Learning a foreign language can be a great way to spend your free time. It’s certainly more productive than watching television. Even if you have no interest in traveling abroad, knowing an additional language has many benefits. You’ll gain a new perspective on the world, challenge your brain, and make new friends.
With all the language programs available online, many of them for free, there’s no reason not to begin learning a new language today!
- International travel is easier and more enjoyable. While English can allow you to get by in many countries, that’s not true everywhere. Even countries with a reasonable number of English speakers can be more thoroughly enjoyed if you can speak the native language. The local culture is more accessible to you.
- You’ll also feel less intimidated about getting on that plane in the first place. Even the simplest of activities, such as asking for directions or reading street signs, is a challenge if you don’t speak the local language.
- Your listening skills and memory are enhanced when you learn a foreign language. Learning foreign vocabulary is a good workout for your memory. You’ll also have to listen intently to understand what is being said to you. A foreign language can stretch your brain like few other activities.
- You’ll develop a marketable skill. Many jobs require the knowledge of a foreign language. You’ll have something interesting to add to your resume.
- Foreign language study enhances your appreciation for other cultures. Imagine how much better the world would be if everyone knew at least two languages and spent some time in another culture.
- Make new friends. You can greatly enhance your circle of international friends if you learn to speak another language. There are many websites dedicated to pen pals, language pals, and traveling buddies. You can make friendships all over the world.
- You’ll spend less when you travel abroad. Tourist areas tend to have overpriced food and other items. These areas can be attractive to tourists because English is more accommodated there. You’ll be brave enough to get off the beaten path when you travel and pay more reasonable prices as a result.
- You’ll also be able to haggle effectively. While haggling prices isn’t common in North America, it is widely practiced and accepted in many other countries. It’s hard to haggle if you can’t speak the language.
- Boost your self-esteem. You can learn to do something that you might believe is beyond your reach. While some languages are especially challenging for native English speakers, millions of kids have learned to speak those languages. You can, too!
- Your brain will stay healthier. Studies have shown that learning a foreign language can help to prevent, or at least slow the development of, various types of dementia. Bilinguals have been shown to have less dementia than those that only know a single language.
Several studies have demonstrated the cognitive benefits of learning a second language.
But, the benefits go far beyond just boosting and maintaining your brain health. You’ll make new friendships and greatly enhance your traveling experiences. You can save money while traveling. You’ll also increase your self-esteem!
Take a look at the many free resources available online and begin your language study today. It’s never too late to start.