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Why you should learn a new language

Credit: LAUREN DIETRICH

Although there are a number of technologies to translate for you, there are several benefits to learning a new language such as more job opportunities and easier travelling.


Lauren Dietrich | Interrobang | Opinion | February 8th, 2019




Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
With the number of translation apps that are accessible now it is becoming easier and easier to only speak one language. However, there are multiple benefits to being bilingual and the process that comes from learning a new language.

One important benefit of learning a new language is how it looks on your resume. Regardless if bilingualism is a requirement for a job or not, knowing multiple languages is a skill that many employers respect.

It will allow you to broaden your job search and give you a better chance to gain professional international experience. When you are in a job interview, being bilingual is an opportunity for you to provide proof of skills such as communication and problem solving.

Another thing that you can gain from learning a new language is self-confidence. Many people are intimidated by learning another language so if you actually go and do it you will feel confident and proud of yourself.

According to the Daily Mail, people need to start learning a language before the age of 10 if they want to speak like a fluent native. Considering that idea, being able to learn a language as an adult would be even more rewarding and contribute to your confidence that much more.

Learning a new language is like a mental exercise. It allows you to put your brain to work which can develop a variety of skills that go beyond bilingualism.

When you are learning a new language your brain is forced to recognize, negotiate meaning and communicate in a different way.

Practicing these techniques allows you to increase the functions of your brain which can lead to better memory, problem solving skills and ability to multitask. Once you gain these skills from learning one language it will make it easier to learn additional languages.

If you learn how to analyze the different linguistic structures of another language it will be easier to recognize those structures in other languages.

There are a variety of languages that have similar traits so if you have the ability to learn them in one you will find it easier to learn another. Travelling as an English speaker is relatively easy because many countries you visit will have English speakers.

A common theme you will find in a number of countries, especially tourist areas, is the prevalence of English. Whether it be an English version of their menu or workers being bilingual, it is pretty easy to go through a vacation without ever having to use a translator.

However, being able to speak their language will make it easier to travel and may allow you to get the local price opposed to the tourist price when you buy something. Even if you are not very strong at speaking the language people will appreciate the effort and respect you more.

Travelling to another country, especially alone, can be intimidating and knowing the local language will make things go more smoothly.

Even if you are just travelling throughout Canada you will find that English is not the first language of some people. People in areas east of Ontario including Quebec and some of New Brunswick speak French and many of them are unable to speak any English.

In addition, Toronto is the most multicultural country in the world so there are a number of different languages spoken throughout the city and the greater Toronto area.

If you learn another language you will be able to connect with other Canadians that may not understand English and find it easier to see more of our country and communicate with everyone.

If you are interested in learning another language, then there are a number of routes you can take to achieve it. There is an opportunity at Fanshawe to learn a number of languages including a one level French language program, a course in conversational Spanish and more. You can also use a language learning application that will help you learn a language at your own pace on your own time.

Some popular language apps include Duolingo and Memrise where you can choose from more than 25 languages with specific learning goals.

There are a lot of opportunities for you to learn a new language and there are so many benefits to being bilingual so take the leap and start learning one today.
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