8 Reasons to Learn a New Foreign Language (Now!)

There are so many reasons to learn foreign languages and zero reasons not to acquire this useful skill. And the best time to start learning a new language is today! From cultural understanding to improved memory and beyond, read on to discover eight reasons why studying a different language is beneficial.

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.

Travel Mamas and Grownup Getaways sometimes receive compensation and/or hosted travel and sample products related to blog posts. This story may include affiliate links for which we receive a small commission at no extra cost to consumers. As an Amazon Associate, we earn money from qualifying purchases.

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.”

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

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!

Speaking a foreign language can increase business opportunities
Speaking a foreign language can increase business opportunities (Photo credit: Rawpixel, 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.”

While residents of many countries speak multiple languages, most Americans do not. According to American Academy President Jonathan Fanton in an EducationWeek article, “While English continues to be the most commonly used language for world trade and diplomacy, there is an emerging consensus among leaders in business and government, teachers, and scientists that proficiency in English is not sufficient to meet the nation’s needs in a shrinking world.” Don’t be left behind in a world full of language skills!

Increase empathy by learning a new language
Increase empathy by learning a new language (Photo credit: apid, 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.”

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)

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. 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.”

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 and quieter. I even spoke in a higher voice in French. Turns out, I was revealing my French side.

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)

6. Improve the understanding of your native language.

When I tell people that I was a French major, I am often met with giggles and rude 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 travel writer, I use language to earn a living. Reading, writing, and speaking French have given me a better understanding of my native tongue, English. I bet I understand the root meanings of words and the structure of sentences better than most people who have not learned another language.

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!

The gift of language is great for a special trip
Learning a a new language brings more meaning to travel (Photo credit: anyaberkut, Depositphotos.com)

8. Make travel easier and more fun.

One of the best reasons 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 they do during the actual travel phase. What better way to enjoy and prepare for your trip than by learning some of your destination’s language?

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.

Having an understanding of the local language makes getting around and communicating easier and less stressful, too. 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 trip to Paris with my kids and then our whole family used Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish before a month-long stay in Mexico. Are we fans? Oui and si! Read my full review of Rosetta Stone for families now!

Subscribe to Rosetta Stone online language learning program to learn a language today. Choose from any of their 25 languages like Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Mandarin. The intuitive system is easy to follow and fun to do.

Rosetta Stone giveaway ~ Reasons to learn a foreign language

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Need another reason to learn a new language with Rosetta Stone today? Save $10 on your Rosetta Stone Lifetime Subscription, when you sign up using this special link just for Travel Mamas readers!

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Save money on your Rosetta Stone subscription (Photo credit: dibrova, Depositphotos.com)

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 below to Pinterest. Go ahead and follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language

Can you think of other reasons to learn a new language? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: I received a free three-month Rosetta Stone subscription plus monetary compensation related to this story. I love Rosetta Stone so much, I later purchased the Lifetime Language subscription myself.


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  1. 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.

  2. 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..

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

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