Four benefits of learning a new language

If learning a new language has been sitting on your to-do list for ages, there’s no better time than now to think of finally crossing it off.

Here are four substantial benefits of language learning that will convince you to take the leap!

1. Easier travels
The fabled language barrier is real—as soon as you travel outside tourist areas, understanding others and making yourself understood can be quite the challenge. To make sure you get to experience all the riches a foreign country has to offer—and to avoid awkward situations—you should be familiar with the language spoken at your destination.

2. Better work relations
Being able to speak to your clients
in their preferred language can be a huge boon for your business relationships. It will improve not only your professional image but also your chances of scoring a raise. Indeed, speaking an extra language could boost your salary up to 20 per cent (depending on your job title).

3. Improved brain function
Deciding to tackle Spanish or Korean can boost your cognitive abilities and help your mind react faster and more efficiently to stimuli. Studies have even shown that language learning reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and helps maintain an overall healthy brain later in life.

4. Increased focus
Language learning shapes your brain into a well-oiled multi-tasking machine. As you build a new mental lexicon, you’ll notice an improvement in your ability to do several things at once and to quickly switch between tasks. Your overall focus will be sharper and your attention span, longer.

Tips to reach your goal
Start by determining your incentive—taking a trip, moving to another country or looking for a better job, for instance. Then, find someone to share your adventure with, and immerse yourself in the language. Be open-minded, listen to others and most of all, practice, practice, and practice some more!