While the coronavirus has caused many negative changes to our daily lives, one positive consequence of quarantine is that we now might have more free time on our hands. That makes today the ideal time to learn a new language.
In this new age of technology, learning a new language has gotten easier than ever. With access to YouTube videos and free apps that can be downloaded to our devices in a matter of seconds, the tools to learn a new language are truly right at our fingertips.
Here are three reasons to pick up another language.
Multilingualism comes with cognitive benefits
Many studies have shown that multilingualism has its benefits when it comes to intelligence. The findings of one study from the University of Edinburgh suggests that learning a second and third language can significantly strengthen cognitive abilities. More specifically, multilingualism seemed to be linked to better scores on tests measuring general intelligence and reading skills.
Not only that, but research has found that multilingualism can possibly delay dementia. Remarkably, learning a language or two now can even singlehandedly be the best measure you can take for dementia prevention! According to Dr. Thomas H. Bak, “bilingualism might have a stronger influence on dementia than any currently available drugs”.
Learn about a new culture
When you learn a new language, you can expect to learn a lot about the culture the language belongs to. Learning about a new culture would help you become a more open-minded individual and can allow you to see the world through a different lens.
For eight years of my life, I studied the Italian language and culture. I remember feeling somewhat uneasy when first hearing about the Italian dessert, “sanguinaccio dolce”, a creamy pudding made from fresh pig’s blood, mixed with sugar, chocolate, milk, and raisins. Being raised in the United States, I found the practice of using blood in a dessert to be very foreign, and quite frankly, thinking about it sent chills down my body. After learning about the history behind this dessert (poor villagers used every part of the animal they slaughtered), I found myself being more accepting of the tradition. In fact, I was able to gain an entirely new perspective. I started viewing the unique tradition as one that is resourceful and even appreciated how it ensures that no part of the slaughtered animal goes to waste.
Open up career options
It is never too early to start thinking about your career options and how you can achieve those career goals. Live Your Dream could help you achieve those aspirations by giving you the resources and mentorship you need to succeed. In addition, learning a new language can be just what you need to help you stand out to future employers.
Trends from recent years show that employers are increasingly looking for workers who can speak more than one language. According to a study, the number of job listings that mentioned Spanish, Arabic, or Chinese as a desired skill increased by a whopping 150%! Why is multilingualism such a sought-after skill? The answer is simple. Knowing multiple languages can help you provide a higher quality of service by enabling you to make more valuable human connections.
With all this newfound free time, the best chance to learn a new language is now. So, during this quarantine, try to pick up that second, third, or even fourth language. Just a few hours of dedication a week can open the door to a plethora of benefits.
Sandra Guirguis is a recent graduate from Rutgers University with a degree in genetics and certification in computational genetics. She is very passionate about medicine and computer science. This passion has fueled her involvement in research dedicated to finding possible genetic links to alcoholism. In her free time, Sandra likes to play the piano, work on coding projects, or spend time with her dogs.