As I walk down the streets of Houston, I can hear many languages being spoken. It can be Spanish, Vietnamese or another language that sounds nothing like the languages mentioned. These people may also have something in common. They may speak English. This is something I can relate to. I grew up in a Spanish speaking household and did not learn English until I started school. Since then, it has been English at school or work, and Spanish at home. Although, it is cool to be bilingual, it can also have benefits in the long run.
- Knowing two languages helps the brain in a lot of ways. It has been shown that people who speak two languages or more can delay the effects of Alzheimer’s by at least five years. It can also improve problem-solving and multitasking skills. This happens because your brain is constantly thinking about which language to use and only choosing the important information.
- Another benefit that comes along with knowing more than one language is related to finances. If your job involves knowing more than one language, this will help tremendously. However, if you want to give your career a 180 degree turn you can also be a translator for a lot of companies.
- If you like traveling, this is a big advantage. Not only can you get around easier, but you will also be able to chat with residents. Your experience can be more memorable if you decide to learn the local language. Even if you’re staying for a couple of days, a few basic phrases can change your experience.
- Believe it or not, knowing more than one language can make you more empathetic. This is related to the brain effect described in the first section. You can put yourself in that person’s shoes and are able to understand better the situation a person might be in.
So, go ahead and learn another language! You can download Duolingo or Babbel.