Multiple language abilities have become an indispensable skill set in the 21st century. We live in a globalized world where the ability to speak more than one language has a myriad of amazing benefits. Before we go deep into this topic let’s understand what being bilingual means and how being bilingual can benefit people of every age.
A bilingual person is someone who can speak and understand two languages and a multilingual person is someone who can speak and understand multiple languages. Thus, if you can speak and understand only one language it means you are monolingual. Today there are ample studies & researches which have proven that it is very beneficial to be bilingual or multilingual. It is also scientifically proven that bilingual & multilingual individuals perform better in comparison with the people who are limited to their native language, i.e. monolinguals.
A new language can be learned at any age. The earlier you start exploring new languages the better you will get with time because a long experience will make you fluent & confident. Sadly most people generally learn a foreign language when they have a specific goal, for example, while they are about to flee abroad for higher studies or when they are seeking a job opportunity in a foreign country. This trend seems very compulsive & people rarely learn the foreign language out of their own free will.
If you do not have a good reason to study a second language I hope by the end of this article you will have enough which will motivate you to explore new languages. This article attempts to encourage bilingual culture by making readers aware of the top 5 benefits of being bilingual or multilingual:-
#1 Economic benefits
In this globalized world, it is quite impossible to run an enterprise, company, or industry without communicating internationally. Today, almost all national & international companies require the language expertise of bilingual & multilingual individuals. These linguistically equipped individuals are the ones who build international companies & manifest long-cherished desires in reality. Also, those individuals who are bilingual or multilingual are highly preferred by top companies since they are the ones who are capable of making strong international business connections & represent the company internationally. since they are linguistically empowered they can efficiently deal & communicate with international clients. In this globalized world, depending upon your verbal communication skills gives numerous advantages. Hence, being bilingual or multilingual payoff.
#2 Socio-cultural benefits
A language is a dominant tool that helps us to socialize, connect & build strong relationships with people. We can befriend people across the world if we can understand their language. In different stages of our life, we travel to different places where we get wonderful opportunities to establish productive relationships with people of different backgrounds and nationalities. The relationships that we form while traveling to different places have the potential to open up different possibilities and opportunities as well. An individual who is well articulated in multiple languages can connect with lots of people with confidence & ease. It doesn’t matter if you are at school or a university student. Linguistic ability is a catalyst that will enhance your overall performance in every sphere of social life. Thus, learning a language other than our intrinsic mother tongue will ultimately enrich our circle and contribute to our overall socio-cultural wellbeing.
#3 Health benefits
It is a fact that a healthy brain & sound mental health makes our life wholesome. Research and findings have proven that bilingual individuals have less chance of developing neurological diseases like Dementia, Alzheimer’s, & mental disorders-related issues. Whereas monolingual individuals are at a high risk of developing such symptoms & diseases in much earlier stages in life than bilingual individuals. Bilingualism has proven to have an immensely positive effect on the human brain. Various research has confirmed that bilingualism helps to develop the cognitive reserve & prevents early cognitive impairments which help to delay & deal with the aforementioned diseases. If you encounter anyone who is suffering from such a disease you may consider recommending them to learn an extra set of languages. Together we can improve our lives & prevent such life-threatening diseases simply by learning extra languages.
#4 Academic benefits
Research shows that bilingual students have improved memory power and interpretation skills which helps them to perform better academically & give them an advantage in their school & universities. Bilingualism helps students to foster creativity in them and make them capable of doing even the hardest of tasks. If we google the impacts of bilingualism on students we can find tons of research papers where scientists & researchers have all agreed that bilingual students have a longer attention span and analytical skills since they can think & process information from multiple angles by switching languages inside their brain. Such students perform better in their careers as well since various workforce surveys have proven that bilinguals have a higher chance of getting recruited. Thus, language abilities provide students a competitive edge in the 21st century.
#5 Psychological benefits
The psychological benefits of bilingualism are very tempting. Research and findings have proven that bilingual individuals have powerful cognitive ability, proper concept formation, mental flexibility, psychological growth, enhanced memory skills, clarity & the development of rational thinking abilities. This wide array of psychological benefits helps bilingual individuals to solve problems efficiently, become creative, dynamic & competitive. Bilingual individuals are prioritized & desired in high-paying jobs as well.
The impacts and changes that bilingualism introduces in an individual’s life are incredible. It is pervasive and life-changing. It helps to ensure the health and enhance productivity. From professional to personal life bilingualism has a lot to offer. The benefits arising out of being bilingual make an individual employable for working in top companies & very desirable in a social gathering. French, Chinese, Canadian, Spanish, Russian, etc are some popular languages. Anyone can begin their journey by learning popular languages which seem most relevant to their context. I hope these benefits will motivate you and instigate a temptation to become bilingual.