“Any man who does not make himself proficient in at least two languages other than his own is a fool.” ~Martin H. Fischer
Why should you learn a foreign language?
Here are 7 good reasons why you should want to learn a foreign language now.
Learn Foreign Language Now – 7 Good Reasons – By Terry Shurts
* Expanding your social life
* Gaining more business contacts
* More business opportunities
* More employment opportunities
* Increased knowledge of other cultures and places
* Keeping your brain sharp
The importance of learning a second language is greater today than ever. As the world keeps shrinking with greater advances in communications technology and modes of travel, people are moving around both physically and in cyberspace at an ever-increasing rate. Immigration and tourism are growing rapidly in many countries. You may live in a country with one “official” language but chances are that many other languages will be spoken in that country.
Your Social Life
If you live in an area where your next door neighbors’ primary language is not your own, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to speak their language also? You can get to know them on a more personal basis, get invited to more parties and more easily ask for help if you need it. Of course, if you don’t care to talk to your neighbors or you live in an area where everyone speaks the same language, this would not apply. But what if you are the type of person who likes to spend a lot of time on-line? The Internet brings the world to your desktop! Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to chat with someone on the other side of the world in their own language?
If you are a single man or woman looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right, why limit yourself to only those who speak your own language? The perfect one for you may speak a different language! Many relationships like this are made but are problematic because of the lack of communications. Having a good knowledge of the other’s primary language is a tremendous help.
If you own a business or work in sales, the importance of learning a second language should be evident. Knowing another language allows you to develop international business contacts, prepare advertising targeted to markets that speak another language or do sales work in neighborhoods with mixed languages. Expanding your market is one of the best ways to increase business, so why not learn the language of the market you are interested in? You have probably read stories of advertising screw ups where a product name or advertising copy did not translate well. You can prevent this type of thing from happening by learning the language.
The importance of learning a second language for business opportunities goes for employment opportunities as well. Having at least one other language on your resume is a big plus. It means that you are more valuable to the employer because you can help with more customers, deal with more business contacts or help prepare more targeted advertising.
Know Your World
If you are the type of person who likes to increase your knowledge of the world, learning a second language can be very helpful. It’s almost impossible to learn another language without learning something about the people who speak that language as well as their customs and their geographical origins. Likewise, if you really want to study a different culture, learning their language is very important in developing a complete understanding of it.
The importance of learning a second language for travel purposes is obvious. Although some English is spoken in almost all countries, if your only language is English you may have a difficult time of it. Take for instance an experience I had while traveling in Thailand. The restaurant at the hotel I was staying at had a limited menu for Westerners in English. Being unable to read Thai at the time, I chose what sounded like an intriguing breakfast item of Yam and Toast. While nibbling on the toast with butter and strawberry jam that was served, I patiently waited for my yam that I assumed was being cooked. I soon realized that I was actually eating the yam (Jam) on my toast!
Even though people in another country may speak your language, sometimes things don’t get translated quite right. Having a good knowledge of the primary language in the country you are traveling in can make for a much more pleasant stay. Not only will you avoid some mix- ups but you will be more able to make friends or even develop a romantic relationship.
Flex Your Brain
Scientists have known the importance of learning a second language for brain health for some time now. A 2004 study done by researchers from University College London found that learning a second language alters gray matter – the area of the brain which processes information – in the same way exercise builds muscles. So if you want to keep your brain healthy, learning other languages can help you do it.
In conclusion, learning other languages is good for your social life, career, recreation and your health, so start learning one today!
Copyright 2008, Terry Shurts
Terry Shurts is a world traveler, author and foreign language lover. He recently wrote a report on how to start learning a 2nd language. This free report is called Your 2nd Language Guide and is available at [http://My2ndLanguage.com]
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