The Benefits of Learning Languages


Branden Leong, Staff Writer

Ponder this: how many languages can you speak? I mean, in how many different languages can you hold a conversation with someone? Though the average number of languages a person speaks is quite low at 1.5, learning languages has many benefits for both the speaker and the listener.

Knowing a variety of languages is a key factor in helping different cultures connect. There is often a language barrier between people from different nations, preventing people from forming meaningful relationships because of the inability to communicate. For example, a person who speaks Chinese in Northern China may not be able to converse with an immigrant from Siberia who only speaks Russian. But, if they both could understand and speak each other’s native language, then the two may become best friends, even if they’re from different countries. For this reason, the European Union is extremely unified, because of the relatively high number of languages a person speaks. Since a person may know German, French, English, Italian, and Spanish, that person will be able to travel to other countries and fit in well with other cultures.

Practically everyone wants to visit a foreign country as part of their bucket list, and learning languages can help make the trip more enjoyable. You can travel freely without having to worry about not understanding other people or other people not understanding you. Constantly having to look up words in order to find a good restaurant dramatically reduces the quality of your stay. You can read signs, menus, posters, and maps without hesitation, relieving you of worrying about not being able to read and speak the language of the country you’re visiting.

Increased language options to communicate with customers mean more business. Therefore, employers look more favorably towards applicants who speak more languages, giving an edge over competitors. Not just in jobs, but in everyday life, the more languages you know, the more you can communicate with others who have another language besides English as their first language. They will feel more comfortable talking to you, as you share a commonality that’s hard to find with others.

For me, I’m learning Spanish, German, Russian, and Chinese right now. I find learning all of these different languages fun and exciting, because I’m learning new ways to say things and also learning about different cultures. Plus, I can speak to people that I know who also speak these languages, making conversations with them more exciting. Even though this might sound nerdy, but knowing different languages is actually impressive to those who hear it. If you are able to switch between four or five different languages all in one breath, people around will be shocked to see how fluent you actually are, given that not many people in America know foreign languages.

Learning a variety of languages has tremendous benefits. The more languages one masters, the more influential and relatable one becomes. Learning languages connects cultures together, as we strive for a more unified and connected world together.