When looking at the list of the top 10 richest people in the world, you will notice a few things. They are all men. 80% of them made their fortune from tech. And 80% of them speak more than one language. Coincidence? Maybe. But in a global world, knowing more than one language is a must when it comes to making a fortune. There are many advantages that learning a language brings to your business edge as well as to your life in general. Take a look below to see a few highlights.
Bilinguals Make More Money
On average, bilingual employees make 5-20% more than their monolingual peers. This principal is true even among the top earners in the world. CNN Money listed bilingualism as one of the top skills that employers seek in candidates for jobs. Bilingualism brings more customers to a business. Employers are looking for people who will add value to their company. Bilinguals are also seen as having a strong work ethic, which is always a quality that employers are looking for as well.
Bilingualism Increases Productivity
Bilinguals have to rapidly switch between two languages in their mind. This constant switching between two languages exercises the mind's ability to switch between two tasks rapidly. Multi-tasking is easier for those who are bilingual which increases their productivity in the workplace. Bilinguals have also been shown to be able to focus for longer periods and thus increasing productivity. If you want to increase your productivity, start learning a new language!
Bilinguals Have More Gray Matter
Learning new things create new connections in the brain. In the case of learning a language, it seems that those connections expand into even expanding how much gray matter is being used. The brain matter is bilinguals is denser. Denser brain matter makes for a healthier brain. The creation of new connections in the brain also slows the onset of Alzheimer's. There are many brain-based reasons that language learning should be top on anyone's list of self-improvements.
Bilinguals Live More
In interacting with bilingual people, they may tell you that they have a different persona that they embody when speaking the different languages that they speak. Some people's voices even change their quality. A woman fluent in Spanish may have a higher more energetic voice, whereas that same woman's voice may change to be lower in pitch and more sing-songy when speaking Portuguese. According to the Czech proverb, “You live a new life for every language you speak. If you only know one language, you only live once.” Bilinguals live more than once.
Bilinguals Travel Easier
Imagine traveling to Europe and not having to ask if someone speaks English. Imagine not having to painstakingly try to explain to a non-fluent English speaker what you need. Imagine being able to ask questions in the language of the locals. Imagine listening to the history of an ancient city in the native language of the people there. Imagine learning about the country's culture from the mouth of its people speaking in their native tongue. How much easier and more enriching would such a trip be? Bilinguals will tell you that traveling is much easier when they know the local language.
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Not sure what plan to choose? Read our article Explore, Improve, Excel, Immerse: What's Your Language Learning Focus?