“If you talk to a man in a language he understands that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” - Nelson Mandela
Through Nelson Mandela’s words of wisdom, he revealed the most important reason we should learn to speak a new language - to show respect for other people, their culture and their heritage.
Whatever country you may find yourself in, there will always be an appreciation for the people who can speak their native tongue or even for those who give it a go.
1. Knowing a second language gives you better professional opportunities
It’s getting increasingly common these days for job ads to require applicants to speak at least two languages. When a hiring manager sees, you’ve mastered a second (or even third) language, they see your potential to go outside your comfort zone.
This is a world of multinational corporations and conglomerates. It’s the era of the internet. Almost all businesses benefit from employees who can connect them to the rest of the world. Speaking another language gives you that competitive edge over other applications and overall makes you better at your job.
However, learning another language isn’t just limited to the spoken tongue, knowing how to code in different languages or just write basic code is becoming more and more of a necessity as more industries heavily rely on technological infrastructure.
2. Improves your cognitive performance
A basic understanding of your first language grammar is very important when learning a new language. However, as you start learning another language you will find that you will start understanding your own more. As strange as it seems, it’s true.
Language-learning also improves your overall cognitive performance. Researchers found that when a bilingual person speaks one language, the other one is active at the same time. This means that your brain is relying on executive functions, such as attention and inhibition. Language learning is changing your brain and it’s making you more attentive.
3. Connecting with people from other cultures
Nelson Mandela was right, speaking other languages helps you bridge the gap between you and someone from a different culture. That’s not only because you can ask for directions while being overseas but you can also build friendships from engaging in small talk.
Why do you need to connect with people who speak different languages? Because that’s how you’ll begin to understand their culture. That helps you become more open-minded, tolerant and knowledgeable. Generally, you become a worldlier individual.
Learning a second language may seem like a huge challenge. But if you break down learning a new language in small steps and connect with people who know the language. You’ll master it in no time. It will expand your mind and open you up to new opportunities. Just do it!