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Why Everyone Should Learn to Speak Another Language

Many people around the world speak more than one language. In fact, more people worldwide speak multiple languages, 60 percent, than people who only speak one, 40 percent. Learning another language opens doors by allowing people to communicate with those they couldn't previously understand and provides expanded job opportunities.

Learning another language improves memory, enhances creativity, and strengthens the ability to problem-solve. Research states that those who know a second language are better at evaluating, creative problem solving, cognitive flexibility, or adaptability.

Besides, speaking a foreign language allows people to connect with other cultures. Even though English is the international language and many people worldwide can speak English, a person speaking English cannot connect with a culture in the same way that someone speaking the language of the culture can. Languages are a big part of cultural identity. Unless someone is a native speaker, they identify with their native language more than with English.

Being bilingual can improve someone's social life due to the simple fact that it allows them to talk to more people. In addition, people who learn a language later in life can improve their social skills differently. When a person knows a new language, they almost always improve their communication skills.

Learning another language can help people get a job. More and more employers are looking for people who speak multiple languages. This is especially true for specific job fields such as customer service, hospitality, health care, information technology, and administrative work. More and more employers are doing business with customers and clients worldwide and need employees who can effectively communicate with diverse groups. In the United States, where many speak Spanish as a second language, learning it can help increase pay, marketability, and salary.

Speaking another language is also suitable for travel. It can make life easier in a non-English-speaking country. For example, most travelers who only speak their language resort to the "point and hope" method of ordering food. However, knowing the local language means being able to order specific foods they like or want to try. Also, locals generally love helping foreigners in their language journeys. It's a fun way to bond and build rapport.

There are many places where most people can speak more than one language. In the Nordic countries and the Netherlands, nearly everyone is bilingual in their native language and English. In Hong Kong, many people are trilingual, speaking Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. In Quebec, almost half of the population speaks English and French.

Speaking another language also impresses people. Over 6,000 singles from 11 countries were asked what trait they found most attractive. Around the world, three-quarters (75 percent) of those surveyed claim they love it when someone speaks more than one language. Also, reporter Philip Crowther was on television talking about the conflict in Ukraine in February, speaking six languages: English, Luxembourgish, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German. He posted the coverage on his Twitter account and there have been 25 million views of the video and 196,000 likes

Some in the United States argue that learning another language wastes time since the US is not as geographically close to other countries as Europe. They think learning foreign languages should be taken out of the school system to make way for other core topics. The US is the world's richest and most powerful country, and the American influence made English the international language. They think they can go to any part of the world and encounter someone who speaks English and can be asked for help. Any country where English is not the primary language needs people to learn English to compete globally.

However, even in the US, there are benefits to learning another language. Parts of the US are close to places where English is not the primary language. The Northeastern US is close to Quebec, and the Southwestern US is close to Mexico, meaning that knowing French or Spanish in those places is beneficial. Also, there are countries where many people do not speak English, meaning that someone cannot find help. Some countries where many people do not speak English are BrazilJapan, and Mexico—outside resort areas such as Puerto Vallarta and Cancún. For example, foreign proficiency bonuses are paid for maintaining language skills. Also, in America, studies have shown that the salary of those able to speak a foreign language increases by 1.5-3.8 percent. In India, speaking English was more beneficial, with those who spoke English earning 34 percent more

Also, there are economic losses in English-speaking countries due to a lack of knowledge of foreign languages. In 2013, the United Kingdom lost 48 billion pounds.

In Europe, many countries require students to learn two foreign languages. American schools do not have this requirement. Also, many European countries have students start learning second languages in primary school, whereas in America, most foreign language programs begin in secondary school.

International Business Seminars, a study abroad program, argues total immersion is the best way for an American to learn a foreign language. A foreign language is often a luxury rather than a necessity in the United States. An American can spend a lot of time abroad and become comfortable speaking another language instead of conversing in English.

Also, even though many people speak English around the world, in the English Proficiency Index, of the 112 non-native English-speaking countries in the study, only 58 had at least a moderate proficiency rating. A lot of information can be lost in translation, and there is a much bigger chance of misunderstanding when communicating in English only

Learning another language has many social and cultural benefits. It can help communicate in a foreign country, improve memory and creativity, and expand job opportunities.

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