Do We Need to Learn Other Languages?

Photo of a globe courtesy of Creative Commons.

Photo of a globe courtesy of Creative Commons.

As far as history goes back, humans have used a variety of languages to communicate with each other. Learning other languages allows us to experience other cultures and expand our vocabulary. 

For many people, traveling around the world is one of their dreams. Once you’ve learned the language of the country you want to travel to, it makes it much more enjoyable when you can communicate with natives. In France, they love hearing people from other countries speak French. 

“They’re very appreciative of you trying,” Mr. Smith. French teacher at Lewis-Palmer High School, said. “And you just get more out of it because you understand everything, you don’t have to rely on a translator.” 

Another benefit of learning a second language is that you will become better at English. Your vocabulary skills increase, as well as your knowledge of your first language’s rules. 

According to Middlebury Language Schools, becoming fluent in a language besides your mother language “improves your performance in other academic areas.” For example, the SAT and ACT.

Your likelihood of getting hired for a job increases with something as little as knowing a second language. According to Auburn University, “foreign languages provide a competitive edge in career choices: one is able to communicate in a second language.” Your opportunities open up within the fields of medicine, business, law, military, and government.

“If you’re in the military you can earn more money just by speaking another language,” said Mr. Smith. “It immediately doubles every single opportunity you have.” 

When speaking another language, other parts of your personality shine through that are usually hidden when speaking English. For example, some people find that they are more outgoing when they are speaking a language other than English. Whereas others find it to be the opposite. 

“Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift,” Frank Smith said. “Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club – the community of speakers of that language.”