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The Power of Multilingualism: Why Learning Different Languages Matters

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

In our multilingual world, relationships are more crucial than ever. Knowing a second language can always provide you an advantage in an increasingly globalized world. Plus, this is an easy skill to pick up during your free time. This skill will not only help in your life and career but will also help you show off to your friends and co-workers!

One of the major benefits of knowing a second language is the chance to advance in your career. Being multilingual can provide you a distinct competitive advantage over your monolingual peers. No matter your industry or degree of competence, they are among the top eight talents needed for all professions, and the need for multilingual workers is surging. According to New American Economy, Not Lost in Translation: The Growing Importance of Foreign Language Skills in the U.S. Job Market, March 2017, p.2., the quantity of American employment advertisements targeted specifically towards multilingual individuals more than doubled between 2010 and 2015. Employers are looking for experts who can serve and sell to a sizable community of foreign-born customers at home as well as serve and sell to clients in new and expanding international markets. Language proficiency frequently results in hiring bonuses and higher compensation as an added incentive. Regardless of your career goals, by adding language proficiency to the mix, you stand out from the competition.

Our capacity for interpersonal connection is yet another wonderful component of the human experience. It is a wonderful privilege to be able to communicate with someone in their own language. In both their personal and professional life, bilinguals have the exceptional potential to communicate with a wider spectrum of people. No matter where you are, speaking the language makes you a local, expanding both your real and figurative horizons. Communities will influence how you are. You will be moved by people's generosity. You will make friendships for life. You will reap the benefits of learning languages for many years to come just for these reasons.

Author Side note: To share a little personal experience, as a foreigner living in Malaysia, being multilingual has helped me more times than I could’ve imagined. I am not a native English speaker, so learning English has always been a priority in my family. With English being one of the most spoken languages in the world today, I can see why my parents helped me learn this language. Growing up learning how to speak English, has become such a habit and way of life, that I know it as well as the back of my hand. Only after coming to Malaysia did I realize how much of a jeopardy I would have been in had I not known how to speak English.

Malaysia is a diverse country where, at any given moment, you will find a group of people of multiple nationalities. Knowing how to speak English will help you mingle with them. If not for socialising, then merely ordering food at a restaurant, asking how much a product is, or where to find the toilet (Tandas in Malay) – knowing a second language is very handy.

Being able to fluently speak English has helped me communicate better with my peers, my professors at my university, my colleagues at work, and even my roommates!

In addition to the above advantages, it also enhances memory. Your brain's processes become more active the more you use it to pick up new skills. Your brain is forced to become accustomed to new vocabulary and grammar norms when you are learning a new language. It enables you to hone your memory so that you can recall new words, connect them, and utilize them in context.

Learning a second language can help you gain insight into various cultures in addition to increasing your chances of getting a good job or moving up in your career. You will be better equipped and more self-assured to travel the world and discover other cultures.

That being said – one of the mistakes I made before moving to Malaysia to study, is not properly learning Malay. Seeing that my university has so many international students, I assumed that English would suffice. Even though it does, it is always wise to learn the language of the country before moving into it. Sometimes at local restaurants, it is quite difficult for me to order food since all the staff speak Malay. So, I just point at pictures of food and nod. Yes! It is as embarrassing as it sounds! However, over the last four months that I have been in Malaysia, I have picked up a lot of words here and there that have helped me communicate with the locals a little better than before. So, I definitely suggest learning as many languages as you can.

For the majority of nations, a serious issue is a lack of integration. The linguistic barrier is usually at blame for this. People who live outside of their native nations wind up being lonely and only interacting with neighbours who speak the same language as them.

The ability to participate in a community with a different culture and learn more about our surroundings is made possible by learning a second language.

We strongly advise you to begin learning a new language as soon as you can in life. However, you can learn at any age! The world is changing quickly, and in order to keep up, we must acquire new skills, learn more about ourselves, and a new language.



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