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12 Surprising Benefits of Learning a New Language That You’ll Experience

12 Surprising Benefits of Learning a New Language That You’ll Experience

Learning a new language is a big deal.

You’re learning a completely new form of communication, and it enables you to communicate with people you never could have before.

But there’s benefits to learning a language that you might not have expected when you started the journey. I’ve personally experienced this having learned 3 languages in my life (Korean, English, and Spanish).

Think about the effect that losing weight has on someone’s life. While most people get into it for a healthier lifestyle, there can be surprising benefits like increased confidence, being more outgoing, and increased mental clarity.

The same thing can apply to language learning.

In this article, we’ll share the 12 surprising benefits you’ll experience when you learn a language.

1. Learn anything faster

Learning a new language is mental agility training at its best. The exercise in cognitive problem solving can without a doubt be applied to almost any problem we want to solve in other areas.

Your memory retention is also improved when learning a new language. Absorbing and retaining more information can significantly shorten your learning curve, because you can spend more time learning new information instead of re-learning something you’ve already learned before.

But it doesn’t stop there. Once you learn a new language, not only are you able to learn other languages faster (simply due to understanding the process), but you’ve already retained key skills for learning several other languages without even knowing it.

For example, if you recently learned how to speak Spanish, you’ve automatically entered the world of languages from the latin root, such as Portuguese, Italian, French, and Romanian. In fact, between these languages there are over a thousand words that are exactly the same, if not very similar to each other.

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    Notice the similarity of the words between these languages.

    2. Improve your math skills

    For those of us who didn’t grow up with natural talents in mathematics, no need to fear.

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    A study was done at Massachusetts in 2007, where The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages stated that:

    “Children who study a foreign language, even when this second language study takes time away from the study of mathematics, outperform students who do not study a foreign language and have more mathematical instruction during the school day.”

    In another study published in the University of Michigan’s Language Learning journal (Armstrong and Rogers, 1997), students who studied just one semester of a foreign language for just 90 minutes per week scored significantly higher in maths and language arts.

    If you think about it, it makes sense. Learning a language involves a structural and logical process, which is the same type of thinking that makes you thrive in mathematics.

    3. Become a better listener

    This is a skillset that comes in handy for any situation throughout our lives.

    If you’re trying to build a real connection with anyone, there’s nothing better than intentional listening without interruption. This is one of the key elements taught in Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

    When learning a language, there’s no choice but to train yourself to listen carefully, because you’re trying to make out every accent, pronunciation, and tone used by the other person. And if you’re just starting out, you’re forced to listen because you can’t speak the language!

    Most importantly, learning a new language helps you step into the shoes of people different to yourself and see the world in a completely different way— therefore developing empathy for others.

    4. Enhances your focus

    In a study, published online in the journal, Brain and Language, individuals who spoke more than one language were observed through an fMRI, while performing word comprehension tasks.

    Results showed that multi-lingual individuals were better at filtering out competing words than one-language speaking individuals. This ability to tune out competing words benefits in blocking out distractions to focus on the task at hand.

    As your listening skill improves, it only makes sense that it enhances your focus as well. Just like learning any new skill, learning a language requires your full, undivided attention. One slight distraction can mean the difference between one meaning and a completely different one.

    Over time, your brain will be trained to maintain this level of focus.

    5. Boost your confidence

    When we set out to achieve something and find success, it boosts our confidence levels — no matter how small the progress.

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    Even being able to carry a 30-second conversation with a native speaker can make you more confident, because you know it’s something you wouldn’t have been able to do before.

    “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” — E.E. Cummings

    I still remember the “aha moment” I experienced when I was living in Medellin, Colombia. I was living with a roommate who couldn’t speak a word of English when I first moved in. After a few months of using Rype to learn Spanish, I was able to get to a conversation level of fluency. It amazed me how I was suddenly able to speak to someone that I couldn’t have fathomed speaking to before.

    Needlessly to say, as the language barrier disappeared, our positive perception of each other increased dramatically, and so did our friendship.

    This confidence boost only pushed me to learn more, engage with more native speakers, and it translated into more confidence in every aspect of my life.

    Author of Lean Forward, Eric Holtzclaw, states that it is powerful how even a tiny change in perspective can pull you out of a funk and give “you the boost you need to take on that next challenge.”

    6. Prevents potential brain diseases

    Improving our health is something that should be a priority for every one of us, no matter how old we are. Most of us consider improving our health in a few major areas, like our physical appearance. But we tend to miss out on the most important part that runs our entire body — the brain.

    We are nothing without the vital functions of our brain, and we need to prioritize its health like we would with any other vital organ in our body.

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      When it comes to the brain, learning a new language can prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by 4.5 years. This is a far more powerful than the best drugs which only delay the symptoms by 6–12 months.

      The American Academy of Neurology has performed studies showing that speaking more than one language increases the amount of neural pathways in the brain, allowing information to be processed through a greater variety of channels.

      7. Improve your English (or native language)

      We discussed how learning one language can help you pick up not only other languages, but familiarize yourself with languages originating from the same root.

      What most people don’t mention enough, is that it can also help you improve your native language.

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      According to an Impact of the Second Language Education study, studying a second language alone will significantly improve your first language skills in areas relating to grammar, reading, vocabulary, and speaking skills.

      This makes sense because learning a new language allows you to understand the structures and breakdown of a language, whereas this is something you likely intuitively picked up when you learned your native language.

      8. Increase your creativity

      Language learning is a lot like putting together the pieces of a new puzzle.

      You understand several, but not all of the words that are thrown at you, so you have to force yourself to be creative and fill the missing gaps on your own.

      creative-brain2

        This research concludes that bilingual individuals have a more “out of the box” thinking approach than monolingual individuals.

        While most creativity training occurs in waves (meaning on and off), there’s no taking breaks when you’re having a conversation with someone. You either have to force yourself to become creative in your interpretation and speaking skills, or you’ll need to face up to the awkward silence that follows.

        9. Culturally knowledgeable

        Language learning is not only about communicating in a foreign language, but it’s about experiencing a new culture.

        The first reason is that meeting foreign people is embedded in the core of language learning. In order to practice and improve your new language, you’ll need to work with a language teacher, use conversation exchanges, or attend language meetups. This is similar to how you need to just ride the bicycle instead of watching videos about it: it’s just part of the process.

        The majority of conflicts between people in the world come from a lack of understanding of the other side. Studying a new language not only helps you understand where the other person is coming from, but the cultural knowledge you gain can help others feel more connected to you.

        10. Open up new career opportunities

        In the past decade, we’ve experienced a rapidly growing trend of globalization. With the Internet era, there is no such thing as doing local business. Nearly every business that opens up today is an online business, and has the ability to reach a global market in seconds.

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          Big corporations are working fast to expand internationally to Asia, Europe, and South America, and understanding a foreign language will in the future likely become as standard as knowing Microsoft Word.

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          Irene Missen, a language specialist at a top recruitment agency, Euro London, says that languages can open doors for you, and estimates a language can add between 10% and 15% to your wage.

          When it comes to advancing your career, it’s critical to leave no doors closed. Learning a new language takes time, and it’s far better to learn it before you need it than to be unprepared at your next job interview.

          11. Experience a new way of traveling

          This is a big one, and often one that’s hard to understand unless you know another language.

          For example, learning how to speak Spanish before you visit Spain for the first time, will give you an entirely different travel experience versus not knowing the language. When you can speak the language of the place you’re traveling to, you’re no longer dependent on the typical tourism tips that you’ll get from Tripadvisor.

          You can even use websites like Rype, which connects you with native speakers all around the world to teach you Spanish, to get real-life experience.

          Screen-Shot-2016-03-07-at-9.12.10-AM

            Instead, you can build relationships with the locals, and discover restaurants, hot spots, and excursions that tourism websites will never be able to share with you.

            You get to experience the new culture from the eyes of a local, instead of a tourist.

            12. Deepen your relationships

            Almost everyone who comes from a different cultural background can probably empathize with this point. With my limited ability to speak Korean, I struggled growing up with Korean family members.

            Luckily, I was able to improve my skills over time (surprisingly, from learning Spanish). But I constantly see people who struggle to have that connection with their family members, friends, or even life partner, because of this language barrier.

            As we shared in this post, the majority of the world’s problem comes down to communication problems. And there’s no bigger barrier to communication than the languages we are able to speak with each other.

            Over to you

            Which of these surprising benefits resonated with you the most?
            What method will you take advantage of to learn these languages? Will it be Rype? Conversation Exchanges? Meetups?

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            Published on November 9, 2018

            How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

            How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

            Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

            Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

            So, are you ready? Here we begin.

            6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

            When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

            1. Spreadsheets and Databases

            Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

            To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

            In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

            • Microsoft Excel
            • Microsoft Access
            • Statistics
            • Data Analytics
            • Adobe Campaign
            • Quickbooks
            • XML Database management system
            • Filemaker Pro
            • MATLAB
            • Hive
            • FORTRAN
            • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
            • SAS

            2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

            Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

            Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

            • Content Management System (CMS)
            • Google Analytics
            • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
            • Email Marketing
            • Web Page Design
            • WordPress
            • Digital Media
            • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
            • Campaign Management Software

            3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

            A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

            • Adobe Photoshop
            • Adobe InDesign
            • Adobe Illustrator
            • AutoCAD
            • CorelDRAW
            • Microsoft Visual Studio
            • Maya
            • Microsoft Word
            • Microsoft Publisher
            • Operating Digital Cameras

            4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

            The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

            To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

            • HTML
            • C/C++
            • Java
            • Python
            • XML
            • UI/UX
            • LINUX
            • CISC and RISC architecture
            • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
            • Memory Management
            • PCB Layout
            • SQL

            5. IT Troubleshooting

            Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

            So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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            • Backup management
            • Diagnostics
            • End User support
            • Client-Server management
            • Installation and configuration
            • Issue tracking system (ITS)
            • System administration
            • Tech support

            6. Enterprise Systems

            Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

            Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

            The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

            Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

            Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

            Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

            1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

            a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

            Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

            Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

            b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

            This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

            c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

            Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

            Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

            2. Rule the Social Media World

            a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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            Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

            From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

            b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

            This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

            c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

            Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

            Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

            3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

            a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

            From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

            b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

            Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

            The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

            c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

            The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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            4. Live and Breathe Creativity

            a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

            It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

            From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

            b. Canva Design School

            From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

            c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

            62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

            d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

            The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

            Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

            5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

            a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

            IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

            It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

            b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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            The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

            Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

            The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

            • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
            • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
            • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
            • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
            • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
            • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
            • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

            Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

            Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

            1. Practice, Practice, Practice

            It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

            Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

            2. Work on Your Efficiency

            Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

            For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

            3. Look for Shortcuts

            Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

            4. Apply for an Internship

            Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

            By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

            How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

            The Bottom Line

            Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

            So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

            Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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