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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

7 Ways Learning a Language Will Make You a Better Person

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.

      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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      Last Updated on March 30, 2020

      What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

      What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

      If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

      So, what to do in free time?

      Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

      Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

      1. Reading Files

      Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

      Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

      2. Clear out Inbox

      Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

      If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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      3. Phone Calls

      Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

      Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

      4. Make Money

      This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

      If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

      5. File

      No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

      But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

      Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

      6. Network

      Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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      7. Clear out Feeds

      If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

      8. Goal Time

      Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

      If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

      Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

      9. Update Finances

      Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

      Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

      10. Brainstorm Ideas

      Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

      11. Clear off Desk

      Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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      Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

      12. Exercise

      Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

      13. Take a Walk

      This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

      It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

      14. Follow up

      Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

      When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

      15. Meditate

      You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

      Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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      16. Research

      This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

      If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

      17. Outline

      Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

      18. Get Prepped

      Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

      You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

      19. Be Early

      Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

      Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

      20. Log

      If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

      Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

      More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

      Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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