Mastering a second or third language may seem frustratingly hard. It’s not easy to memorise hundreds of words and to suffer through the humiliating conversations that may make you feel like an idiot because you can’t make a simple sentence.
Here are some of the most important reasons for you not to give up on learning foreign languages:
1. Learning a foreign language will make you smarter
I mean it. Studies show that learning another language improves cognitive abilities and maintains the brain in shape as we age.
2. You will be better at doing more than one thing at a time.
According to a study of the Pennsylvania State University, people who speak several languages are better at multitasking. That’s because the ability to stay focused when processing more than one thought at a time is necessary when you switch between two or more languages. Children who grew up in a bilingual environment are especially good at this.
3. The foreign language will show you into a new world of music, movies and literature.
English-language films and music are only a small percentage of the different pieces of art that are worth seeing and hearing. About 350 million people speak English as their first language; this may seem a lot, but it’s only five percent of the world’s population.
4. It will make you sexier
People who speak a second language are seen as educated, intelligent, cultured, and sociable. Isn’t that hot?
5. Watching hours of TV in a foreign language will become an acceptable way to spend your afternoon, because it’s ‘studying’
The TV show Friends will give you a completely different perspective if you watch it in French, Spanish or German.
6. Learning a foreign language will improve your memory
Research shows that people who speak several languages are better at memorising. Why? Your brain is like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. Studying a foreign language makes your brain muscle stronger because you’re memorising verb conjugations, lists of words and grammar rules.
7. Learning a foreign language will help you understand another culture better
8. It will teach you self-irony
Nothing is more embarrassing that stuttering when you’re trying to make conversation in a language you’ve just started to study. It’s a humiliating experience. You’ll need the essential skill of laughing at yourself and not taking yourself too seriously.
9. You’ll feel satisfied
Learning a foreign language is very hard! As a whole, mastering it will take you between 600 and 2200 of learning, depending on the relative difficulty of the language. If you’re able to learn it perfectly, you’ll feel quite proud of what you’ve achieved.
10. You’ll become more perceptive
Sherlock Holmes is a talented polyglot, and that’s logical if you keep in mind that a study in a Spanish university established that polyglots are experienced observers and are good at processing important details.
11. Speaking one more language will facilitate your travels abroad
12. You’ll be better at making decisions
A Chicago University study showed that people who speak more than one language make decisions more objectively, without allowing emotions take control.
13. You’ll start seeing the world in a different way
Studying a new language will change the way you see the world. People who speak more than one language are more sensitive to the differences in colours and see them differently than those who only speak one.
14. Speaking a foreign language will look great in a CV
15. You’ll get better at writing
It may sound strange, but learning another language will make you better at your mother tongue. Studying the details of grammar and sentence structure of another language will make you more sensitive to your own language.