Why You Should Learn a Foreign Language

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By Moses Cole

The ability to speak a foreign language can open many doors for your career. Here are some ways you benefit from all that extra work.

Looks Great on Your Resume

Hiring managers will see foreign language skills as a positive on your resume because it makes you look more well-rounded and cultured. Foreign language skills can also provide opportunities to travel abroad for working and communicating in the language that you know. There are great translation/interpretation and trade communication opportunities with good pay in Chinese, Arabic, Russian, German, Spanish, French, Hindi, Portuguese and Japanese.

Bridges Communication Gap

If the organization you work for communicates abroad, then knowing how to speak the language in the foreign workplace can fix the language barrier.

Affordable or Even Free

There are plenty of apps and websites that teach foreign languages for free or for a low price. Books or a class can help as well, but these options may be more expensive.

Improves Cognitive Ability (Memory)

Studies have shown that those who study foreign languages have better memorization and longer attention spans on average than those who do not. Memorization is improved due to the practice of memorizing vocabulary words. Also, attention span is lengthened through the intense focus given to interpreting information received. Though learning a foreign language can do great things for your future, the process is quite demanding.

Politics

As of March 2017, the political landscape has lots of tension. Learning and understanding different cultures where there is tension can help more Americans better understand other countries and others can understand the United States. The languages Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian are great languages in this case. Knowledge in this field can provide opportunity to improve foreign relations when using the media to communicate. The end results can be less inaccurate information and more accurate reporting or more effective marketing/advertising.

Translation/Interpretation Opportunities

Opportunities in the translation/interpretation field are growing in the diversifying United States. International trade is also strong. You can potentially use foreign language skills and knowledge to complete extra tasks or apply for a new job. According to payscale.com the salary range for translators/interpreters is $23,406 – $76,602. Foreign language speakers can potentially expand the audience around the globe if you are able to advertise, promote, or market to a different culture with a different language.

Learning Tips

Make sure that you glance over the words, use flashcards and drill the translations often. If you can converse in the foreign language with others, do it to get practice. Practicing speaking the language with others can help you better retain the words and translations you learn. To get the best practice possible experience full immersion if you can. Full immersion is when you dive into a society where a foreign language and foreign culture is dominant in that society. Full immersion into a different world fuels the effort to adapt to a foreign place. Everything you see and hear in the foreign country, district etc. will be in a foreign language that you see all the time. In result you will use and speak the language often and that will help you retain what you learn.

Also, make sure to have…

Time and Patience

Learning to speak a foreign language fluidly will take at least a year. Some may take longer than others to learn because they may be more challenging to learn. One should spend at least an hour a day on studying the foreign language and also communicating with others in the language to help learn it better. However, this requires time to be set aside. Patience is also required because it takes many hours of dedication to learn to speak a language fluidly and at times you will get frustrated with trying to memorize symbols, definitions, conjugations, rules, punctuation etc.

 

There are many benefits to learning a foreign language. Though it can be challenging, it is definitely worth the effort.

 

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