Learning Languages Stimulates the Brain and Increases your Understanding of Others

During my professional and personal pathway, I had the chance to meet some great people and mentors.

During the prelaunch of this blog, I spoke to several of them about the concept and content, as well as the possibility of sharing their experience for future articles.

Today, I am happy to publish the first of these experiences. The person in question spent a large part of their professional and personal life working and living in an international setting. In this article, they explain how from an early age they had the desire to acquire an international exposure and the benefits this brings both on a personal and professional level.

The following is their article:

 “ I came from a family open to the world. Just after finishing my secondary education in the 60’s and already speaking several languages, I had the opportunity to continue my studies abroad (at the young age of 17), first in the UK and later in Spain.

I quickly integrated into my new schools and host family environments. The language barrier was never a problem. In fact, it stimulated me in my desire to master the languages to better understand and communicate with people. Speaking the host country language enabled me to share with the locals my experiences and discoveries of their country. I lived like a native English or Spanish person; my friends were English or Spanish people. This contact taught me about human interactions and societal differences and beliefs. Through this, I gained a certain opening to the world, to understand and to accept differences.

After finishing my studies, I returned to my home country. Already in those days, it was not easy to find a first-time employment without prior working experience.  Given my language skills, I launched myself as a freelance translator. This was a great first experience which gave me the opportunity to meet and work with other freelancers from different countries. Very shortly afterwards and once again thanks to my language skills and capacity to work with different cultures, I landed my first full-time employment. I was managing a multi-national team and an international client base. The work was intense; however, it was extremely rich and exceptional in terms of meeting new people from different cultures.”

The above experience shows that a language barrier does not have to be considered as a problem. It can be seen as something positive and stimulating which is a booster to learn a new language. In this article, learning the language helped with social interaction and later opened the door to a first-time employment.

Our brain thrives on learning new things. It is never too late to learn other skills such as a language. As you start to learn some basic vocabulary and sentences, you gain confidence. You feel proud when you can exchange polite greetings in the local language with neighbours and have mastered a basic survival vocabulary. Locals in the host country are pleased that you make the effort to speak their language and will encourage and congratulate you in your learning process. If you do not have the time or the dedication to follow an intensive course, you can learn the basics of a language with as little effort as that of learning a few words daily.
In our global market, international business is increasing. Speaking a foreign language(s) enhances your chances of finding a job.

Languages add an edge/advantage to your CV and employability as well as being a great way to meet new people!

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