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Learning a new language could help ya get ahead big-time

 
The English language is pretty common all over the world, and it’s worked well for you so far when communicating in daily life. But did you know that there are more people on Earth that speak Chinese dialects and Spanish than English? And did you also know that by the end of the 21st century, researchers expect 90 percent of the 7,000 languages currently heard throughout the world to be gone or on their way to extinction? Might be time to think about adding another language to that resume, then.

 

Benefits of Bilingualism

Being bilingual makes you smarter – really! Psychologists found a few years ago that bilingual kids can solve more mental puzzles than monolinguals. Because if you know two languages, you’re constantly translating and analyzing situations in your head to figure out which language you should be using, and that makes you better at things like problem solving and concentrating for long periods of time. Another bonus is that you won’t get Alzheimer’s or dementia when you’re older. If you’re constantly making your brain work by using more than one language, it’ll keep it in tip-top shape.

 

Decisions, Decisions

Certain languages are gonna be more useful to you in the long run, and others are gonna be easier to pick up. If you’re lookin’ for something that’ll help you succeed in the future, go for Chinese, Hindu-Urdu, Spanish, or Arabic. They’re gonna be the most common by the time the year 2050 rolls around (or at least, that’s what researchers have predicted). But the easiest ones for an English-speaker to pick up are Dutch, French, Norwegian, Spanish, and Italian. To get a general professional proficiency in one of those, it should take you about 22 to 24 weeks, depending on how intense your study is. Then the toughest tongues to get the hang of are Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Each of those will probably cost you about 88 weeks of learning, so you’ll need a li’l extra patience if you’ve got your heart set on one.

 

Ready, Set, Go!

Besides signing up for classes in a new language, there are a few things you can do to work towards being bilingual. First, you can check at your local library to see if they offer a free online language program, like Rosetta Stone or Mango Complete, for their members. There are also websites, like bbc.co.uk, that have free lessons on different languages. And once you start getting comfortable with your new language, you can check out and mylanguagexchange.com, which partners you with a native speaker so that you can learn their language and they can learn yours.

 

To get more stats on who speaks what in the world, check this out. Have you ever thought about learning a new language? Which one? Blog about it, babes.

BY CARRIE RUPPERT ON 11/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

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