If you want to learn a second language, it’s going to take time, commitment, and intentional practice. But it’s one of those rare human experiences that is completely transformative, totally worth the time put into it and will help you stand out in the crowd. Learning a language is worth the blood, sweat, and tear-stained flashcards because it can increase your intelligence, open up new business opportunities, and improve your lifestyle.
Why Every Man Should Learn a Second Language
Learning a new language is one of the best ways to gain a new edge to your mental dexterity. If you pick an ancient language, like Hebrew, Sanskrit, Greek, or Latin, you’ll open up a world of readings for yourself in ancient philosophical and spiritual traditions. Reading texts that are thousands of years old, you’ll be able to pick up on wisdom and modern parallels to gain insight into the human condition.
If you pick a modern language that is still spoken, you’ll learn a new way of speaking and thinking about the world. Since all of our thought is mediated through language, learning new words, concepts, and linguistic structures helps us learn to think in new and creative ways. Additional creative thinking helps you comprehend and solve problems, but also learn new ways of emotional expression. You’ll learn words and ways of understanding that are so foreign to your first language, but can be assimilated to your lifestyle.
When you learn a new language, the language takes hold of your thinking and acting and shapes you in new ways.
If you’ve never dreamed of putting on a crisp suit, getting off an airplane in another country, and being greeted by someone bearing a sign with your name sharpied onto it–you haven’t done enough dreaming. International business is big business, and the major prerequisite is an understanding of the languages and cultures of the locations you’ll be visiting.
Learning a language–especially something like English, Spanish, Mandarin, or Japanese–allows you to create career trajectories that involve travel and international business. As the economy becomes more and more integrated, the person who knows another language becomes a more and more valuable asset to a team. Hard skills will never go out of style, and hard skills make you indispensable to a business.
Even if you don’t use the language directly, having additional languages on your resume communicates a level of expertise, learning ability, and work ethic. Additional languages show cosmopolitan understanding and tells an employer that you are competent in understanding different perspectives and cultures.
Bonus Tip: If you do end up traveling internationally do to your newly learned language, check out our recommendations of things to bring along traveling.
Learning another language gives you a greater understanding of another culture, and opens up a new world of friendships, books to read, and culture to explore. You can understand and consume art in its original language, navigate new spaces with confidence, and gain the humility that comes with speaking and reading a language that is less natural to you.
If you know the language or even some of the language when you travel, you’ll have a completely different experience as a tourist. Most people appreciate and respect people who are trying to learn and speak their language, even if we aren’t doing it well yet. Trying to speak someone else’s first language when it isn’t your first language is a humbling experience that will teach patience, gratitude, and new ways of interacting with people.
Where to Start?
If you’re ready to embark on learning a second language, we’ve compiled a list of Youtube channels that teach you various languages for free! Check them out!