Learning a foreign language
DID you know that learning a foreign language can boost your brain in terms of problem solving abilities and creativity? While Swahili is essential if you’re travelling in eastern and southeastern Africa, learning any foreign language has all kinds of useful effects, including these three vital areas that will help you boost your personal success.
Gives you new perspective:
Learning a language isn’t simply translating. For example, in English we speak of people as “he” or “she” but objects are “it” whereas in Malay “dia” can mean all three but in German, Frau (“woman”) is feminine and Man (“man”) is masculine but Mädchen (“Girl”) is neutral.
One knock-on effect is that forcing your mind into new ways of thinking boosts your creativity and your problem solving.
Better multicultural skills:
A language mirrors the culture of the people that created it, so learning it gives you an insight into how other communities think. This process means you gain a more profound understanding of your own culture too. It will give you insight into why you do certain things a certain way, and suggest alternative ways of looking at the world.
That’s important because it means you gain cross-cultural perspective – something that will boost your career.
We tend to forget what a struggle we had as tiny tots to get others to understand us. When you learn a foreign language, it’s like being a kid again. Practising new ways of getting your message across can sometimes be frustrating but lots of fun. Not only is this character building but it will help you be a much better communicator.
When you write an e-mail or create a television commercial for your company you’ll have a good instinct for what works and what won’t.