It might seem too soon to be thinking of our New Year’s resolutions when we still have the joys of Christmas to look forward to, but this is in fact the most perfect time to set yourself your 2020 goals. Forward planning will bring benefits as you make the best version of yourself.
Learning a new language isn’t easy if you push yourself out of your comfort zone, you will be surprised of the benefits it brings. Even if you’re traveling over the summer and you can speak a few phrases of the local language your trip will become more engaging and the locals will be appreciative of the effort you’re making.
Evidence shows that learning a new language can stretch your brain and even develop new neural pathways, so whether you’ve never tried a new language or want to brush up on your existing skills we teamed up with the experts at Absolute Translations and together, we compiled a list of 7 reasons why learning a new language should be at the top of your New Year’s resolutions.
1) Boost Your Job Prospects
The first quarter of any new year is well known to be the peak hiring season. If you’re looking to secure a new job or even a promotion in your current role, your interest in learning about another culture and perfecting a new language will make you stand out from competitors and sell yourself as a well-rounded candidate. Businesses are always scouting people who can work in international industries so if your skill sets reflect the company’s global aims you will be miles ahead of competitors.
2) Reduce Your Chances Of Dementia
A study performed by York University of Toronto found that learning a new language has very powerful impact on the brain and it can lead to delaying dementia. It found that those who took the time to learn a new language developed dementia five years after than those who only spoke their native mother tongue!
3) You Won’t Feel Like A Tourist
Learning a new language will bring you an array of benefits when you’re traveling from understanding how to navigate yourself on public transport to knowing how to order in restaurants. Knowing your surroundings through the local language will allow you to be immersed into the culture fully, you don’t have to be fluent but knowing the basic vocabulary will be key when talking to locals which can lead to new friendships being made.
4) You Will Boost Your Memory And Attention Span
People who have the skill of speaking more than one language are skilled at switching between the two systems of speech, writing and structure. The switching between the two makes it easier to multitask in other aspects of life such as career wise and in leisure.
5) Quicker Recovery
A study made by the University of Edinburgh found that people who can speak more than one language can recover from a stroke quicker, this because they are more likely to regain cognitive functions if they were multilingual. The theory was explained by the Dr. at the university who claimed that ‘The mental challenge of speaking multiple languages provides a kind of cognitive reserve, a protective barrier, that help the brain cope with damaging influences such as stroke or dementia.’
6) Increase Your Confidence
Language learning does open up doors to converse with strangers and to show off your newfound opinions. If you’re lucky enough to travel to the country of your target language, then you will feel a rush of excitement when you successfully order a drink or give directions to someone. This will excite you and make you want to learn further.
7) Increase Brainpower
Learning a new language at any age can increase brainpower. Millions of people engage in brain training in a bid to keep mentally sharp but learning a second language is far more beneficial. Compared to people that only speak one language, multilingual speakers have a higher general intelligence and are more perceptive of their surroundings.
This article was written by Lena Hemsworth and originally appeared on Your Coffee Break.