How does being bilingual help you?

How does being bilingual help you?

Cindy Tracy

By the word bilingual, we mean the ability to speak two languages and be fluent. In today's time, when the world is interconnected by different means, being bilingual can be of immense importance. It has some great benefits that cannot be ignored. From developing your brain to getting you jobs, it can help you in many ways. It's not surprising why people are inclined towards learning languages than taking any other subject. The demand for people with language skills is increasing day by day. Many schools have also introduced language as a compulsory subject due to its mind-blowing benefits.

Brain development:

When you have a new language in your brain, your brain grows in size, makes more connections, and learns all new things. Swedish armed forces interpreter academy had a study where students were asked about learning a language at a breakneck pace. MRI scans showed that specific parts of the brain were developing in size because they were learning a new language. Another group was tasked with learning something else. But according to the results, their brain structures didn't change in size at all. So learning a language is great for your brain for several reasons. It also significantly improves cognitive functions. A study found that when you pick up a new language, young adults proficient in two languages performed better on attention tests and had better concentration than those who spoke only one language.

Research has also shown that people who speak two languages have more gray matter in the brain than monolingual people.

Bilingualism can also protect against diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

Enhanced executive control:

The brain's executive control system allows people to organize their thoughts and activities, prioritize tasks, manage time and make decisions. From infants to toddlers to young, middle-aged, and older adults, research has shown enhanced skills in certain areas of executive function across the life span of people who are bilingual.

Better communication skills:

Researchers have shown that bilingual children (as well as children who are exposed to multiple languages but are not bilingual themselves) are dramatically better at understanding a speaker's intended meaning and thus are more effective communicators.

Better problem solvers:

According to research, toddlers who speak two languages perform better on particular problem-solving tasks. The part of the brain responsible for problem-solving and learning starts to work proficiently when it starts switching between languages. According to doctors, "the language centers in the brain are so flexible, learning a second language can develop new areas of your mind and strengthen your brain's natural ability to focus, entertain multiple possibilities, and process information."

More secure futures:

People who speak more than one language are given more opportunities than monolingual people. Language degrees get you a good job quite quickly as nowadays people are searching for such candidates. The pay for such candidates is also high.

Cultural importance:

A new language brings on its culture and traditions with it. When you are bilingual, you start respecting the culture related to the language. This may eventually lead you to appreciate all the other cultures and traditions present all around the world, which can have a terrific impact. When you get involved in a new language, you try to learn more about the cultures. It even makes you understand that people from different cultures have different mindsets and think differently. In short, a new language gives you a unique identity that is much more affectionate towards others.

Learning a new language:

You can try to learn a new language by yourself. Start by taking lectures on YouTube or any other platform where it is readily available. After that, try reading children's books in that language. Finally, try practicing that language as much as possible in public without hesitating. This would help you boost your confidence.

Moreover, try speaking it in front of a native speaker. This could help you in improving your pronunciation and your body language. Furthermore, try to understand the media of the foreign language. For example, watch movies with subtitles, listen to songs and try learning their lyrics.  

Some important languages:

Some functional languages that you can learn are English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, French, German, Portuguese, and Russian. These languages have a worldwide demand that can help you in many ways.

As listed, there are massive benefits of learning a new language. Most importantly, it can be very advantageous for your career, helping you build a bright future. I think all the benefits of learning a new language would be enough to convince you to give it a try. Nothing is complicated. It just requires time. Providing an adequate amount of time to learn can help you be fluent in a language really fast.

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