It is common knowledge that there are between 6,500-7,100 languages currently being spoken around the world. But how many of you know that India is one of the most multilingual countries in the world? We’re guessing not many. Advantages of Being a Multilingual
The World Economic Forum has ranked our country fourth on the list of the leading multilingual countries, with over 456 different languages spoken here. What does this mean? That a majority of Indians are well-versed in more than one language.
Does learning new languages serve purposes beyond that of communication? We’re glad you asked because there are many advantages of being multilingual besides the obvious ones. In this blog, we plan on exploring five of them in depth. Ready to get started? Let’s go!
1. Gain expertise in your first language.
You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.
These words, stated by the renowned writer and journalist Geoffrey Willans, have more truth to them than what appears on the surface. But how could learning a new language have any impact on the one you already know? Allow us to answer that!
Every language has its own grammar rules that you must learn first to know how sentences are built, right? Well, when your brain analyzes these rules for a new language, it automatically deepens its understanding of the grammar and language structures of all languages.
That’s just how our brains work; think of it as a game. The first mobile game you ever play has to be the toughest, but the ones that come along afterward keep getting easier; language learning works the same way as well.
2. Sharpen your memory and multitasking skills.
While the first advantage might sound interesting to some of you, we doubt most of you would learn a new language just to improve the ones you know already.
Well, you needn’t worry because we have several other fairly appealing Advantages of Being a Multilingual up our sleeves; we’re only getting started.
Another edge that multilinguals have over monolinguals is of possessing stronger memory and multitasking skills. Let’s focus on the first skill first.
It is no secret that learning a new language proficiently involves memorization of many diverse things, right from vocabulary to the rules of grammar, syntax, and other language features. Doing all this will undoubtedly polish your memorization skills, making you better at retaining things you see, read, or hear once.
Now, let’s get to the second skill. How many of you are familiar with code-switching? It’s a process where you alternate using two different languages in a single event or conversation.
Code-switching puts both the left and right hemispheres of our brains into work simultaneously, thereby improving their joint working efficiency. This leads to both a better grasp of multitasking as well as improvement in your problem-solving abilities.
3. Grow your professional network.
As you learn a new language, you’re also exposed to the culture, history, and ideologies associated with it. In other words, the knowledge of a language also opens up your path to better understanding the mindset of its native speakers.
It helps you understand different perspectives better than before, which paves the way for the growth of your professional network. As a multilingual, you’ll notice how you find it much easier to interact with professionals from different industries, regions, or nationalities.
And in this day and age, where the whole world is slowly turning into an interconnected global village, having a diverse, wide-stretching professional network is more beneficial than ever before.
As a multilingual, you can reach out to prospects on the other end of the world and build lasting international business relationships by breaking language barriers. That has to prove advantageous to your profession, doesn’t it?
4. Be a better decision-maker.
Decision-making is something all of us have suffered from at some point in our lives, be it for an important, once-in-a-lifetime decision about career and life partner choices or the smaller ones about trivial purchases, holiday destinations, and so on.
So, when we say that Advantages of Being a Multilingual make better decision-makers than monolinguals, you’re bound to wonder why, aren’t you? We’re going to break it down for you.
First and foremost, the constant shift between languages that multilinguals go through on a daily basis is known to enhance their cognitive flexibility. It ultimately helps them formulate more creative decision-making strategies.
Multilinguals are also adept at handling communication challenges in diverse domains, which boosts their problem-solving abilities and makes them better decision-makers.
In addition to these, their efficient memory, better attentional control, and broader perspective all support them in their decision-making endeavors. Does it still seem unbelievable to you?
5. Protect your brain from cognitive decline.
How many of you are aware of what Cognitive Decline means? This term refers to the gradually reduced capacity of your brain’s functioning in terms of thinking, reasoning, memory, and other cognitive aspects.
While the leading reasons that cause cognitive decline include brain injury or neurodegenerative diseases, aging has an inevitable role to play in it as well.
Now, none of us can prevent aging no matter how much we try, but there have been several psychological studies that establish that multilinguals can delay their cognitive decline to a much later phase of their lives than monolinguals.
For those wondering why this happens, there’s a clear answer:
Think of your brain as your body; if you exercise regularly, your muscles will stay intact for much longer, preventing you from a range of physical problems. Our brain works the same way; it requires mental exercise to stay sharp.
And as you can gather yourself, learning a new language provides your brain with both rigorous and all-inclusive exercise.
Become a Multilingual with FLT!
As we’ve reached the end of today’s blog, we hope to leave you with much more wisdom about multilingualism and its advantages than you started out with.
Keeping these advantages in mind, we wouldn’t be shocked if your interest in learning more languages to become a multilingual yourself was renewed. This endeavor has been highly simplified today, especially with the aid of the internet.
However, while you could use all the free resources at your disposal for language learning steadily, to do it quickly and efficiently, you’d require an expert helping hand. At FLT, we provide exactly that: professional certification-based training in not one or two but for foreign languages – French, German, Swedish, and Spanish. To learn more about these courses, head to our Course page today