"Those who know nothing of foreign languages, know nothing of their own."
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
How many languages do you speak? If your answer is one, you need to wake up and look around. The world is getting smaller, and the citizens of the world are rapidly overcoming the boundaries of language and even sociocultural differences. Being multilingual can broaden educational and career opportunities, enhance global exchange of ideas and information, and of course, help you enjoy the beauty of a completely alien language by getting to know its grammatical, sociocultural, and historical aspects. Not just that, but it might also help to enhance your overall learning abilities, and broaden your perspective while looking at the world.
Getting Acquainted To Another Culture
Every language has its own rich knowledge base. Learning a foreign language sharpens our overall cognitive skills and helps in better understanding of several subjects and concepts associated with it. It is a multi-faceted learning experience, which enriches you in many ways. First of all, it brings you closer to the origins of the language through its cultural, historical, and social associations. Thus, you get to know an entire cultural or social system, with references to the lifestyle, geography, history, arts, economy, as well as contemporary sociocultural practices including regional dialects and diversities, clothing style, and culinary practices in that region.
Understanding Intricacies Of Your Own Language
While learning about the culture and the language of a particular region, you tend to compare them with those of your own region. While doing this, you think of the similarities and differences between your native tongue and the foreign one, which leads to a deeper study of your own language and culture as well. Learning a new language also facilitates better understanding of grammar, sentence construction, and overall linguistic aspects of your own language. This will not only improve your linguistic scope, but also help you to analyze and look at your own language in a deeper and different way.
Competitive Edge For Businesses
Multilingualism is a great asset, which is highly valued in this era of globalization. It gives you an edge over others, as you become more equipped to face the global scenario than those who have a limited set of linguistic skills for communication. In an age where business is crossing boundaries, it helps break the barriers of language, and facilitates exchange of information. Business cannot remain limited owing to such barriers, and hence, language experts help to promote and advertise businesses in various countries, using their knowledge of various dialects.
Forging new business ties and contacts for trade in various countries can only be possible for modern language graduates. Job opportunities for such people also include profiles like language translators, interpreters, or travel guides in the tourism business. In the international politics arena, the people who are conversant with the foreign languages have a major role to play, during important negotiations or meetings, and can be well qualified to become ambassadors in outside countries.
As the world comes closer, and all the nations come together to solve world issues, it is very important for people from across the world to understand each other's ideas and exchange information and suggestions. Although English is popularly known as a widely spoken and understood language in the world, it is still not the most widely spoken language, with several nations still not conversant with it. Hence, learning a foreign dialect can be an instrumental step in empowering the global mission for eradication of communication gaps and social misunderstandings in the world.
Never learn a language only with the aim to grab a job opportunity. There are many people who learn a new language for the heck of it. Remember that you have not mastered a language until you can think in it. It is very easy to think in English, allow your brain to translate it into the foreign dialect, and then utter a crude translation of your thoughts. However, the true master of languages is the one who can think in the foreign language that he/she has learned. Mastering a foreign dialect requires you to not only equip yourself with the basic reading, writing, and speaking skills, but also accept the language with an open heart and treat it like your own.