19 Reasons To Learn A New Language In 2019
And if you’ve already made up your mind to learn another language in 2019, what are you waiting for? Skip to the end!
It’s almost the new year, and with that comes the annual dithering over new year’s resolutions. Something about the change of the calendar inspires people to set goals and imagine better versions of themselves. There are so many popular resolutions out there — eating healthier, spending more time with family — but we’re here to convince you that 2019 is the year to finally start learning a language. In fact, in honor of the new year, we came up with 19 reasons to learn a new language. Hopefully at least one of them will convince you to take the leap.
- Let’s start with the obvious: Travel. Whether you’re traveling abroad for a full year, have decided to live in another country indefinitely or are just taking a quick trip overseas, learning the local language should be the first thing you do.
- You’ll be able to connect with the rest of the world. Sure, this is the entire function of language, but it’s still worth remembering. By speaking another language, you’re unlocking a whole population of people you couldn’t speak to before. And if you want to optimize how many people you’ll be able to speak to, you should look at the 10 most-spoken languages in the world.
- Multilingualism is great for your brain. Many studies have looked into the benefits of becoming bilingual. It can help you tune out distractions, become better at multitasking and ward off dementia. You can find more about all the cognitive benefits in our article on the topic.
- Language can help you in your current career. Studies have shown that multilinguals make more money, and speaking another language is a very useful skill in any number of career paths. Don’t know how to put your language skills on your resume? We have a guide to that, too.
- Or language can help you find a new job. There are any number of positions where being bilingual can be handy. We’ve interviewed lots of people who regularly use their language skills in their jobs, from bilingual teachers to U.N. interpreters.
- You’ll appreciate food even more. Sure, anyone can eat paella and enjoy it. But steeping yourself in Spanish culture can enrich your experience of the food as much as any spice can. And if you want to host a French dinner party, knowing the language will definitely impress the guests.
- Multilingualism is sexy. And we aren’t exaggerating here. In a poll, more people said they’d be attracted to someone who speaks multiple languages than someone who has a six-pack/athletic build. This isn’t conclusive, but language skills are definitely something to consider putting in your Tinder bio.
- You can also broaden your dating field with language. While dating in another country can sound cute, it can be tough without knowing the language of the country. By learning the language — and also watching our videos about dating in various cities around the world — you can start a steamy romance abroad.
- You can connect to your heritage. One of the most popular reasons for learning a language is so people can connect to the countries their ancestors lived in. To get started, read our guide on finding out about and connecting with your cultural heritage.
- You can stand out from other Americans. For a whole host of reasons, Americans just don’t speak many languages. Only about 26 percent of Americans are able to speak in another language (and much of that 26 percent are people whose native language isn’t English). Becoming bilingual, then, is a great way to separate yourself from the pack.
- And no, the world isn’t going to become monolingual any time soon. Some people say they don’t want to learn a language because someday, everyone will speak English. But there’s pretty much no chance that everyone in the world will suddenly start speaking the same language. English is certainly spreading, but it will never kill off every other language.
- Language will help you get around without relying on Google Translate. We’re living in a time when translators are becoming better and better. Still, they’re far from perfect, and not having to use one will improve your experience immeasurably. Here’s our full list of reasons for why you shouldn’t rely on Google Translate.
- You can use language for social good. Speaking another language can make you very valuable for working with people. Whether you volunteer at your local library, teach English as a second language or join the Peace Corps, there are so many opportunities to use your bilingualism for good.
- Your role model is probably learning a language, too. Whether you love Shakira, Serena Williams or Bradley Cooper, at least one of your faves is already a multilingual legend. You can even take our quiz to discover who your celebrity language-learning soulmate is.
- You can use it to impress your friends. Let’s be real, at least part of the reason for learning a new language is so you can show it off to your monolingual friends. And maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to convince them to learn a language with you. Like most things, learning a new language is more fun with friends.
- You can do it in your sleep. No, learning through osmosis is not a real thing, but sleeping is a very useful learning tool. Your brain processes memories and solidifies information while you’re sleeping, and sleeping right after you study has been shown to improve retention. So basically, you’ll always have an excuse for a nap when you’re learning a language.
- You’ll be able to ditch the subtitles. TV shows and movies from other countries are becoming more and more popular, and learning a language can help you enjoy them all the more. With popular TV shows in Italian, French, German and other languages becoming available in the United States, there’s so much media you can explore in the language you’re learning.
- You can learn without obsessing about fluency. One of the biggest hurdles to learning a language is this idea that it’s going to take years and years of devoted study. And while it can take a while to sound like a local, you don’t have to learn every single vocab word to learn a language. Even studying just the basics of a language can confer unto you many of the benefits mentioned above.
- You’ll be able to join the Babbel Challenge. If you need a little extra motivation to start out the year, you can join the Babbel Challenge, a month-long event where we help you get started, find a community and really stick to your habit. You can sign up now!
Stick to your resolution this year.