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8 Compelling Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language

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There are so many reasons to learn a foreign language and zero reasons not to acquire this useful skill. Read on to discover eight reasons why you should start learning a foreign language today!

Language gives understanding and context to cultural traditions and norms

Language gives understanding and context to cultural traditions and norms (Photo credit: poissonenciel, Depositphotos.com)

This story is brought to you in partnership with Rosetta Stone.

1. Gain a better understanding of other cultures.

Language is the key to truly understanding another culture. Language Magazine says, “A particular language points to the culture of a particular social group. Learning a language, therefore, is not only learning the alphabet, the meaning, the grammar rules and the arrangement of words, but it is also learning the behavior of the society and its cultural customs.”

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2. Prevent or slow Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.

According to Alzheimers.net, “speaking two languages requires a specific type of brain training and switching between two languages requires a specific type of attention. That part of the brain, if exercised, may be what delays certain types of dementia.” Now, that’s a good reason to give the gift of language to someone you love!

Learning a foreign language helps prevent or delay dementia

Learning a foreign language helps prevent or delay dementia (Photo credit: creatista, Depositphotos.com)

3. Language skills can boost your career.

Language skills can open doors for workers. WorkItDaily says, “For companies that regularly deal with international clients, bilingualism is an extremely attractive trait in a candidate. They like having an employee on hand who can engage clients with relative ease. Bilingualism also appeals to companies interested in entering new markets, which is becoming increasingly common in this age of start-ups. Simply put, speaking a second language can help your resume stand out in a sea of qualified applicants.”

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While residents of many countries speak multiple languages, most Americans do not. In this article published on JournalismAtWMU.com, the author says, “other countries are becoming multilingual and the U.S. is falling behind leaving American students linguistically illiterate and culturally incompetent.” Don’t be left behind and learn a language today!

Speaking a foreign language can increase business opportunities

Speaking a foreign language can increase business opportunities (Photo credit: Rawpixel, Depositphotos.com)

4. Speaking a foreign language improves emotional intelligence.

It’s not just raw IQ that determines success. Equally important is emotional intelligence, the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships empathetically. According to two recent studies, it appears that multilingual speakers demonstrate increased empathy. This story by the SundayReview states, “Multilingual exposure, it seems, facilitates the basic skills of interpersonal understanding.”

Increase empathy by learning a new language

Increase empathy by learning a new language (Photo credit: apid, Depositphotos.com)

5. Discover a new side of your personality.

This article by Quartz Media explains something I thought was unique to me. When speaking another language, a different side of your personality may emerge. As an American foreign exchange student living in France, some friends teased me that I had a totally different personality when I spoke French than when I spoke English. I was more reserved, quieter and I even spoke in a higher voice in French. Turns out, I was revealing my French side. The author says, “When you learn a new language, you’re not just memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules—you also have a chance to tap into new parts of your identity.”

Rosetta Stone helped me feel more confident speaking French in my former college town of Montpellier, France

Rosetta Stone helped me feel more confident speaking French in my former college town of Montpellier, France (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

6. Improve understanding of your native language.

When I tell people that I was a French major, I am often met with giggles and sarcastic comments like, “What a useful subject! How’s that working out for you?” Very well, merci beaucoup. I use my French skills every day, in a way. As a blogger, I write for a living. Reading, writing and speaking French has given me a better understanding of my native tongue, English. I bet I understand the root meanings of words and structure of sentences better than most people who have not learned another language.

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The Telegraph says, “Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure. This makes you more aware of language, and the ways it can be structured and manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator and a sharper editor and writer.” So there!

Learning a new language makes it easier to meet and communicate with people when traveling

Learning a new language makes it easier to meet and communicate with people when traveling (Photo credit: bst2012, Depositphotos.com)

8. Make travel easier and more fun.

My favorite reason to learn a new language is to make travel easier and more fun! This study shows that vacationers actually tend to enjoy their trips more during the planning phase, than during the actual travel phase. What better way to enjoy and prepare for your trip than by learning some of your destination’s language?! Having an understanding of the local language makes getting around and communicating easier and less stressful, too.

RosettaStone.com

It’s also the polite thing to do. Locals always appreciate when travelers at least make an attempt to speak their language. This means you’ll be more warmly welcomed at restaurants, stores and elsewhere at your destination. Plus, you just may strike up some fun conversations and make friends. Moments of true connection with others are the stories we tell back at home and remember long after the vacation has ended.

Rosetta Stone makes it easy to learn a new language

Rosetta Stone makes it easy to learn a new language (Photo credit: Rosetta Stone)

Start learning a new language today!

Rosetta Stone helped me brush up on my French skills before a recent trip to Paris with my kids and now my whole family is using Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish before our month-long stay in Mexico this summer. Are we fans? Si! Read my full review of Rosetta Stone for families now!

Rosetta Stone giveaway ~ Reasons to learn a foreign language

Subscribe to Rosetta Stone online language learning program to learn a language today! Choose from any of their 28 languages like Spanish, French, Italian, German and Mandarin. The intuitive system is easy to follow and fun to do.

Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language

Save these reasons to learn a foreign language

Be sure to keep this list of eight reasons why you should learn a foreign language for future reference and motivation. Just pin the image above to Pinterest. Go ahead and follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

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Can you think of other reasons why you should learn a foreign language? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: I received a free Rosetta Stone subscription plus monetary compensation related to this story. 

 
About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments
  1. Jennifer Williams says

    I would go with Italian or Japanese! 🙂

  2. Susan Christy says

    I’d like to learn Spanish.

  3. Joseph Fleming says

    The local language is the best way to communicate.

  4. Cynthia C says

    I would love to learn Italian and travel to Italy to discover my roots.

  5. Flyingkids says

    There’s been plenty of research affirming the cognitive benefits of learning a new language. This is such a great post.

  6. Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly says

    My mom worked as a UN interpreter when she was younger and speaks a ton of different languages, I do not have nearly as many under my belt. I took French in school, still hoping to visit France someday! 🙂

  7. Sara Sullivan says

    I’d love to learn Spanish!

  8. Vera Sweeney says

    I think learning another language would be beneficial for travel reasons and for business. It may impress the foreign businesses you’re slated to work with, as well with carrying on conversations in the host country. Rosetta Stone has been on the forefront of foreign language teaching.

  9. Melissa Chapman says

    I speak Hebrew and it was so helpful when I went to Israel recently on a press trip. I agree that learning and speaking the language is the polite thing to do and improves your ability to engage the people and take in the culture.

  10. Kim Croisant says

    A very important lesson here. I would love to learn German. I hope my son will want to learn another language as it’s so important in today’s society.

  11. I’m thinking Spanish might be the one I’d like to learn better.

  12. Nidhi Chauhan says

    I am always ready to learn new language but this time I want to win this for my sister-in-law. she recently have moved here in USA. She really can get help learning American English using Rosetta Stone. This would be a nice welcome gift for her family.

  13. This was very interesting. I did not know that learning a second language could prevent or slow Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. I did learn Spanish and had the opportunity to use it throughout my professional career. So many great things result from learning a second language.

  14. Amy Desrosiers says

    I wish I had this when I was taking Spanish in college. I bet it would have been super helpful!

  15. Sarah Bailey says

    I’ve heard so many people say how good Rosetta Stone is, I have to admit I dislike that I cannot speak another language, I have enough trouble with English though! But I might try one day and see if I can at least learn to speak it without having to write it.

  16. Mary Beth Elderton says

    I’d love to learn Spanish! I am from Texas and am embarrassed that I don’t know Spanish.

  17. Tracy Shafer says

    I would love to learn Spanish

  18. Kayte CookWatts says

    I would love to learn Spanish. I took two years in high school and loved it.

  19. I would like to learn French well enough to visit a French speaking country.

  20. Theresa says

    I am trying to relearn my high school French before he head to France this summer. I would choose the Rosetta Stone French program first, but next year I am hoping to start learning Spanish as well.

  21. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says

    I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish since as a native Filipino speaker, I have been exposed to the language since my childhood. I’ve looked into Rosetta Stone before and thanks to this very helpful post, I might just look into it again 😉

  22. Jaque Richards says

    Spanish. I live in a border state and would love to be able to communicate with my neighbors. 🙂 Thank you.

  23. Heather says

    My niece used Rosetta Stone to learn another language before studying aboard for a semester. Putting yourself in the mix with native speakers is important, but Rosetta Stone is a trusted program to give a solid foundation for a language.

  24. Toni | Boulder Locavore says

    Learning a foreign language sounds fun and interesting! I would love to check this out.

  25. Lisa Brown says

    I would like to learn Italian

  26. Michelle says

    Hard to choose–I’d love to learn French, but I’m also interested in Swedish, Arabic, and Japanese! If I were to choose a language for my kids it would probably be Spanish. 🙂

  27. Kelly D says

    I would like to finish learning Spanish. I took several years, but I never finished. I have a couple of others I am interested in too.

  28. mami2jcn says

    I already speak Spanish but my kids don’t. I would like for them to learn Spanish.

  29. Kristen C says

    french!

  30. Julie Fields says

    I want to learn Spanish. I tried in high school but never became fluent.

  31. Bonnie Lee says

    I would love to learn Spanish or French.

  32. Heather Cranmer says

    Though I’d love to learn Korean, Japanese, or Gaelic, I’d go pick learning Spanish. Where I live, there are a lot of Spanish speakers, and being bilingual is a plus.

  33. I”d like to learn Spanish!

  34. Spanish is probably the one I would get the most use out of. I don’t see ever needing French or German, unless I was moving to Canada.

  35. Heather Arnould says

    I would learn Spanish or brush up on my French.

  36. I would love to learn Dutch since my fiance is Dutch and I think Dutch sounds very romantic!

  37. Nicole Lancaster says

    I would like to learn German with Rosetta Stone.

  38. Tammy Horn says

    I would like to learn Spanish.

  39. I would love to learn French!

  40. I would like to learn french. Mandarin and japanese if they have it.

  41. Laurence Price says

    I always wanted to learn Spanish.

  42. I would love to learn French

  43. doug g. says

    I would like to lean German. I love the sound of their language!

  44. Christina Almond says

    I would love to learn Bulgarian as I’ve been trying at it from time to time but I don’t know if Rosetta Stone offers it. I would otherwise choose Turkish!

  45. John OBrien says

    French – my wife’s family over there speaks it at home.

  46. Christina Gould says

    I’d like to learn Spanish with Rosetta Stone. Thanks for the giveaway!

  47. Angelica says

    I would love to learn Spanish, my hubby wants to learn Hebrew.

  48. Sandi Tymchuk says

    I would like to learn Spanish.

  49. Valerie L says

    German or Spanish

  50. Eileen Mendoza Loya says

    I am semi-fluent in Mandarin and Spanish. I would love to have complete fluency, including learning how to read and write Chinese. If there was any other language I would love to learn, it would be Italian. I agree with all of the benefits you listed, and other than those, learning a new language is always a fun experience!

  51. Theresa Jenkins says

    I would like to learn Italian

  52. I would love to learn Spanish or mandarin.

  53. Tabathia B says

    Probably spanish, french or even japanese

  54. Surinder gurm says

    Spanish please

  55. Would love to learn Spanish.

  56. Wendy R. says

    Spanish for me! I know just enough to get myself in trouble and confused. I’d love to finish learning!!

  57. I would like to get Rosetta Stone for Korean.

  58. Angela Klein says

    My daughter wants to learn Chinese (she wants to travel there), son wants to learn Korean (because of Taekwondo and now he wants to travel there), and I want to learn Spanish!

  59. elizabeth miller says

    My daughter wants to learn latin over the summer. I took it when I was in school and it really helped through high school and college entrance exams so it would be great for her.

  60. Marlene V says

    I would like to learn spanish.

  61. I’m learning German and it is fun to learn an unfamiliar language and the challenges that come on the way.

  62. Kim Henrichs says

    I would love to learn Italian!

  63. Annamarie V says

    I think I would learn Spanish, our best friends live in Mexico and we spend a lot of time there.

  64. Jeff Kidwell says

    I would love to learn Japanese

  65. Theresa C. says

    I’ve always wanted to learn Irish or Scottish Gaelic!

  66. Catrina H says

    Learning Spanish would really help me.

  67. Priscilla Bryant says

    Spanish would be my choice

  68. Lauren H says

    Spanish

  69. I’d love to learn Latin American Spanish. I know a lot of people from Mexico and it would be great to speak with them in their first language!

  70. Diana Rowe says

    I took Spanish when younger (a long time ago!) – and I’d love to really dig in and learn. I’ve heard great things about Rosetta Stone.

  71. Spanish. Started to learn it in uni, but never got very far.

  72. Greek

  73. Wanda B says

    I would love to learn Spanish.

  74. gayle b says

    I would start with French. I married into a family where a lot of french is spoken but I barely speak a word. I always feel like I’m at a disadvantage. This would be most helpful in the work place as well & no doubt when travelling

  75. Maegan Morin says

    I would like to learn french!

  76. cyndi br says

    I would like to learn Italian and Japanese

  77. Darlene Carbajal says

    Spanish and Russian.

  78. Nancy Roberts says

    Italian or Greek – or in fact improve my French which I can read better than I can speak!

  79. simone T says

    I would love to learn Spanish (and pirate). Thanks!

  80. Carolsue says

    I’d like to learn Spanish since so many people speak it where I live.

  81. I would like to learn German.

  82. Spanish

  83. Francesca says

    It’s not important which language(s) I’d like to learn because I’d be winning this for my daughter. She’s been begging me for at least 3 years to teach her to speak Italian (I was once fluent). I definitely need a refresher!

  84. Stefanie G says

    I would love to learn Spanish! It’s always been a goal of mine.

  85. Michelle Hill says

    I think I would like to learn Spanish.

  86. Ann Hoag says

    My husband is from Germany and he is always trying to teach me German, so I would pick German.

  87. Keeley Sullivan says

    I would like to learn Spanish, it is my heritage but I never learned it.

  88. Rose Santuci-Sofranko says

    I’d like to learn any of my nationalities languages: Italian, German or Polish. Thanks and God Bless!

  89. Sarah Cool says

    I would love to learn Greek

  90. E. Johann Anderson says

    I would love to learn Russian, Mandarin, Arabic and of course Swedish and Norwegian.

  91. tallcapp says

    I would want to learn Spanish and have heard that Rosetta Stone is effective.

  92. Tara Woods says

    I would like to get Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish.

  93. Laurie Emerson says

    I would like to learn Spanish.

  94. I would like to learn French.

  95. I would love to learn Italian! I have taken a few Spanish classes in college, so hopefully that will help the Italian go more smoothly!

  96. Leah Shumack says

    I would love to learn French and Italian!

  97. Jennifer S. says

    My husband might need to go to Germany for a few years for work so I definitely want to learn German to make it easier if we moved there.

  98. Robert D says

    French for sure!!!

  99. Kelly Burba says

    I would love to learn Spanish and Gaelic.

  100. This would be for my grandson, and he is an OTR trucker who says he comes in contact with many drivers from other countries who have been brought over because of the need for drivers here. Right now he is most interested in Russian (apparently there are a lot from there).

  101. Michael Bratek says

    I would love to learn Spanish, i hear so many people speak it and i want to too now.

  102. Sher Kurwa says

    German or Spanish! Thank you!

  103. stephanie a mcglothlin says

    I’d love to learn Spanish as I am about to become a nurse in Texas! Thank you for the opportunity!

  104. Ellen S. says

    Spanish would be most useful.

  105. Julie Hawkins says

    I would like to learn Italian.

  106. Amy Deeter says

    I would love to learn more Spanish

  107. Stephanie Shipley says

    I would love to learn Spanish!

  108. Trisha McKee says

    I would love to learn Spanish.

  109. Buddy Garrett says

    I would love to learn Spanish.

  110. I would like to re-learn Japanese

  111. Lauren U says

    I really want to learn Spanish and Chinese.

  112. Susan Marina Brown Lane says

    I would like to learn Spanish!

  113. I would like to learn Italian.

  114. Vikki Billings says

    I would love to learn Italian or Spanish!

  115. I speak Spanish and French. I would like to learn Cantonese because it’s one of my ancestral languages.

  116. BRYAN E. says

    I need to brush up on my Spanish !

  117. Philip Lawrence says

    I would like to learn Spanish with it since that will become even more important to know within the USA.

  118. I would love Italian.

  119. Stephanie Grant says

    I would love to learn German!

  120. Cassandra D says

    I would like to learn French.

  121. Very genuine reasons, I like them.

  122. With almost all the country’s speaking English nowadays, Thank you for reminding me that the Elementary class of French i took in high school is not all a waste.. will keep on polishing on the little i know..

  123. You have charted out some very interesting reasons to learn a foreign language. I really didn’t know language learning could have any great impact on Alzheimer’s Disease. This blog is truly informative and I like the way you have stated all the facts. Thanks for sharing this blog.

  124. I would love to learn French & Spanish

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