STORY BY SHAEFFER SMITH
It’s been a long, challenging 14 years learning Spanish.
I’ve grown from proudly counting to 10 to living and learning in a country that only speaks Spanish.
I’ve had my ups and downs in my career, struggling with conjugations and translations that just didn’t turn out quite right, but now I am studying in Salamanca, Spain, working everyday to improve.
I am so grateful to be immersed in Spanish, challenging myself everyday, and I think that everyone should be doing the same.
Learning another language has a ton of advantages, both personally and professionally, but these are my top five reasons why you should learn another language:
1. It makes you stand out when applying for jobs. It is extremely important to companies that they are able to assist their audience.
With such a diverse population in the United States, there are many people who may not speak English. Especially with international companies, you may be faced with clients, customers or partners that speak another language, and if you are able to communicate with them, not only will you stand out to an employer but also to whoever you are working with.
2. It’s easier when traveling. If you ever want to travel to another country (which you should), you may not speak the language.
It is easy to get lost in another country, and what would you do if you couldn’t communicate with anyone?
Sure, a guidebook would help, but the ability to speak another language, especially colloquial, is unbeatable.
3. You can make really cool, interesting, different friends. Being able to communicate with people in another language opens up your social and cultural circle.
Making friends who speak another language or are from another culture open us up socially.
Personally, I have learned a lot from my Spanish friends and have a different kind of connection with them than my English-speaking friends.
4. It is great for your brain. Studies have shown that learning another language is great for your brain.
It is possible to offset brain diseases and keep you sharp. Thinking in another language is a challenge as well as great brain exercise.
5. You can help others. If you think about the population of the United States, a great portion has little to no knowledge of English, making it difficult for them to find jobs or help or able to communicate with others.
If you can speak their language, you will make a difference in their lives because they will feel like someone understands them for once.
Although learning another language is difficult, it is never too late to start learning and making a difference in your life or in somebody else’s. Challenge yourself to learn more because it has many social, cultural and personal benefits.