With all of the recent advances in technology, it has frequently been said that the world has grown smaller. We can now easily communicate with friends, relatives and colleagues anywhere in the world and at any time. Businesses have been able to reap the benefits as well and those both big and small have been able to grow considerably. The need for communicating across time, country and culture is in great demand. Technology has been one of the biggest facilitators of this movement, however, it can only go so far.
While English is the official language of business worldwide and those who can speak it fluently garner much respect from their counterparts, learning another language can also be beneficial to all parties involved.
I personally love learning new languages. I love the fact that learning about a different culture is inherent in studying a new language and I love being able to understand and communicate with people who do not speak my language; English. I have also found that knowing another or several languages puts one at an advantage in the world of work mainly because barriers of misunderstanding are crossed when interacting with clients or partners whose mother tongue is different. Apart from this, there are many other reasons why learning a new language can prove to be quite an asset, both on the personal and corporate levels.
One of the most common arguments for learning a new language is the fact that polyglots use different parts of their brain when speaking in a different language. This is said to go hand in hand with improved decision making as they constantly have to judge the appropriateness of the expressions they use when communicating in a language that is not native to them. In addition, their critical thinking skills are vastly improved.
It can be said that the ability to multi-task is invaluable in today’s fast paced corporate world. Those who have developed this skill are highly rewarded for it and it is greatly valued in the workplace. Learning a new language also means learning to multi task. People who can slip from one language to another are usually very proficient multi taskers and can juggle several activities at once, committing minimal errors.
And who wouldn’t want improved memory! That’s another wonderful benefit of learning a new language. The more the brain is used, the better it works and the learning of new vocabulary and language structures assist with its overall functioning. Multi lingual people therefore are more adept in remembering names, directions and shopping lists.
There are many more advantages to learning a new language but the fact that there is the potential for individuals to become more open minded and cultured, learning a new language is a fantastic undertaking. While English has become the language of business, there is no harm in meeting half way to get things done and in a world that has been plunged into chaos and violence, maybe learning a new language can help us to better understand and communicate with each other for the greater good.