1. Makes you more intelligent
Well, yes, but no. While intelligence is a broad topic, there are no studies that suggest that speaking two languages actually makes you more intelligent. However, studies have shown that speaking two languages makes our brains work harder and uses more cognitive processes.
2. Helps you think more efficiently
Cognitive strategies are related by creating plans and making ways to achieve a goal. Language is another tool that helps us organize ideas and goals in our head, by creating sentences and ideas out of grammar and syntax.
3. Speaking two languages can help improve memory
Being bilingual can help improve memory, attention, and learning processes. Speaking two languages makes our brain use different parts of the brain that “monolinguals” don’t use, which makes the bilingual brain more flexible and efficient.
4. Improves attention and concentration
Another important benefit of being bilingual is our ability to pay attention and concentrate. It’s been proven that people who speak two languages have an easier time inhibiting the irrelevant information that we receive, compared to monolinguals.
5. Makes you better able to understand your language
Learning a second language helps us realize that one’s native language isn’t the only way to communicate and see the world. Each word in our language is associated with a concept or mental image.
6. Helps to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
A study published in the journal Annals of Neurology by Dr. Thomas Bak from the University of Edinburgh explains some of the benefits of being bilingual. First, the study explains that people who speak more than one language have improved cognitive skills and suffer less cognitive deterioration than their monolingual counterparts, especially when it comes to reading and writing. The study also states that those who speak two languages slow brain aging, regardless of the age when they learn the second language. There’s no reason not to start now!
7. Opens doors to job opportunities
This isn’t a secret, but it’s true that being bilingual is a great way to stand out from the crowd when it comes to looking for jobs.
8. Improves social relationships
Being bilingual doesn’t only have the potential to improve your career, but it can also improve social relationships.
9. Allows you to learn new cultures and ideas
Speaking a local foreign language can expand our knowledge and help us understand the possible cultural nuances of each place.
10. Increases creativity
This is related to all of the points above. Being bilingual can help us be more creative.