Multilingualism pays off
DID you know that learning a foreign language can boost your brain in terms of problemsolving abilities and creativity?
While Swahili is essential if you are travelling in eastern and southeastern Africa, learning any foreign language has plenty of benefits, including these three vital areas that will help boost your personal success.
Gives you new perspectives
Learning a language is not simply about translating words and phrases. For example, in English we speak of people as “he” or “she”, but objects are “it” whereas in Bahasa Malaysia, dia can mean all three.
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 problem-solving skills.
Better multicultural skills
A language mirrors the culture of the people who created it, so learning it gives you insight into how other communities think. This process means that you gain a more profound understanding of your own culture too.
It will also give you insight into why you do certain things a certain way and suggest alternative ways of looking at the world.
This is important because it means you gain cross-cultural perspective, which will boost your career.
As adults, we tend to forget what a struggle we had as toddlers to get others to understand us. When you learn a foreign language, it is somewhat like being a child again.
Practising new ways of getting your message across can be frustrating and annoying, but it can also be fun.
Not only is this a characterbuilding exercise, it will also help you become a much better communicator.
When you write an e-mail or create a television advertisement for your company, you will have a fine instinct for what works and what will not.