Friday, February 8, 2013

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The Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

Learning a language can be a tough and challenging task. Many of us have to learn a second language at school and have to pore over heavy text books with long boring grammar lessons vocabulary lists. But studying a language is much more than just grammar and vocabulary. 

Language lives inside us and expresses who we are and what we do. Language is an important aspect of global strategies. It connects us, involves us in international communicational processes and brings us to achieve objectives across borders and in cooperation with foreign cultures. Language makes us grow and provides us with much more than just words.

Being proficient in a second language can:

  • Help you get succeed in your job or even get you a promotion
Many companies are working across borders to increase their economies of scale. Opportunities are waiting for them in other countries where markets are growing and the demand is great. But without multilingual employees, companies cannot grow as fast and have to fear being outrun by their competitors. The search for multilingual staff is not an easy one. This is why it may really help you to learn a second language. You will stand out from the others and really increase your chances on the job market or even inside your own company.
  • Make your holiday in a foreign country more fun
Communicating in the native language of the country you are spending your vacation in may really help you, especially in a country where very few people speak English. Buying train tickets, visiting sights, ordering food in a restaurant or asking for information is much easier if yous speak the native language. Besides faciliating your stay, you might even be able to talk to native people and learn some interesting things about them and their culture. And last but not least, you can read signs and even get yourself out of trouble. Just think of common signs like No Trespassing, Swimming Forbidden, signs indicating bus or train stations or even street signs when you are on the road can really make your life hard if you don't know the language. 

Learn more about the benefits of learning a second language from  Andy Klom, The Head of the European Commission Office in Wales.

  • Help you improve your native language skills
Learning a second language teaches you a lot about the structure of a language and enriches your vocabulary in both the language you are learning as well as your native language. Many languages have the same origin like French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian, which are Romanic languages and thus use many words that are have a very similar spelling. An example would be "to consider" which is "considerar" in Portuguese and Spanish, "considerare" in Italian and "considérer" in French. So just imagine you speak Spanish. If you decide to add another language like Portuguese to your portfolio, you will save a lot of time for learning vocabulary because you have already acquired them before when learning Spanish. 
  • Help you meet new people from another country
Whenever you are traveling, you will get the chance to talk to many different people, whether at the airport, at the beach, at the hotel or at a club or bar. Exchanging travel experiences, talking about mutual interests, learning about different cultures and traditions or even meeting the love of your life. All of this is made possible through language proficieny. 

So what are you waiting for? Use this website to learn about the different ways of learning a foreign language. Our Learning Resources section provides materials for all levels from elementary to intermediate and advanced levels. Our Videos section shows you videos in foreign languages from different TV channels across the world. Feel free to browse, read and inform yourself and most important of all, have fun learning your favorite language!

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