5 Benefits of Learning A New Language

I have been living in Sweden for almost three years now. One of the many things that took me a bit of time and is still taking me a bit of time ๐Ÿ˜ด to get used to is the language. In my previous post on my life in Sweden after two years, I already mentioned a few things about Sweden and how having to learn a new language though not so difficult but of course, was very boring to me๐Ÿ˜•. In Sweden the official language is Swedish and it is compulsory for anyone who has decided to live or work in Sweden to be able to speak Swedish fluently. In my article on 5 tips on moving to Sweden from Nigeria, I shared some names of foods and vegetables in Swedish and tips on how to start with the language. However, today I will be sharing 5 benefits of learning a new language. These benefits is not particular to Sweden alone. The tips I will be sharing will be useful for any new immigrant (newbie) in any country where they speak a different language from your native or official language. Maybe if I had kept these tips somewhere at the back of my mind, it would have gingered me to learn faster and be better especially on those gloomy days when you are so not interested in the language thing and really really want to quit๐Ÿ˜“.

Listed below are my top 5 benefits of learning a new language and being bilingual. I hope you can find one or two things to learn from it.

1. Meeting new people - If you are learning in a group setting. You will have new friends to speak with and share your new language with. As an example, here in Sweden I learnt the language in a school. In that school I met with people from different parts of the world (India, Ghana, Mexico, Eritrea, Cameron, USA and lots more). Apart from meeting new people, you are able to learn from them as well in terms of their country, culture, etc. Learning a new language has made me to make new friends from various parts of the world.

Friends from My Language Class (L-R: Mexican, Pakistan, Me and Indian)

2. Employers love it - If your CV accolades include fluency in a second language, your chances of getting that job will be high. Here in Sweden, most of the jobs require that you are fluent in Swedish. However, I have seen adverts of some jobs that says you have to be fluent in both Swedish and English, Sometimes being fluent in just one language might not do it for some employers but once they see that you are bilingual. It sometimes keeps you on edge with other competitors.

3. You become smarter - Lets talk about the brain. Being bilingual improves your memory and increases your attention span. According to a research conducted by Julia Morales of Spain’s Granada University, learning a second language helps to develop your brain especially in the area of storing and retrieving information. I am actually a witness to this research because when I was learning Swedish, there were a lot of times that I needed to switch between English and Swedish. There were also a lot times when people speak Swedish to me and I reply with English (simply because my Swedish has k-legs๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜†). I really don't now how the brain processes all those infos. All I know is that learning a new language has developed my brain in a different way and I have become smarter too๐Ÿ˜(if I don't hype myself, who will๐Ÿ˜‹)

4. Better Listening Skills - This is also related to the brain. Learning a new language makes the brain to work really hard because the brain has to distinguish between different types of sounds in different languages. This would lead to improved listening skills. This is very true and it has happened to me a lot. Your ears have to be on fleek (widely opened) when learning a new language because people speak in different ways. There are also different accents and you can't be saying ehn ehn (what did you say) all the time. Like I said before, I really do not know how the brain does it but I know that my listening skills are now better than before.

5. Travel and Leisure*flips hair*Yes learning a new language will allow you to explore the world better. As an example if you speak French or Spanish fluently. You will have the opportunity to travel to at least 40 countries. If you speak Spanish, you have the opportunity to explore countries like Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela,etc. If you speak French, you also have the opportunity to explore countries like Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo amongst others. You will have a better experience as you can effectively communicate with much more people, which will ultimately open up your mind and put things into different perspectives regarding the different cultures of whatever country you are visiting.

Overall, there are a lot of benefits if you are bilingual. Even though, I am not perfect yet in my Swedish, I have been able to be a partaker of one or two of these benefits. I still cannot say the process of learning a new language is an easy one because it wasn't the best time for me. However, being bilingual is definitely beneficial and will certainly broaden your horizon.

I hope you enjoyed reading this piece from me. Until next time...๐Ÿ’‹