It’s not news that we live in a very big world with tens of billions of people from different parts of the planet. Numerous languages are spoken worldwide; a nation like Nigeria has several languages which also have dialects. Man has to relate with its environment. Mother tongue is therefore not enough to access countless opportunities in the whole wide world. There’s a huge benefit of being bilingual; it is even better when you are multilingual. The main languages spoken in the world are English and French. It is cool when you add Spanish to your English or French. There are several benefits when you speak ‘wa-zo-bia’ fluently as a Nigerian. As a foreigner, try saying ‘Danke’ when you are in Germany, you’ll see the kind gestures that will follow. Here are some benefits of learning and speaking a new language. It goes thus:
- It can improve your competitiveness in the job market: learning and knowing a new language makes your resume stand out and can boost you to the top of the interviewees’ list with potential employers. Many multinational companies have international offices, sell their products abroad and have production facilities in other countries. Versatile employees are then employed to help with multilingual consumers home and abroad which is a significant opportunity for the growth of the business.
- It opens up social and cultural opportunities: knowing how to speak another language helps you interact with different people and understand their culture. This gives you opportunities to make friends, explore different hobbies and helps you understand your favorite foreign music, movie, and literature. Imagine you are a Spanish speaker, an Enrique Iglesias’s work in his native language would give you more understanding of its content.
- It improves problem-solving, multitasking and decision making: studies have shown that bilingualism can improve brain functions like the ability to focus attention and perform mental tasks. It helps in problem-solving and creativity. People who can speak more than one language can process information more efficiently and easily. It can also be of help in making rational decisions. According to scientific research, humans are said to use less than their brain capacity. While not put your brain to more use by learning a new language.
- It will help in traveling: learning a new language makes it easier to relate with people when you visit a new land. You feel more secured when you speak a local’s language even when you are not fluent in it. Locals will appreciate your effort to speak their language. This will eventually lead to many opportunities. It displays greater respect for their culture and enhances your prospects of meeting new people.
I believe you will consider taking up a new class in Patois, Japanese or Swahili. Learning Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo will do you good in this part of the world. Let me say ‘Siyabonga’ for reading this piece. My South African folks definitely know what’s up.