Benefits of Learning Another Language

Mango_colorThere are many reasons why it can be beneficial for you to speak, read, and write a foreign language. Luckily for you, the McAllen Public Library is a great place to start! If you’re learning English, we offer free ESL classes. Just give us a call for more information. If you’re learning any other language, we can help you with that too! Our “Digital Resource of the Month” for July is Mango, which is an online program with lessons for learning over 70 languages. All you need is a McAllen library card!

Why is learning another language a great idea? There are lots of reasons!

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Your Career

Being fluent in another language gives you an extremely valuable and useful skill that is great to have on your résumé. It gives you a skill that not all other applicants will have, and it will enable you to communicate with more people. Employers want staff that can reach and serve as many people as possible. If you become completely fluent, you can also help your company or organization have signs in that language, a website in that language, etc. This really gives you an edge as a job applicant. If your career is your main reason for learning another language, you should choose the language strategically, based on the needs of your area.

Travel

Learning a foreign language also makes traveling to any country that speaks that language much easier. Navigating your way around a country you’re not familiar with can be stressful, but speaking, reading, and understanding the language will make it easier. Whether it’s anything from wanting to communicate with a new friend, or wanting to file a police report about a stolen wallet, speaking the language makes it easier. It also gives you a deeper understanding of the local culture. (Nothing gives you a linguistic taste of a culture better than learning some local slang and curse words!)

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Your Brain

As many studies have shown, it’s great mental exercise to learn another language! It helps develop your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and helps you deal with abstract concepts. It also makes you able to adapt to new situations more easily, and keeps your brain sharper as you age. What’s not to love about that?

Connection and Appreciation

Speaking another language will help you connect with other people and other cultures. You can make more friends, and better understand and appreciate the world around you. It will open up whole new worlds to you. It will also help you understand and appreciate your own culture better, and how we are part of a global community. It does this by giving you a taste of an outsider’s perspective on your own culture. As this article says, it’s like trying to understand what a bus is if you’re riding inside it but have never seen one from the outside.

Popular Culture

Want to check out the latest telenovela that you’ve seen billboards for? The latest Latin pop hit on the radio? All the Bollywood films that Netflix recommends for you? Sure, you can read the subtitles for a foreign film and enjoy music without understanding all the lyrics. But understanding at least a little bit of the language and culture will help you appreciate the movies, shows, and music on a whole new level.

 


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