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7 Ways Learning a Language Will Make You a Better Person

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7 Ways Learning a Language Will Make You a Better Person

Learning a language is known to have many benefits, but did you know that it will make you a better person?

For any bilingual or ‘trilingual’ individuals reading this, we can often take these benefits for granted since it becomes a norm after a while. But if you’re learning a new language or aspiring to learn a new language, keep these benefits in mind to keep you motivated during the journey.

Let’s start with…

1. Learning a Language Will Improve Your Relationships

The first reason for this is because most people today have friends, co-workers, customers, or even family members that speak another language as their native tongue. This is a massive transition from twenty to thirty years ago, where we didn’t live in as much of a multilingual world.

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There’s no better way to improve a relationship with someone than to speak their language.

Another reason is that studies show bilingual people have two different personalities[1] — one when they’re speaking their native language (i.e. English), and another when they’re speaking the other language (i.e. Spanish). This may seem opposing at first, but this allows bilingual individuals to become more empathetic to a more diverse group of people.

2. Learning a Language Will Improve Your Memory

Studies show that bilingual children have a better working memory than a child that can only speak one language. While most of the memory is developed when we’re young, adults can still reap the benefits that come with being bilingual.

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    The University of Edinburgh has also found when studying the benefits of language learning in the brain, that most of the subjects were adults!

    3. Learning a Language Will Make You More Money

    Learning a language has shown to add between 10–15% to your wage, according to language specialist recruitment agency, Euro London.[2]

    According to The Economist, these are the breakdowns by the most useful languages to learn for annual bonuses:

    • Spanish — 1.5 percent bonus
    • French — 2.3 percent bonus
    • German — 3.8 percent bonus

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      This means that you can make an additional $50,000 to $125,000, just for knowing how to speak a foreign language!

      4. Learning a Language Will Make You Sexier

      A 2013 survey found that 79% of adults find being able to speak a second language a more attractive trait than speaking a single language.[3]

      This also depends on what language you speak and who you’re speaking with of course. For example, French was considered the sexiest language, followed by Italian, then Spanish, then English.

      5. Learning a Language Will Advance Your Professional Career

      Over 60%+ of companies around the world have difficulty expanding internationally due to language barriers. Surveys show that employers value employees who can speak more than one language, and the more valuable you are in the marketplace, the more likely you will have additional opportunities to choose from.

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      6. Learning a Language Will Delay Diseases

      When it comes to the brain, learning a new language can prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by 4.5 years.[4] This is a far more powerful than the best drugs which only delays the symptoms by 6–12 months.[5]

      The American Academy of Neurology has performed studies finding that speaking more than one language increases the amount of neural pathways in the brain, which is why it’s effective in preventing the most common brain diseases.

      7. Learning a Language Will Improve Your Native Language

      According to the Impact of the Second Language Education, learning how to speak a second language alone will significantly improve the grammar, reading, vocabulary, and speaking skills of your first language.

      You can think of it as learning how to play baseball when you’ve been playing tennis your whole life. It’s a different sport, but the muscle coordination and athletic abilities directly translate to accelerate your learning curve.

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      Reference

      More by this author

      Sean Kim

      Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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      Published on September 21, 2021

      How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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      How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

      The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

      In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

      1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

      Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

      But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

      Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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      Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

      Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

      While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

      Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

      2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

      At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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      Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

      Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

      Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

      McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

      From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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      3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

      An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

      McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

      Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

      Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

      Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

      So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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      The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

      If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

      Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

      Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

      Reference

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