If you’re looking to take on a new hobby or challenge to fill your spare time this summer, consider learning a new language. In today’s globalized society, the more languages you know, the more advantages you will have. Here, we present just a few of the many benefits of learning a new language, plus a few suggestions for where to focus your efforts.
Advance Your Career
Our world is interconnected, and companies are increasingly creating international relationships. Employees are asked to travel, hold meetings with their international counterparts, and, at times, relocate abroad. As a result, more jobs list fluency in foreign languages as preferred or required. If you are fluent in multiple languages, it may give you a leg-up on other job candidates.
Learning new languages yields cognitive benefits, too, including:
- Improving long and short term memory and overall memory function
- Enhances problem-solving abilities
- Enriches creative thinking
- Improves verbal and spatial capacity
- Improves attitude toward the target culture and language
You may already know what language you want to learn, but if you need help picking one, certain languages are more in-demand than others. You may want to consider the following:
- Mandarin: China has a massive influence on our society. How could it not – It has the world’s largest population with over 1.4 billion+ people! Learning Mandarin is a big challenge with big rewards. You don’t have to become overwhelmed with writing all the characters: You can use roman letters to write Chinese characters (otherwise known as pinyin).
- Spanish: Spanish is the second-most spoken native language after Mandarin and is the official language of 20 countries. According to Forbes, as of 2021, more than 559 million people speak Spanish globally. In the U.S. alone, 13 percent of the population speaks Spanish at home, making it the most common non-English language in the country.
- Arabic: Per Tarjama Wordsmiths, the Arabic-speaking population comprises more than 466 million people. Learning Modern Standard Arabic opens up opportunities in the public and private sectors.
- German: Germany is one of the strongest economies in Europe, and German is one of the most widely spoken languages in the European Union. If your goal is to advance your career, learning German will go a long way.
Are you learning a new language? Share your tips with us in the comments below!