We’ve all heard that knowing more languages can broaden our working opportunities and would make traveling around the world easier. We seldom think that speaking more than one language can make us connect more deeply with others. Here’s how.
It Leads to Insights of Different Aspects of Life
Susan Ervin-Tripp, from the University of California Psychology department, says in her paper titled Emotion in Bilingualism:
“When we are in situations demanding a change in language, we may have a strong sense of a shift in values and feelings. Some bilinguals even report they have two personalities.”
In this way language can be used to help us appreciate and gain insights into important morals, beliefs and passions. Speaking multiple languages can help us connect with ourselves.
Knowing how to express emotions and love in different tongues can also help you understand the different facets of love, life and happiness. Having insight into these aspects of life can help you connect better with friends and loved ones.
It Leads to A Deeper Understanding of Your Own Personality First
If you are bilingual, you have the ability to relate to yourself in two languages. In a way this gives you two distinct perspectives on your inner self. In a way it allows you to see yourself in different ways and this can result in a better understanding of yourself. By understanding how you work you may also be able to understand how you relate to others. Insight into your relationships can lead to deeper and more meaningful connections
It Heightens Your Ability to Monitor Your Surroundings – People & Environment
Being bilingual appears to improve cognition because the individual needs to wrestle between two simultaneously active language systems. The main distinction between bilinguals and people who speak one language may be a heightened ability to monitor the environment.
“Bilinguals have to switch languages quite often — you may talk to your father in one language and to your mother in another language. It requires keeping track of changes around you in the same way that we monitor our surroundings when driving.” says Albert Costa, a researcher at the University of Pompeu Fabra in Spain.
By being more aware of your environment, you gain insights into how you relate to people and things around you. You’re more aware of others’ reactions and thus you know how to adjust yourself to adapt to the ever-changing environment.
It Enhances Your Creativity in Connecting with People
A study relayed by Medical Daily found that being bilingual helps with problem solving and creativity. The study involved the observation of 120 nine year-old students.
Dr. Fraser Lauchlan, the lead author of the study said that:
“Our study has found that it can have demonstrable benefits, not only in language but in arithmetic, problem solving and enabling children to think creatively. We also assessed the children’s vocabulary, not so much for their knowledge of words as their understanding of them. Again, there was a marked difference in the level of detail and richness in description from the bilingual pupils.”
When you are more creative, you have the capacity to think about yourself in unique ways. This means you can see yourself in original and imaginative ways, which may lead to a deeper understanding of how you relate to people and the world around you.
Speaking different languages can help you gain a unique perspective on your inner self. This can lead to greater insight into who you are. It can also help you lean about how you relate to people and your environment. If you already know more than one language you may have experienced these benefits; if however, you are mono-lingual and you strive to make more meaningful connections with others then you may want to consider learning a new language.