Has somebody asked you, “Why should you learn a foreign language”? Or maybe you have wondered yourself, why should I study a new language? Isn’t my current language knowledge enough?
Today I will give you seven important benefits of learning languages. I believe that these will motivate you to learn more. Read all the reasons, and at the end of the article, I will share you a resource that will revolutionize your language learning. I can easily say that by using that method, you will be learning faster than ever before.
But let’s start with reason 1!
1. Learning a language makes your brain work faster
Studies show that speaking more than one language, makes your brain work better. You will learn faster, your memory will improve, you will have a longer attention span and a risk of age-related cognitive decline reduces. These are just a few of many positive benefits that learning a foreign language will make to your brains and there are much more. If you want to read an example, here is one study which talks about The Cognitive Benefits of Being Bilingual.
2. Learning a language gives you a better salary and job opportunities
If I couldn’t speak other than my mother tongue, I would have missed many international employment opportunities. I have done one internship in Spain, one in Indonesia and currently I am working full-time in Austria. Only God knows where I will be in the future and what language I will be speaking in my job.
Many times language competence also gives you a better salary (see the picture). Or if salary level is not the best in your country learning another language can open new doors for working in a better-paid country. Imagine for example that in Switzerland working in Lidl grocery store your minimum monthly salary is almost 4 000€ (for a full-time worker). Average wages in Switzerland is about 6 000€/month which makes 72 000€/year.
In Switzerland you would be earning 3-10 times more than in many other countries in highly educated jobs. And please don’t start to talk me about high costs of Switzerland. If you live in a country where you earn more, it will cover your costs and more money will be left in your pocket. If you disagree, make calculations with real euro amounts and contact me only after that about this subject ;).
Let me give a simple example. Your net salary in Finland is 2 000€/month. Your monthly costs are 1 500€/month. You have 500€ extra each month. Your net salary is more than double in Switzerland are with a lower tax rate. If your salary would be only double it’s 4 000€/month. Then your daily costs like food is 1.3 more than in Finland according to EU-statistics. But let’s say that your cost would be double compared to Finland which makes 3 000€/month. You will have 1 000€ extra each month. See the difference? And this calculation was not even realistic because the situation is actually much better in Switzerland.
3. Learning a foreign language gives you new friends
I have friends from Spain, Indonesia, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Cameroon, France, China, Vietnam and many other countries. It’s a wonderful to know people from all around the world. It makes my life richer to hear from people about their cultures, families and national habits.
Friendship doesn’t know any limits. You can connect with anyone from anywhere if you have a common language. However, if you don’t have a common language, it’s much more challenging to build a deep relationship.
If you can’t speak the same language as the other, you can also sit down, smile and show thumbs up… But what if you would like to know another person more? What are his hobbies, passions and dreams? Or what does he think about other things?
Speaking the same language makes it way easier. I don’t mean that you should speak the same language perfectly but the deeper relationship you want to create, is more important that you can also communicate with words. I know this from experience. If you try to speak the other person’s language, it can be fun and rewarding to speak together. You will learn something new all the time and meanwhile you are having a good time.
4. Learning a language makes your life way more fun if you are living abroad
I was residing in Indonesia for two months in the spring of 2016. It was a pleasant experience. People were very friendly to me and I am ultimately thankful for my host family, my friends (especially Christina) and to all people at the school where I did my internship. People there were literally awesome!
However, I had one challenge while staying there. I didn’t understand the local language. I had never studied Indonesian before and I didn’t put much effort into learning it because I thought that I wouldn’t need in the future (I am not sure if it was a wise decision because I would have an excellent opportunity to learn it fast while living there).
When local people were speaking with each other, I couldn’t understand what they were talking about. I can always smile and sit there but at some point, it’s boring if you don’t know what people talk. I couldn’t connect deeply with people who couldn’t speak English. I realized that if I could have spoken Indonesian, life would have been even more fun. I could have communicated more efficiently with people and I could have understood what people were talking about.
What do you think? Have you lived abroad without being able to speak/understa74nd the local language? Or have you lived abroad when you understood the local language? Share your experience and thoughts below in comments. Now I am residing in Austria and even though German is easy to learn, it requires some more practice to reach the fluency. I am excited to see how I progress every week.
5. Learning a new language makes your worldview wider
I am just wondering how small my worldview would be if I could only speak Finnish which is my mother tongue. I could not communicate with foreigners, dig into very deep into some cultures and to get information on any other language.
If I would speak only Finnish, I couldn’t have got to know many of my Latino friends who speak Spanish. I have learned from them how important families are in most Latin countries than for example in Finland. In my home country, young people move away from their parents’ house already when they are 18-20 years old. When I was 21, I was the only one in our class who was living with a parent of about 30 students.
In Finland (generally speaking) people are not so close to their family members than for example in Latin America. If I had only known the Finnish culture, I would think that young people must move away when they are 20. Now I know that in many cultures that don’t happen and it’s not even normal.
That’s just one example of cultural differences but of course I could tell much more. When you dig into a new culture, you start seeing your own culture in a new light with new eyes. If you only stay in your own country, you will limit yourself from many interesting ideas and perspectives.
6. More resources available for you -> Learn faster
In my opinion, this is one of the most important ones. Understanding English opens the doors for tons of useful information. Most of the content online is in English. If I could speak only Finnish I would have like 0,000001 of Internet’s information available.
Now because I understanding English, the amount information I can get expands hugely. My Spanish skills give me more opportunities, French skills open more doors and German even more. Every language that I have mastered opens my new doors and new pieces of knowledge.
7. You can dig into new songs, books, and movies
I love some Spanish songs. In my opinion, Spanish is ultimately beautiful language. When I listen to some Spanish songs I enjoy the pronunciation and the feeling that I understand what they are singing.
I don’t know what language interests you but learning it thoroughly, will open many new doors to different kind of songs, movies, and books. I don’t personally watch movies almost ever but watching a good movie in a foreign language is an excellent way to improve your listening comprehension.
When I am learning a new language, I like to listen audio books. Then I am hitting two birds with one stone. I am learning something valuable from the book and at the same time I am learning new vocabulary/grammar and correct pronunciation.
What are your reasons to learn languages?
All humans have many similarities but at the same time, we have slight differences. You may not have exactly same dreams and goals as your neighbor. Also, your reasons to learn languages may be different than mine. Or they can be exactly same.
Tell us why you would to learn a new language? For example, one typical reason can be that your girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband is from another country and you want to learn to communicate with him in his native language. And in many older people don’t speak many languages so if you want to talk with his parents’ you should learn their language.
Let me know your reasons! Leave a comment below.
Want to speed up your language learning process?
If you know my story before I wasn’t really good with languages before but then I found Benny Lewis who revolutionized my language learning. I found a way to learn languages while having fun instead of old and boring ways.
I can wholeheartedly recommend taking a look at Benny’s course “Fluent in 3 months“. It will change the way you learn languages, and you will save hundreds or even thousands of hours of your life because you will learn much faster than before.
I just bought a few Benny’s courses today (26.11.). I wouldn’t recommend you something that wouldn’t work. I know that Benny is one of the best language experts in the world and his methods work. I am using them myself, and I have seen that results are impressive.
Give a huge boost to your brains, worldview and international friendships. Start learning languages faster than ever before.
I wish i had known all these when i was younger, especially the earning potential of those who know more languages! Chinese is another major language used by a large proportion of people around the world. However salaries in China aren’t that high compared to Switzerland.
I learnt Chinese as a second language in school. Although it was quite intense, many of us only have basic proficiency in the language. Or what i like to call market mandarin. We don’t really appreciate the culture etc. so we were not that interested to sharpen our chinese proficiency.
you are right that salaries in China are really not so high like in Switzerland or other European countries. However, I think that if you are able to speak Chinese it can give you a nice boost to your salary depending on your profession. If you have a business that you can market for Chinese people in their native language it can be a huge benefit. There are so many Chinese speaking people in the world so market opportunities are very big.
I don’t know what kind of techniques your teacher used to teach you Chinese at school. I hope they were good and effective. But what I have seen many times is that even though the courses are intensive, teachers don’t always focus for the most important things. Sometimes they concentrate too much on remembering grammar or reading long vocabulary lists that everyone will forget after 1-2 weeks. If one wants to learn a language more effectively he/she needs to concentrate more on natural techniques like listening and speaking in a natural context about interesting subjects.
I wish you all the best for your language learning!
For a long time I have been wondering should I learn some new language or not. I´ve done very good with my english for now, but now I´m thinking of maybe even moving to Spain. For that, it would be very useful to learn spanish, right?
For up this day my personal problem about learning new language have been the thought: “It is going to be hard”. Recently I have have figured out that if you have that attitude in learning or in anything, it IS going to be hard.
So I changed that. Have the attitude to joy while you learn. That is why I liked the way you put it: “If you try to speak the other person’s language, it can be fun and rewarding to speak together. You will learn something new all the time and meanwhile you are having fun.”
I also know for learning a new language will also need proper tools aside with a good partner to train with sometimes. So I will definitely have to look into the Benny’s course “Fluent in 3 months“. Thanks for the advice!
thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have seen that many people have the attitude that languages would be hard for them. One main purposes of LanguagesAreEasy.com is to get rid of those thoughts because what you say is right. If you think it’s hard, it will be hard.On the other hand, if you think that it’s easy most of the time it really will be easy.
Learning is fun. I embrace challenges. While other people complain about hard job or hard things in life, I would like to take many things like life lessons for me. They help me to grow and become better.
Definitely I recommend to take a look to Benny’s course. I have bought his courses myself and I know that his methods work. Paying money for the course also motivates me. When I have put my money in, I want to take all the benefits of the course which forces me to learn. The result is that I learn a lot.
I personally learned Eglish at school. At that time it wasn’ t necessary (or so important) to know English or other foreign languages, but nowadays, in globalization word, I can’t imagine living without understanding at least basic English. I agree with all reasons you listed above. We should know as much languages as we can, but for non-English speaker learning English is “the must”.
I totally agree with you. Learning English is the must. It makes life so much easier especially when you are traveling and meeting new people. In Latin America Spanish knowledge is vital because there people don’t speak English almost at all.
Very bracing text about learning languages! Thanks 🙂 I think that maybe some day I study some new language (Spanish) and go to visit that country. Or maybe get better with German or English) and visit abroad.
That is also a nice tip to listen to some book in a foreign language – then learning is more interesting.
I agree that that culture differences are very nice to know. It is good to know those things when meeting a person from another country.
learning a language with an (audio)book is definitely interesting. I have used it with all languages that I have learned so far. I have, for example, read and listened to the Bible in English, Spanish, French and German. It’s easier to understand the right meaning of the words because of the context. Even though I wouldn’t know what some word means, I can guess it because I have already read the Bible in other languages before.
Yes cultural differences are interesting and sometimes important to know. But even though you wouldn’t know some differences and act strangely abroad, people understand that you are a foreigner and most of the time they will let you know so you learn something new :).
Let me know if you need any tips or help with Spanish, English or German and I will share you some very good resources.
Ok. Sounds good. I have also Bible in English, Swedish and German in books.
Thanks! At least, if I visit Austria next summer, I would like to get better in my German skills 🙂
I like very much foreign languages and am interesting to learn some more someday. And everytime when reading, for example your texts, I get better bit by bit 😉
very good that you have the Bible in several languages! It is definitely “the Book of the books” and a great tool for language learning too. Welcome to Austria!
Yes practice makes progress and every time when you use another language, you get better and better. Never be afraid of making mistakes with languages and I think that you have already learned that thing quite well.
I have friends from Spain online but I speak a little bit of Spanish only. When I read this wonderful article. It brings myself motivated and relaxed. Practicing a language is hard almost. But I try keeping practicing Spanish so that I did a lot of progress by practicing it. I love your article. More power
Learning a language is hard if you think it’s hard. But it’s easy if you think it’s easy. You are what you believe 😉
I have a wonderful resource for learning Spanish. It’s called Baselang. I wish there would be a similar website for learning other languages as well.
After reading this 7 motivational reasons to learn a foreign language, my brain just light up again to continue what I started. I planned to learn a new language a couple of years ago. But due to some reasons, I stopped learning it. Now I get inspired again on what I read. You help me in my dream of learning a new language. This blog is awesome.
Great to hear that I am able to inspire and motivate you to learn languages. With the help of resources that I provide on this website you’ll learn any language you want for sure.
Let me know if you want articles on some specific subject or if you need any help 🙂
This topic is a good motivation specially for those whose looking for something different in their usual everyday life. I wish that I read it since the start it was published. Maybe I also learn how to speak one of those languages mentioned above. Thanks for inspiring me to take some time of my routine to learn new language.
You’ll learn for sure. Just put in the work and I’m 100% sure you’ll succeed.
Thanks to this post, I now have enough reasons for wanting to learn a foreign language. Living abroad and making new friends is something most people never see as a valid reason. But it is valid because it is not about getting a job abroad where language is different but it is all about enjoying your stay there and getting new friends.
I would also want my brain to work faster. 😀 Nothing is more fulfilling than feeling you are intelligent.
Haha true! 😉
I personally think it’s important to learn a new language. It helps broaden your horizon. You get to connect with a person much more emotionally, among other benefits. My native language is Bangla, and I started learning English at a young age. Currently, I can’t say that I’m absolutely fluent in English, but I try my best.
I always wanted to learn a language other than English. The main reason for this is that I have some friends who are of Pakistani origin, and the problem is they have trouble understanding English. So I need to speak Urdu to communicate with them. I have already started to learn a few bits of Urdu online, and I hope to master it!
That’s interesting! I have never heard of Urdu before. Is it close to Arabic?
Yes, it is! Although there are some minor differences.