Learning a foreign language has become essential for almost any career in our increasingly global society.
Do you know the pros and cons of learning a foreign language?
Pros and Cons of learning a new language
Depending on your situation and desires, there are many pros and cons of learning a foreign language. Understanding these considerations can help you make the right choice for your future.
Learn a foreign language or not?
This might seem like an easy question, but it is not that simple. There are several reasons why you might want to learn another language, some of them being career-oriented, but others could be personal or even just because you enjoy it.
Learning a new language is challenging, but the benefits of doing so are numerous.
Let us look at some of the pros and cons of learning a foreign language so that you can make an informed decision about your future.
Pros of learning a new language
Advice for parents: If your child is under 12 years old, you might want to wait before you sign them up for foreign language classes.
The human brain is still developing during the tween and teen years, and it is not likely to retain new information like an adult brain. This goes for any subject but might be particularly relevant for languages.
It is also worth noting that if your child is under 12, it is likely that they will only be able to use their language skill in the future if they travel to the country in which it is spoken.
That said, learning a foreign language is a great skill. It will open doors to new friends, experiences, and job opportunities.
Plus, it is a skill that lasts a lifetime.
Traveling to other countries is easier than ever due to technological and transportation advancements.
Many people plan their trips around the availability of language courses in the area they wish to visit.
Whether you want to visit family or friends, study abroad, or travel for vacation, knowing the language of the country you visit will make your trip easier and more enjoyable.
A common misconception is that you can get by if you know a few words in the language.
While knowing a few basics like “hello” and “thank you” will no doubt help you on your trip, knowing the language fluently will allow you to engage with the people you meet.
You can ask locals questions about where to go and what to do, how long it will take to get there, and even how much it will cost.
Knowing another language can help you build a larger network of people and potential employers than if you only know English.
A foreign language skill will help you not only reach out to people in other countries but also people in your own country.
If you work in sales, marketing, or another field that requires you to meet people, you will be more likely to succeed if you know the language of those people.
You might be able to find a better connection and more easily create a sale if you speak the language.
The modern workforce is filled with people who speak more than one language.
According to a study of major U.S. companies, more than 75% are trying to hire employees who speak a language other than English. The demand for people who can speak other languages is growing.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in language-related fields will grow faster than the national average over the next ten years.
Knowing a foreign language will open up more job opportunities and give you a competitive edge over other candidates.
You could work as a translator in education, travel, or almost any other field.
A major benefit of learning a foreign language is the cultural understanding that comes with it. When you understand another culture, you are more likely to be respectful and thoughtful while visiting.
You can also better relate to your friends, family, and coworkers who speak that language.
Knowing the language not only makes you more employable but also more valuable wherever you choose to live.
Cons of learning a new language
It is hard work
Many people enjoy learning new languages and find it fascinating and enjoyable.
However, some people have no interest in it whatsoever. Suppose you do not enjoy learning new languages and feel frustrated or bored when doing so.
In that case, you might want to reconsider whether you should pursue it. There are many different opinions on how to best learn a new language.
Some people swear by one method while others swear by another. If you do not enjoy it, you will not be successful whichever method you choose.
It takes a LOT of time
Commitment and time required to learn a new language Learning a new language is not a quick or easy process.
Becoming fluent in a language can take between two and ten years. It would help if you were committed to the process and willing to put in the time and effort to succeed.
While there are ways to make the process easier, such as finding a language partner or taking online courses, there is no quick fix.
You must be patient and allow time for your brain to connect the new language and your native tongue.
The benefits of learning a foreign language are numerous and apply to people of all ages.
Whether you want to travel and explore the world more, find employment in a field that uses another language, or have a skill that makes you more valuable, learning a new language is a worthwhile pursuit.
With the right amount of time, dedication, and effort, you can become fluent in a new language!