Studying and learning foreign languages is no longer about having a better traveling experience. Before it pays to learn to speak the local or native language of a country you will be visiting to avoid any embarrassing and even sometimes insulting situations. Learning foreign languages is not just about getting the right directions, it is about making connections with people with different languages, cultures, and histories.
Some people think that learning how to speak English would be enough, but actually, the CIA World Fact Book cited that only 5.6 % of the global population speak English. The rest of the world speaks differently. Speaking English can no longer suffice the increasing demand for global communications and understanding.
Research shows that learning another language would boost the knowledge of your language. This would mean an increase in literacy, vocabulary, and better comprehension. Studies show that high school students who learned a different language have relatively better scores in their college entrance exams than those who do not study a second language.
Learning a foreign language also allows an individual to broaden his educational horizons. There are many educational opportunities abroad that we can explore. It would not only help us transcend cultural boundaries, but it will also help us understand subjects and concepts associated with the language.
Whenever we learn a different language, we have to understand the underlying cultural values and structures of the people. In addition, most literary, music, and other artistic milestones are not written in English. To fully appreciate and understand a literary work, it needs to be read and understood in its original form.
Language becomes a window where we can see and understand the context of a country’s culture. This is important, especially if you have some business deals with foreigners. Understand their culture, so you can build trust, cooperate and compromise with them.
Another good reason for you to start learning a foreign language will be the career opportunities for a multilingual professional. Here are some fields where speaking another language could give you a head start:
• Social services – work as a social worker, criminology and law enforcement, school counselor, drug abuse counselor, occupational health care, income maintenance counselor.
• Business and Finance – work as an accountant, administration, economist
• Communications – work as reporter, journalist, publisher, editor
• Education – work as a teacher whether it is in elementary, secondary, or college level
• Government- work as a translator or interpreter, especially for diplomatic foreign services
Learning a foreign language became a great advantage in looking for a career in this period of globalization. In business transactions, we cannot avoid the need of communicating in the language of the foreign business partners. Learning about foreign languages would help you promote your business in other countries effectively. If you want to build long and solid business ties and relationships in other countries, you would need to be familiar with their language.
In this era of globalization, countries, and people are forging closer connections. Learning foreign languages would help you build a global understanding. But learning how to speak in a foreign language should not be to brag about it. Learning and mastering a foreign language should manifest when we start thinking about it and embracing the culture and history that comes with it.