A child born in India, by default grows out to be a bilingual. As he learns his mother tongue, while in school, he learns English or Hindi – owing to the fact that both these languages are an intrinsic part of India’s ethos. India, with its 122 major languages and around 1500 dialects is the world’s best example of cultural and linguistic beauty with its huge diversity. We do not need any explanation to emphasize the importance of learning a new language. Even as young Indians today move to different states and cities for employment or education, language forms an eminent part of their grooming and adaptability.
Similarly, there are young people who are also moving out of the country for their education, job, travel and many such reasons. Apart from the globally accepted English, there are many countries with various beautiful languages which can have a huge positive impact on the person’s experience. There are also countries like Germany, China, Japan, which have their official languages other than English. Learning their language can be the best decision in such places.
We have brought to you some of the very important reasons for learning a foreign language.
Great start to communication
When you want to move to another country, knowing the local language is the first prerequisite to starting a positive and healthy communication. Even if the people are gracious and willing to communicate in English, knowing the local language gives you the extra edge and helps in developing the initial trust. It also displays your flexibility and readiness to adapt according to the local culture.
Enhance travel experience.
Every country is unique and has its own flavor w.r.t. culture, tradition, history and art. What one can learn from the experience of local people in their own language is incomparable. The knowledge of the language not only enhances the travel experience but also helps in understanding and realizing the unique essence of the people and their culture. With so many people willing to travel to foreign lands for vacations, the language can be a very important factor for making the stay comfortable and enjoyable
Expanding knowledge and literature base.
Writers, authors, historians, novelists and all the other intelligent people keep on creating unique and beautiful literature in every language. Learning the language opens a wide door to the huge linguistic treasure created by these authors. One can’t understand the depth of Tagore unless one learns Bengali. Similarly, one cannot feel the magic of Vladimir Nabokov unless one understands Russian.
Increasing the brain power:
The more you learn the more your brain develops. A psychologist at York University in Toronto, Ellen Bialystok, has found that students who study foreign languages tend to score better on standardized tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in the categories of math, reading, grammar, and vocabulary.
Additionally, a study conducted around a similar time by Researchers from University College London has shown that learning other languages altered grey matter – the area of the brain which processes information – in the same way exercise builds muscles.
Making friends and learning a new culture:
As mentioned earlier, language is the first step towards starting a healthy and positive communication. But further to this, language also helps in creating long lasting bond of friendship and trust. The more you learn a new language, the closer you go to the respective culture. It also helps you to be more open minded, liberal and receptive to people from different social, psychological and emotional conditioning. This helps you in becoming a more global citizen.
Opportunities and employment:
Technology has brought far off countries together and people are willing to relocate to newer places today. In such cases language becomes the first step towards bridging the gap and promoting your capabilities. Knowing a language improves your chances of getting employment in the region where the language is spoken. It also improves the opportunities for travel and business.
Increase in educational avenues:
Language in itself is a subject of education. Yet several avenues of knowledge can be opened up if a student knows a foreign language. For the students of history, culture, art, etc, knowing a foreign language is very important. Of course, there are various scholarships provided which are completely based on your knowledge of certain foreign languages. It also helps in improving the chances for selection in exchange programs where students visit different countries and study the culture and life there.
Become more open minded:
Learning a foreign language and getting soaked into an entirely new culture and world view is the surest way to become an open-minded, understanding individual. Once you are aware of the fact that we are all cultural beings, products of our own environments, and that you recognize the cultural base for your own attitudes and behavior, you are ready to consider others in a more favorable light. Seeing the world from a different perspective, and understanding where you and others come from, is a fantastic, eye-opening experience.