Many American high schools and colleges require at least 2 years of study in a foreign language. Despite this, American’s generally fall behind other countries in proficiency in non-English languages. Before electing to not sign up for that French or German class, consider the benefits of learning a second or third language.
People who are fluent in more than one language can easily switch from one language to the other without thinking about it. This ability to switch your brain’s focus and function without any additional effort is very beneficial when it comes to multi-tasking.
Delayed Dementia and Alzheimer’s
According to studies, patients who were bilingual developed Dementia and Alzheimer’s an average of 4 years later than the average monolingual person. While 4 years may not seem like a lot, these patients knew only 2 languages. It has not been proven, but knowing more languages and having an increased brain function could make that an even larger number of years.
Having to remember a whole new set of words and verbs and grammar structures is a lot. The more you learn, the more you are absorbing and remembering. It then makes it easier for you to absorb and retain other information and words because your brain is being trained to hold onto information.
Knowing several different languages can open up many career opportunities working for companies that need someone in customer service that can speak to non-english speakers, or a foreign correspondent. Languages are essential in the world of business and international affairs. Knowing 2,3,4 or more languages can set you apart from your competition.
Your brain becomes trained
The same way I said that you brain was being trained to retain more information, it is being trained to analyze and process linguistic patterns. This is part of what improves your memory. Learning any language after your 4th is supposedly significantly easier; this is because developing the ability to see linguistic patterns, even subconsciously, makes it easier to learn languages.
Increased creativity and divergent thinking
When you are speaking a language that is not your native tongue, you often have to search for words that will get your meaning across even if they aren’t the exact word you meant to use. Words and phrases do not always translate directly between two different languages. Having to come up with alternative solutions aids your divergent thinking, which is the ability to come up with several different solutions to a single problem, as well as your creativity.
Learning a new skill is always satisfactory and can increase a person’s idea of their value. Language learning is not only good for your brain, it’s good for your mind.