Is learning languages worth the effort?

Published 19th October 2017
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To those of us who speak more than one language, the benefits of multilingualism are clear. But for those who are contemplating learning a new language, here are some reasons why you should:

The ability to address people in their own language will be useful in your career, and will help you to gain overseas contacts with greater ease than your monolingual colleagues.

The BAFTA-winning Welsh journalist Huw Edwards recommends speaking another language for the following reasons: “During my career I have interviewed people of many nationalities and know that being able to address them in their own language is a great help.

It puts the interviewee at ease and makes the conversation that follows (even if that is conducted in English) much more relaxed. We all need to develop extra language skills because they are essential in our multicultural society. As a Welshman I also feel strongly that we should celebrate and respect the world’s minority languages.”

Speaking another language allows you to experience different cultures, and to escape the tourist routine. How better to explore a country than by asking a local where to visit? It sure beats paying over the odds in the usual tourist attractions!

Knowing another language helps keep your brain active. In the same way that exercise boosts your body’s power, mental exercises such as learning a language do the same for your brain.

Original versions of many literary classics and films will become available to you. For example, have you ever wondered if the original version of Le Dîner de Cons was funnier than the recent Hollywood re-make? (It is, in case you’re wondering.)

These are just a few of the myriad reasons to learn another language. If you still need convincing, then why not just do it for fun? Taking evening language classes can be a great way to pass the time, and you could end up making lots of friends in the process!

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