Four Reasons You Should Learn a Second Language

Skylar Wooden and Katie Butler

December 23, 2017

This topic goes on plenty of bucket lists. We always feel like we should learn a second language. Why? Because it’s a fun, new skill. True; but, learning a second language is so much more.

Many people speak English, inside and outside the US. Even if you travel, you will find English speakers in the big cities.

So why bother? With tools like Google translate, why would learning a second language be necessary at all?

1. To Communicate with an Entirely New Group of People

While many speak English, many don’t. Each language you learn, you open yourself to a new group of people you would have never otherwise spoken with, especially while traveling abroad. Imagine all the people around you with big personalities and interesting stories that you could experience, if only you spoke their language.

Can you imagine having a meaningful conversation via Google translate? We can’t.

See also: Why I Dropped Everything To Teach Abroad

Pro tip: Duolingo’s app and website are fantastic for learning a language.

2. To Become Even More of an Asset to your Company

Speaking a second language will always be an asset, regardless of whether your company has locations in other countries. If your job is based in customer service, you will likely run across customers whose first language is your second. Customer service is all about going above and beyond; here’s your chance.

Living in the US, you’ll find that companies love employees who sign ASL and speak Spanish. Adding one of these as a skill will bring your resume to the top of the pile.

Pro tip: Use Meetup to find language groups in your area.

3. To Understand a Culture on a Different Level

Language is a large part of any culture—the nuances, the humor, the feeling. Anywhere you travel, if you speak the language, you will find yourself more in tune with the people around you. As a bonus, you can speak with the locals to find the best restaurants. Food is always a bonus. In any situation. Always.

4. To Keep Your Personal Development Moving

Learning a new skill keeps you sharp, keeps your resume growing, and creates opportunities. Every new skill you add to your repertoire adds a bit of confidence and gives you that competitive edge we mentioned. Investing time (and money, at times) is always a good practice.

See also: Three Ways to Invest in Yourself

Do you speak another language? What are your best resources for learning a language? How has speaking a second language enriched your life?

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