you learn a new language, your resume will help you stand out during the interview. As a result, you become an invaluable asset to your company, earn respect among your peers and recruiters. It also increases your probability of traveling to new places, meeting people, and understanding their work ethics. Bilinguals are considered a critical commercial force that will represent a significant opportunity in the marketplace.
Being bilingual, the following career streams will bring new opportunities for you:
- Translators and interpreters.
- Travel and tourism industry.
- Journalism and freelance writing.
- Educational institutions.
- National security.
In this way, bilinguals earn more income and get promoted faster than their monolingual peers. As you keep adding feathers to your hat, you also become the most sought-after candidate in the job market.
4. Traveling becomes an Enjoyable Experience
If you are planning to travel to a certain place and you are fluent in that language, then traveling becomes easier and cheaper. You will not end up getting a culture shock or feel alienated in a foreign land. You will also save money because you do not have to hire a travel guide. It also becomes easier to strike a conversation with local people and befriend them. You become aware of their culture and develop a new perspective in your life experience.
5.Better Understanding of how Languages work
Learning new languages will also help you understand grammar, syntax, phonetics, and other characteristics. Bilinguals can interpret and differentiate the sentence structure of different languages from their mother tongue. This will give you the motivation to learn more languages.
6.Enhances your Overall Personality
Being bilingual also makes your personality quite attractive. You leave a long-lasting impression on people whenever you travel to a new place. Language and culture are interrelated to each other. Learning a second language means inheriting the personality traits of the people speaking that language. Bilinguals acquire different mindsets for each language. This proves that every language gives you a whole new lifestyle and a dimension to your personality.
Popular Apps for Learning Languages
Following are some useful apps for learning new languages: -
Apart from speaking your mother tongue, learning new languages will help you reach new places. As you become aware of other cultures, you will start looking at the world from their perspective and eventually develop empathy for them. Now that you have discovered the advantages of becoming a bilingual/multilingual, share your thoughts in the comment section.
Risha Khan (author) from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh on January 11, 2021:
Thank you for your encouraging words,Shubhra. As soon as you keep learning, mind remains sharp. This is true. For a bilingual person, his brain constantly switches between two languages. This is called cognitive flexibility. Moreover, you also behave like another person when you speak a second language. I am glad you liked this article.
Shubhra Sanag from Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh on January 11, 2021:
Hello Risha, dear your article is so detailed and intriguing.
You are right, the advantages are many But the points you have written I like the most are the first one 'the benefits for old age brain, rewiring, and GMV.' The second one 'improves the cognitive abilities of children.' Both instruct us that human brains never become weak if we kept learning things. Only when there are willpower, hope, and dreams we all have. Human are not realizing their true potential what they are capable of?
I hope more people can read your article and fascinate by these benefits.
Learn a new language,
Langauge can also help us in switching from one personality to another.
Risha Khan (author) from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh on January 11, 2021:
Thank you for your feedback, Preeti. Bilinguals score more in many places because of being fluent in more than one language. Hope this article will give you the motivation to learn new languages.
Preeti Shah from Delhi on January 11, 2021:
Very informative article, Risha.
I didn't knew learning more than one language can have so many benefits.