Why are foreign languages in demand and popularity? Probably, not everyone thinks about it until he or she faces the particular situation. Let us consider several reasons of the bilingualism benefits such as advantages in career, travel, unlimited communication, cultural content, and the fact that knowing at least one foreign language makes the person smarter.
The first cause of the foreign language usefulness is professional opportunities. If you want to increase your employability, work in a prestigious fast-growing company, and get with the appropriate payment, then you need to know the foreign language. It also applies to the study and internships in foreign countries, because plenty of companies are trying to learn from the experience of their foreign colleagues. In the case you know the foreign language, you can help in the translation of texts, preparation of documents, or during negotiations with foreign partners. Besides, you can learn some interesting and helpful information by reading foreign professional literature.
The second reason concerns traveling. Knowing the foreign language, you will be happy to listen to guided tours in original, chat with people with great ease and pleasure, and, who knows, maybe the foreign language you can speak will save the life of someone. Traveling around the world, you can always find your way, talk to the locals, and learn about their lives, culture, and, perhaps, receive a useful lesson (“Ten Amazing Reasons Why You Should Learn a Foreign Language” par. 8). In other words, knowing the foreign language allows penetrating into the traditions of the other culture.
The third reason in favor of knowledge of the foreign language is communication. Usually, to learn a foreign language well enough, it is necessary to plunge into the environment living in that particular culture. In its turn, such a dive does not pass completely but forms certain personal qualities. For example, some studies have shown that people, who know more than one language, expand their horizons and are more likely to empathize taking the first steps in communication. The communication in a foreign language with native speakers will significantly strengthen your communication skills and develop life-long friendships (“Ten Amazing Reasons Why You Should Learn a Foreign Language” par. 14).
Moreover, the foreign language helps you to enrich culturally watching movies in original, listening to the voice and intonations of actors, and avoiding translators. You can listen to your favorite songs of foreign singers and understand their meaning with great pleasure. In spite of the considerable amount of translated literature, the knowledge of the foreign language opens the door to the world of the original literature. It is also essential to point out that learning the foreign language you can improve your native language as well. When people start to talk in the foreign language, which has its own grammar, logic, and exceptions, they choose words and phrases in the native language to translate, and it helps to increase the speech culture and vocabulary of the native language.
Besides, if you are interested in the events taking place in the world, the knowledge of the foreign language would be your advantage. You can easily understand the news as a number of world newspapers are published in the foreign language as well as the Internet posts. Consequently, you will be able to understand the meaning of the above taking into account all the details. It is much more objective than to hear a translation, where a lot can be unsaid or translated inappropriately. Thus, knowledge of the foreign language provides access to the information while it is commonly considered that he who owns the information – owns the world.
Finally, the last but not the least reason, is, possibly, the most important one. Knowledge of the foreign language expands consciousness. According to Merritt “speaking a foreign language improves the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognize, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems” (par. 3). Your mind will be reconstructed to understand completely new concepts. Learning foreign languages in this sense is extremely efficient due to switching codes. When you switch from one language to another, it is a very difficult job for the brain that is undoubtedly useful. Several studies have shown that among patients with dementia, symptoms began four years later in people, who know two languages than in people, who know one language (Merritt par. 6). In other words, the brain of bilinguals was struck but continued to operate at a higher level for a longer time.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that people themselves are blacksmiths of their happiness, and a lot in life depends on them. Knowledge of foreign languages gives people plenty of advantages. It is the opportunity to travel around the world without an interpreter, to read foreign literature, to watch foreign films in the original, and to have friends from different countries. If you are willing to change something in your life for the better, then learn the foreign language, and maybe somewhere there is a pleasant surprise waiting for you such as the exciting journey or the attractive employment.
Merritt, Anne. “Why Learn a Foreign Language? Benefits of Bilingualism.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 2013.
“Ten Amazing Reasons Why You Should Learn a Foreign Language.” Lingholic. n.p., 31 Apr. 2014. Web. 9 June 2016. <http://www.lingholic.com/ten-amazing-reasons-learn-foreign-language/>.