The first words ever uttered by humans go back to around 250,000 years ago, and once our ancestors learned how to speak and understood the concept of language, it wasn’t long until we had many. Language evolution is a very interesting timeline to follow because you learn how humans learned one language to communicate with one another, and different groups of early humans spoke different languages for the sake of convenience. But when business, trade, and commerce started, it became important to know different languages for easier communication. I suppose the origination of bilingualism and even multilingualism started with this purpose and I’d say not much has changed since then in terms of learning new languages. Being bilingual or multilingual is almost a necessity in today’s world because of the amount of reach we have all around the world.
If you’re a parent, you should recognize the importance of exposing your child to different languages and letting them learn languages, based on their interests. It has become crucial for children to be exposed to different cultures because when they grow up, a lot of things become easier when you have that kind of exposure. More and more people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds are building an interest in learning new languages. In fact, approximately half of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual.
Why is this happening? It’s because people are realizing the abundance of opportunities that arise when you know more about the different cultures and languages of the world. How is that? Being bilingual automatically increases awareness of other cultures in the world. You could learn about different cultures by reading as well, but if you learn the language of a certain country or region, you become invested in why they speak what they speak and that is what helps in providing a more immersive experience in terms of fitting into the context of the language.
One of the best things about learning new languages is that it makes traveling so much easier and also more enjoyable. There are no language barriers if you know how to speak the language and you won’t have to spend your time looking through a dictionary just to ask for directions. Now that the pandemic is almost behind us, travel is booming again and people acknowledge that knowing the language of the country they’re visiting not only makes the travel experience better, but it also shows the locals a certain level of respect.
If you want to look at the advantages in a more academic setting, then you should know that there are proven studies that show bilingual children often outperform monolingual children in various subject areas. This is because it improves the literacy of the child and also provides better educational development with a better understanding of social skills as well. These things leave a positive impact on the child and this will only help and improve the child’s cognitive functions and emotional skills in the future. It essentially stretches one’s mind intellectually because there has to be a focus on the structure patterns of the sentences and attention has to be paid to the sound patterns as well. Studies also show that being bilingual or multilingual delays the onset of Alzheimer’s for many.
Being bilingual helps in the job market as well, because it has been seen that there have been increased opportunities (based on the languages you speak) for people who can speak different languages. It is a great asset for multinational corporations and international offices that require a different set of linguistic skills in different branches around the world.
Having linguistic diversity and freedom helps a person express themselves differently because they have that exposure. You will find it easier to convey your thoughts and feelings because you can understand them better. In a nutshell, there’s no harm in learning a new language because it provides so many opportunities in people’s lives. So, the next time you think about picking up a new hobby if you’re bored, why not try to learn a new language?