Being able to speak a second language is an immensely valuable skill. Unfortunately, unlike most countries around the world, the United States does not provide universal foreign language instruction, and most Americans speak only English. Nonetheless, it’s never too late to start learning! Read on for three compelling reasons to learn a foreign language.
It Will Enhance Your Travel
Although many people outside of the United States do speak English, being able to speak the locals’ native tongue can make your interactions with them much more informative and rewarding. Even if you are not fluent, simply making the effort to learn a few key phrases will not go unappreciated. You could even make the prospect of a foreign trip a reward for yourself: for example, you could celebrate the end of a French class with a trip to France or Canada.
It Looks Great on Your Resume
Especially since many Americans do not speak a second language, being bilingual will make you stand out to potential employers. Employees who are able to communicate in another language are an asset to almost any workplace since they are able to serve a broader range of customers or clients. For example, being a Spanish speaking attorney Houston allows you to have more opportunities than an attorney who speaks only English.
It’s Personally Enriching
Language learning activates neural pathways that may otherwise lie dormant, sharpening your thinking. In addition, speaking another tongue allows you to enjoy a broader range of music, TV, literature and more. While translated versions are always an option, there is something extra special about being able to enjoy a novel in its original language or turn on a foreign movie or TV show without the need for dubbing or subtitles.
Language learning is a valuable pursuit, no matter how old you are. Many community colleges and recreation centers offer language classes, or you could sign up for Rosetta Stone or Duolingo if you prefer to learn from home. Good luck on your language-learning journey!