5 ways in which learning a language will enrich your life

Zu den deutschsprachigen Blogs Man looks at screen while learning a new language
Zu den deutschsprachigen Blogs Man looks at screen while learning a new language

A different language is a different vision of life.
— Federico Fellini

It’s one of the most challenging but rewarding things you can undertake. Yet, learning a language can also feel like an emotional rollercoaster with highs, frustrating lows and tedious plateaus.

If you’re considering taking the plunge but need some extra motivation, we share five ways below in which a new language will enrich your life.

An article from Patrick, a Berlin-based writer and copywriter.

1) Greater cultural awareness

As Fellini states above, learning a new language is like gaining a different vision of life; you are exposed to new cultures, customs and ways of living.

Speaking with locals in their language gives you access to cultural references and connects you on a deeper level. You may even begin to think from different perspectives by using new phrases and vocabulary.

You gain empathy for cultures outside your geographical boundaries. Visiting the country becomes a vivid and unique experience. You’re no longer a tourist but rather an appreciative insider.

2) Increased confidence and personal growth

While the benefits and rewards of learning a language are huge, it’s no walk in the park.

It’s especially tough for adults, for whom it may be their first encounter with formal learning in decades. Apart from the mental challenge, it’s normal to feel humiliated, embarrassed and frustrated as you go through those early teething stages. Your fellow students are in the same boat, although we often think we’re the sole wearers of the imaginary dunce hat. There will be many times when you’ll want to give up and fling your books across the room.

The obstacle is the way.
– Marcus Aurelius

The stoic philosopher and Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180 CE) advises that instead of avoiding challenges and difficulties, we should see them as opportunities for personal growth. Mastering various challenges in life and widening our comfort zones allows us to grow as individuals.

Language learning requires discipline, dedication and courage. But as you progress, you’ll grow in confidence, which will spill over into other areas of your life and enrich your personality.

3) Cognitive health

Along with playing chess, reading, doing puzzles and sleeping, learning a language is one of the best ways to improve your linguistic skills and cognitive functions.

The amount of brain activation involved in learning a language is enormous. You’re simultaneously engaging multiple areas, such as attention, memory, reasoning, organisation and planning. This is a cerebral workout like no other.

According to studies, knowing at least one other language brings benefits, such as greater creativity, improved memory and brain plasticity, improved learning abilities and delayed onset of illnesses such as dementia.

Best of all, learning a language is relatively accessible to everyone and can be started anytime.

4) Greater career opportunities

Companies look for people with multilingual skills in this global and interconnected economy.

A second or third language makes you more attractive to the market and increases your chances of employment abroad. It demonstrates adaptability, communication skills, cultural openness and empathy.

In addition, the ability to communicate with colleagues or clients in their native languages helps build stronger business relationships and makes you a valued employee.

5) More social opportunities

Learning a language gives you more opportunities to meet new people and make friends. And because we humans are social creatures, this makes us happy.

Knowing another language extends your network and grows your pool of potential friends. This could be through business partnerships, language tandems, studying abroad or visiting new countries. Your increased self-confidence and cultural awareness make socialising easier and open up even more opportunities for you.

People often refer to language learning as a journey. Indeed, it’s a lifelong journey of self-growth and transformation.

Now, isn’t that a trip worth taking?