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Why you should learn a new language

Are you taking your second year of Spanish at school? Are you fluent in your mother tongue? Or is English your first (and only) language? No matter your current linguistic level, you—yes, Y-O-U—can learn a new language. From exercising your brain to elevating your resume, being multilingual is a total flex for a variety of reasons.

Cognitive development
To put it simply, learning a new language is good for your brain. Studies show that acquiring new knowledge, such as a foreign language, "works out" the language-related areas of your brain, including the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex. In addition to improving cognitive functions like concentration and memory, learning a new language has been shown to slow down cognitive decline and the onset of dementia.

Exposure to different cultures

Part of learning a new language is taking in the different culture(s) and customs associated with that language! Just by engaging with other languages and consuming foreign media, you can gain a greater appreciation and understanding of cultures different from your own. And, if you're able, traveling to different countries and regions can allow you to fully immerse yourself in the language.

Challenge yourself
Becoming multilingual doesn't happen overnight—it takes hard work, dedication and practice. By setting goals for yourself and organizing a consistent study plan, you can improve your mindset *and* work ethic. You'll inevitably run into obstacles and make mistakes, but you'll be stronger by the end of it.

Career benefits

Putting "polyglot" on your resume is a great way to stand out on an application. For a variety of careers, being able to speak more than one language is a huge plus. In customer service, for example, you are able to interact with customers who don't speak English. If you have big dreams of working overseas in the future, learning a foreign language might be the first step.

It's easy to get started!
Yes, you can start now! There are *so* many accessible language-learning resources out there. If your school offers language courses, take advantage of them. Free apps like Duolingo and Babbel will curate lessons for you and remind you to fulfill a consistent daily goal. You can make flashcards on Quizlet to retain vocabulary words. You can even find workbooks of different levels online to practice your writing skills. And, watching movies or TV shows in a different language can expose you to common words and phrases.

Feeling inspired? Check out these posts for more:
💡 How to be more creative (in five easy steps)
💡 Here's why baking is good for your mental health
💡 21 things to do today that don't require your phone

What language(s) are you learning? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

All GIFs via GIPHY | Slider image: @annacathcart

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by Jinny Kim | 6/14/2022
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