The benefits of learning additional language
Learning new language is like staring a new, exciting journey. You will discover various ways to express yourself and embrace culture of a different country. Knowledge of foreign language will help you to effectively communicate and form meaningful relationships with locals. You will be able to read books, newspapers, magazines and watch movies in a language of your interest. You will have opportunity to actively participate in culture and debates of a country different to your own. You will comprehend different ways of thinking and understanding the world around you.
However many people decide to learn a new language in order to improve their economic prospects. In the UK employers complain that it is difficult to fill positions, which require knowledge of foreign language. Most job market experts agree that knowing additional language will add significant premium to your salary base. Additional language will also make your CV stand out. It will highlight to potential employers that you are an ambitious, disciplined, open-minded individual, passionate about learning and boarding horizons. Many employers believe that your linguistic skills will benefit their business, internationally. In your workplace, you may become the first point of contact, while dealing with foreign clients and partners.
Are there any disadvantages of learning additional language?
You should be aware that learning additional language is a big commitment and it will take many hours to learn it. If you treat learning additional language as an investment rather than hobby, you actually need to understand if it is worth it. You should have a clear idea how exactly learning new language will benefit your career progression. There are some non-linguistic skills, which in some cases may benefit you more than learning a new language.
Which language should you chose?
Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question. EThames is proud to teach students with backgrounds and languages from all over the world. Based on your personal background you may find some languages easier to learn than the others. For example most European languages are based on Latin, so if you are a native speaker of one European language it will be easier for you to pick up additional language from Europe. If you are fluent in Chinese, it will easier for you to learn Korean or Japanese.
You should also ask yourself what you would like to achieve by learning additional language. In general if you learn Spanish or Portuguese, your skills will be beneficial for a businesses operating in Southern Europe, Latin America or even the USA. German, is very useful language in Europe and many UK companies need qualified German speakers, but it is no so useful outside Europe. French is important in the world of diplomacy and may be also beneficial if you would like to work and live in African or Canada. China is believed to be a next economic superpower, so learning Chinese may pay off very well in the future, but it is very difficult language to learn for people from outside the Far East. Russian is very important language, in Russia, Eastern Europe and generally in post-Soviet republics. The lists goes on and you should make a choice based on your individual circumstances.
Learning additional language should be fun and adventure. If you only learn language to enhance your career, without genuine interest in it you may quickly burn out. It might sound odd but you should be like a child. Learn with natural curiosity and do not worry if you do not know something.