What Are the Benefits of Being Bilingual?
Speaking a foreign language has countless benefits. It’s worth spending the time to master a second language. You’ll quickly see the improvements to your life. But what are they exactly? Here are 7 of the most amazing benefits of being bilingual to motivate you.
Did you know that half of the world is bilingual? Billions of people can speak at least two languages fluently. So, nothing’s stopping you. If you want to experience these benefits of being bilingual, you can start your journey today. In fact, you don’t even need to be proficient to reap these benefits. They naturally happen as you progress.
1. Become Better at Communication
If you love talking to people in one language, imagine how many more you can talk to in two. Even if you learn a language that has a much smaller population of native speakers, you can still communicate with a much larger group of people.
Speaking a second language also makes you better at communication in general. Once you’ve mastered a foreign language, you’ll have insight into how the native speakers think. More empathy and understanding go a long way in your everyday interactions.
It’s also highly likely that you’ll become a significantly better listener. You have learned to work through the nuances and expressions that are very different from your first language, which gives you clues on how to listen more efficiently. It’s only natural that this will spill into your normal listening skills.
2. Grow a Billingual Business
If you own a business, being bilingual comes with a lot of benefits:
- Expand your network: Knowing another language expands your networking opportunities. Even if you can’t offer services and goods to a country where your second language is spoken, you can work with people in your area who do.
- Fast problem solving: Being bilingual makes you a better problem solver. You’ll think faster on your feet, and resolve issues quickly.
- Better reputation: Let’s be honest. Speaking a second language is an impressive quality. This is incredibly beneficial if you want to earn respect.
3. More Career Opportunities
Bilingual employees are more sought-after and respected. Most businesses will hire someone bilingual over a monolingual applicant. Even if the bilingual applicant’s second language is not that common. Companies, especially those with foreign business partners always like to have bilingual staff closeby. This gives them a chance to have a translator or someone with more insight into the culture nurture the business relationship.
There’s also a pay increase when you can speak a second language. This is one of the most direct benefits of being bilingual. Companies will pay higher wages to bilingual employees. Since their skills enhance the brand portfolio, businesses see bilingual people as assets. If you learn a second language, perhaps you can leverage a higher pay from your employers.
4. Travel Is MUCH Better
If you are the kind of person who loves to travel, being bilingual can make traveling so much easier. This is especially true if you travel to a country where your target language is the native language. You’ll have an easier time navigating and getting around. Ditch the tour guides, and enjoy more opportunities for adventures, that only the locals know about. And should you get lost, asking directions from a native speaker will be a much smoother experience if you speak their language.
Knowing the language makes you more independent, which in turn can make the entire trip much more enjoyable. It’s important to add that you don’t need to be fluent to have these travel benefits either. As long as you can manage a basic conversation, native speakers will assist happily. There is nothing like showing an interest in someone and their culture to make them open up and talk.
Perhaps the most interesting perk is that you will probably end up spending less during your travels. You will be able to negotiate and find less costly places to eat and rest. Not to mention better customer service by appreciative locals working in the tourist industry.
5. Bilinguals Have Better Brain Health
Being bilingual gives you better brain health. From improved memory to cognitive abilities, you’ll become a better student and thinker by speaking a second language. You’ll also improve your attention span. The more you exercise your brain, the better you can perform. Knowing and using a second language achieves this in more than one way.
Speaking a second language literally improves your brain too. Bilingual people have a better fighting chance against dementia and Alzheimer’s. Forgetting becomes harder when you’ve trained your brain to commit an entire language to memory.
6. More Options for Entertainment
One of the most enjoyable things about being bilingual is that you can get more out of your daily routine, even without trying. You’ll have more access to foreign media an entertainment. The new films, news, podcasts, and music you can enjoy will also enhance your second language skills.
Then there is how much it can expand what you can watch and enjoy. Websites like Netflix and Hulu give you a lot of foreign films, but sometimes you want something a little less mainstream. If you are bilingual, you don’t have to wait until a provider gets around to offering what you want to watch. You can find your own shows and movies.
7. Being Bilingual Means You Can Help Others
There is something incredibly rewarding about being able to help someone. When you speak two languages you have the ability to connect people. You can do and help in more ways if you speak a foreign language. Knowing that you made someone’s life a little bit better is a reward all on its own. Although this benefit of being bilingual isn’t about you, it can still enrich your life.
Is it Too Late to Experience the Benefits of Being Bilingual?
Anyone can reap the benefits of being bilingual. And you can learn a foreign language at any age. Young children seem to learn languages easily, but adults can just as well. There’s nothing stopping you from achieving your dream of bilingualism. Everyone benefits from knowing multiple languages.
The Benefits Bilingual Children Have
Children who learn a second language have a lot of fantastic benefits they can reap.
- Their ability to learn their own language is accelerated, as are social and cognitive skills. Many of them are also better able to manage their emotions as they learn new perspectives from a young age.
- Children who speak two languages are more culturally accepting, a distinct advantage with globalization.
- Many bilingual children are better able to focus.
The Advantage of Being a Bilingual Adult
While children seem to have an innate ability to learn multiple languages, adults have more doubts. Past teenage years, adults develop a sense of failure and anxiety from language learning. But don’t let that deter you. In fact, adults have a better ability to understand the logic of grammar. That can significantly help when learning a second language.
How Seniors Benefit from Being Bilingual
One of the best benefits of learning a new language as a senior is that it helps to keep your mind sharp. You have the time to dedicate yourself to learning, and it keeps you from feeling like your time is wasted. There is also evidence that suggests being bilingual in your later years comes with the health benefit of reducing your risk of mentally deteriorating diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Take Your First Steps Towards Being Bilingual
There are a number of different ways to learn a new language. The best option is to find a language learning program you enjoy. With a reliable foreign language app that uses proven language learning strategies, you can fast track your journey to fluency.
OptiLingo can get you to fluency fast. By presenting you with high-frequency words, you can learn how the locals speak. OptiLingo’s learning resources teach you about the culture and society of your target language, while the app will help you master the language. Most importantly, OptiLingo gets you speaking the language, not typing. Because practice is the only way to fully reach fluency. So, are you ready to experience all the benefits of being bilingual?
Try OptiLingo today to discover why it’s the best way to learn a new language!