The Rewards of Learning a new Language

Learning a foreign language is no mean feat. It takes time, dedication, self-motivation and persistence.

When it comes to relocation, learning the language of the new country as part of your preparation can be a practical and rewarding undertaking, putting you at a real advantage from the moment you set foot within your adopted culture.

Integration

When moving to a new country, one of the biggest concerns is how easy it will be to integrate. While there are many factors that come into play, speaking the language of the target country can help significantly. Showing that you are willing to learn an entirely new language give the impression of being willing to fully embrace the new culture.  This level of effort can be extremely flattering to the residents of the new country and help endear yourself to them from the get-go.

Learning a new language is a superb way to show steadfast commitment to the host country as well respect for it.

Business

Further benefits come with speaking the second language in your place of work. Regardless of whether the ‘Lingua Franca’ at work is English, the majority of staff members won’t be. Being able to speak their language will benefit you both professionally and socially. After work drinks, for example, will be far more enjoyable when you can understand and join in with the anecdotes and jokes without having to wait for someone to explain them to you.

Using a host country’s own language at work can also do well to increase your chances of moving up in the company. A lack of foreign knowledge when working abroad can often be crippling to professional progress.

Children

Integrating into a new country can be hard for children. The more you can improve a child’s chance of making new friends and transitioning smoothly into a new school, the more successful the relocation will be. There is also evidence to suggest that children who learn a second language perform better academically.

Children are often able to acquire a second language much faster than adults so they are actually at an advantage in this respect.

Dr Rhona Hart, an accomplished relocation trainer and counsellor, specialising in professionals and their families moving abroad has some great advice on helping children to learn a second language.

Travelling

One of the most exciting parts of moving to a new country is the exploration of your new surroundings. Whilst English might get you by, speaking the native tongue will make the experience an easier and potentially more enjoyable one.

Learning a language is about more than just being able to converse in it. It’s about fully immersing yourself in that target culture. With language learning comes a level of understanding that can be hard to attain by alternative methods. Though it is a large investment of time and often money, it is worth serious consideration when moving to a new country.

4 thoughts on “The Rewards of Learning a new Language

  1. I can only agree to the above mentioned. It’s so much more rewarding to speak the language of the country you’re transferred to. Even starting to learn a new language will give you tremendous insight into the culture in question. Some years ago when I was working at a Japanese company in Germany and we were establishing a distribution network in Europe our lingua franca was English, of copurse. I remember my firstt encounters with our Italian counterpart. English didn’t work so well. So out of a kind of despair I started to learn Italian. After some weeks I was able to understand their English. And to me opened up a new world. I kept learning and now I’m preparing for a translation degree in Italian.
    So start learning, a new world will be at your fingertips.
    Cheers,
    Karin

    • Thanks Karin, what a great insight into how learning a new language can help so much with business. Good luck with the translation degree!

  2. You have made some great points here! I completely agree that learning a new language has fantastic benefits. I would also expand upon the idea that by learning a new language, you are actually learning about new ways of thinking which usually reflect cultural values, norms and communication styles. Often things like idioms, expressions and grammar constructions can give us important clues about the worldview of the people who speak the language. Learning a language opens up a new world of insight and it makes life so much richer to have access to a different world and a different way of thinking. Thanks, great article!

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