Why should I learn a language?

The million dollar question

I’ve spent a long time mulling over this question. People learn languages for many reasons, but not a lot of them do so for fun–oftentimes, the moment you’re out of school thet least you want to do is learn a language. However, I believe there are many reasons why you should pick a new language, even if it’s one you only have a faint interest in, and start studying it.

Here are five of the most important reasons why you wouldn’t be wasting your time learning a new language:

Mental acrobatics

While not much has been written on polyglots and their mental comings and goings, it is a fact that learning a language keeps your mind agile and fresh, even improving your cognitive abilities in some fields. Your memory will definitely improve, you’ll find new ways to solve problems. You’ll become more inquisitive and your attention span will be significantly lenghtened. What’s not to like about these perks?

Fly, social butterfly!

This may sound like a contradiction, but a large part of the polyglot community is made up of formerly shy people (yours truly included). Language learning is very much an exercise in socializing and getting out of your comfort zone, at the same time functioning as an insanely effective social lubricant. If you’re trying to overcome your shyness, then there’s nothing quite as effective as learning a new language.

Say goodbye to self-limitation

Of course you can go around the world by knowing only one language, but you’ll miss out on so much the world has to give you. Planning a trip is that much easier (and cheaper!) when you’re able to find information written in the local language, as is taking care of yourself while travelling. Travelling with a broader linguistic repertoire means the the world is truly your oyster!

Culture, thy name is language

In connection with the previous point, studying a new language is synonymous with stepping into its culture. The world is fascinatingly broad and colorful, and a million new ideologies, folklores, sentiments, cuisines and literatures await you. All you have to do is open the door.

The doors of opportunity all open at once

While knowing English is most definitely a must for working in a foreign land, being capable of articulating your thoughts in the language of the country you wish to work in is nothing if not a bonus. Besides, it is a fact that bi- and multilingual people earn better than their monolingual peers. In a nutshell, a second or third language can make you look significantly more attractive in the eyes of a potential employer!

 

Are there any other reasons why you think learning a language is worth your time? Be sure to share them in the comments!