1. You Develop Better Memory
Researchers have found numerous positive impacts that being bilingual has on our brain. First of all, knowing two languages helps you process information about the surrounding environment more effectively, meaning you become a faster learner. Next, children who speak a second language typically have much better working memories, compared to monolingual peers. Adults, fret not! Though our working memories are developed early in life and it may be harder to master a new language once we’re grown-up, you can still reap the positive benefits.
2. You Strengthen Your Brain
Being fluent in more than one language improves your brain’s functionality by challenging it to operate within different language systems. From a scientific standpoint, switching between different languages triggers the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for problem-solving, multi-tasking, and focusing on important things while filtering out irrelevant information).
Bilingual people are also better at paying attention to their environment and analyzing it. This skill comes from being able to tell which language is spoken, so that one can quickly switch between different languages.
3. You Stave Off Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease For a Few Years
According to Brian Gold, a neuroscientist at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, knowing two languages can reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s and postpone dementia.
When conducting a test with bilingual seniors, researchers discovered they were better at tasks that required them to sort out colors and shapes, when compared to monolingual peers. They also monitored the processes happening inside their brains with a scanner. It turned out that the brains of a monolingual worked much harder to accomplish the task, while the bilingual’s brains were more efficient and could be compared to those of young adults. Having more reserve of brain power when you age can help you stay protected against the losses caused by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
4. You Become Better At Building Relationships With Others
Apart from the obvious fact that being capable of conversing in different languages makes it easier to create social ties with people around the globe and win attraction more easily, there’s also a more subtle level of impact behind that.
Susan Ervin-Tripp from the University of California noted in her report, “When we are in situations demanding a change in language, we may have a strong sense of a shift in values and feelings. Some bilinguals even report they have two personalities.” Indeed, a lot of bilinguals admit they feel like having two different personalities for operating one or another language.
Mainly, this is due to the fact that different languages influence the way we think, from how we choose the vocabulary to describe the world around us to getting influenced by the different cultures you are operating in. Actually, that’s a great thing, as the ability to switch between different languages improves your ability to understand others, be more empathetic, and communicate better; therefore, drastically improving your relationships with others.
5. You Have More Career Prospects
Having more than one language in your resume can drastically improve your chances of getting hired. In fact, a recent survey proved that bilinguals in the US also tend to earn at least $7.000 more annually compared to monolingual peers with the same kind of work experience. The reason is simple: there are fewer bilinguals to choose from, hence each one has a higher “value”. However, in Canada (a bilingual country), many people speak the two official languages of English and French. They tend to earn 7-8% more than monolingual counterparts.
在你的简历中写出掌握超过一种语言可以大大提高你的被雇佣的机会。事实上，最近的一项调查证明，相比只掌握一种语言的人，双语掌握者在美国每年多赚至少7.000美元，。原因很简单：双语掌握者数量少，因此每一个掌握双语的人都有一个更高的“价值”。然而，在加拿大(双语国家)，很多人说的两种官方语言：英语和法语。他们往往比单语掌握者多赚7 – 8%。
6. You Seem To Appear More Attractive
There’s something special about your friend who’s capable of switching between languages, right? Well, a recent international survey has just confirmed that bilingual people tend to appear more attractive compared to monolinguals. Over 79% of survey respondents from around the globe agreed that a person speaking a second language instantly seems more appealing.
However, there’s a catch. Only certain languages cast this magical effect. The languages on top of this list are no surprise: French, Italian, Spanish, and English.
7. You Become a Better Traveler
One of the biggest differences between a traveler and a mere tourist is that the first one is capable of making genuine connections with the locals and getting to know the culture deeper, while the second one simply enjoys a quick and superficial familiarity. Speaking the local language, at least just a few words, will open more doors to you and will help you connect to the locals on a new level.
Obviously, navigating around a foreign land gets much easier. The locals will often make an additional effort for you if you manage to crunch just a few local phrases.