Are you trying to learn Spanish, French, and Korean at the same time? While learning multiple languages simultaneously can be difficult, there are also many advantages. And at a school like GIIS Tokyo, you can learn multiple languages at once. Here are some of the most significant benefits of learning multiple languages at the same time:
- Learning multiple languages simultaneously is right for your brain: Your brain can structurally change and improve in just a few months. According to a recent study by Swedish and German scientists on conscript interpreters, people who use multiple languages in their daily jobs, the size of the interpreters’ hippocampal regions, and three other cerebral cortex areas had grown significantly after three months of intensive language studies. After 90 days of intense language training, the scientists measured the subjects’ brains and found that the interpreters’ hippocampus and three areas of their cortexes had increased in size. The cortical regions increased in thickness, which means higher firepower for those brain areas. And learning multiple languages is not just about increasing brain mass. It can also help with improving memory. Speaking a second language can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, and a study shows that being bilingual can delay the onset of dementia by over five years. The brain is a muscle, so the more you use it, the stronger and sharper it becomes. And people who speak multiple languages certainly have brains that are in pretty good shape. They have brains that have to recognize, distinguish, and analyze different linguistic patterns, vocabulary, intonations, grammar rules, and idiomatic expressions of different languages. Hence, their neurons are less prone to old age’s adverse effects.
- Learning multiple languages at once saves time: Imagine that you are traveling to a country where the native language is not your native language. If you know how to read the road signs, you can save a lot of driving time by merely knowing what the symbols mean. If you need to find a restroom in that country, you can read the sign instead of asking others or trying to find someone who speaks your language. It makes life more comfortable when you are abroad in other countries and saves you time while you’re on vacation. Keep in mind that learning more than one language requires a great strategy and some careful planning. There are two ways to study multiple languages, sequentially or simultaneously. Studying various languages at the same time or simultaneously saves you time because you are multitasking. Rather than merely learning one language in a year and a half, you could become fluent in two or even three languages in a couple of years.
- You can take advantage of the similarities and differences between different languages: Another huge benefit of learning multiple languages at the same time is that you can play languages off of each other. You can notice and better remember a language’s eccentricities by noting its similarities and differences with another language. For example, there are many cognates shared by romance languages. Cognates are words in different languages that share the same or similar spelling, pronunciation, and meaning. Cognates are useful for vocabulary building and contextualizing. If you are studying French, Italian, and Spanish all at the same time, you can build your vocabulary for all three languages quickly. You can also easily understand other languages as long as you have the context in a similar language.
- Studying multiple languages keeps you from getting bored: Another huge benefit of learning several languages at the same time is that it keeps you from getting bored. If you are tired of learning vocabulary in one language, you can switch to another. And if you are tired of watching Spanish TV shows and listening to Latin music, you can try a fun new Italian drama series instead.
- Learning multiple languages opens opportunities for employment, romance, and multicultural understanding: Learning various languages can also broaden your employment opportunities because you can compound your prospects and gain a competitive edge in the job market. Writing that you are fluent in three or four different languages will make you stand out from the crowd when looking for a job. And as globalism becomes more critical, learning multiple languages is even more crucial.
You can also make new friendships and relationships when you know multiple languages. If your significant other has a different first language than you, you can express your affection by learning romantic phrases in their native language. Speaking their language promotes understanding and communication between you and your significant other. By saying the words of your loved ones and friends, you can put yourself in their shoes.