Perhaps, you have seen a lot of people learn other languages or you have read several articles that enjoin you to learn another language and you wonder why learning another language is so important. Or maybe, you ask questions like; ‘What do I stand to gain from learning Mandarin Chinese?’, ‘What value will the foreign language add to my life?’, ‘Does it help my thinking or is it really only about communication?’ The following will tell you more about the benefits of learning another language.
A new language introduces you the opportunity to get to know a new culture, make friends with more people.
When you learn another language, you will gain insights into a different culture which will allow you to be more flexible and appreciative of other ways of doing and looking at things. Of course, you can still learn about other cultures, but language learning really allows for a more immersive experience because most cultural traditions are tied to their language. Also, another phenomenal benefit of learning a new language is that you will be able to make friends with more people, especially if you learn in a group setting.
A new language means many more opportunities for your future development.
With today’s universal unemployment problems, a multilingual ability is definitely a competitive edge over other monolingual competitors. If your C.V. accolades include fluency in a second language, your chances of employment are much greater than for those who speak only one language as many multinational companies now thrill to add qualified bilingual speakers to their team. In addition, when choosing where to study, you have more choices than bilinguals. You can travel abroad to study when you know their language and you’ll even feel more comfortable and have an easier time navigating public transportation, ordering dinner and meeting new people along the way as you travel since you already know the native language.
Learning a new language actually makes you smarter
People who are multilingual may be better at processing language and other analytical tasks because the process of becoming bilingual exercises the brain, challenges you to concentrate, and causes the part of your brain responsible for problem-solving and filtering information to work more efficiently. Research shows that babies exposed to two languages display better learning and memory skills compared to their monolingual peers.
Chinese speakers have stronger connections leading from anterior superior temporal gyrus (part of the brain), known as a “semantic hub”, critical in supporting language to both Broca’s and Wernicke’s area. This increase in connectivity is attributed to the enhanced mapping of sound and meaning going on in people who speak tonal languages. Therefore, Learning Mandarin as a foreign language increases cognitive activity through the retention of new vocabulary and rules, it also increases mental flexibility and creativity through its unique features such as the character writing system.
Learning a new language can enhance people’s communication ability.
Being a bilingual will improve your social life due to the simple fact that it allows you to talk to more people effectively. As you would know the culture and tradition of the users of the other language, it will be easier for you to understand and tolerate differences without misunderstandings. For example, when someone comes from an English-speaking country meets with a Chinese man, knowing some Chinese can help him/her to have a better conversation. Even if they both talk in English, he/she can still know the cultural differences between the two countries and understand the nuances better. Language ability can also help one to better understand people around and be more able to empathize.