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The advantages of speaking multiple languages

In today’s day and age, almost all professionals are encouraged (if not required) to be fluent in more than one language. In grade school, high school and college, students must take on language courses in order to meet graduation requirements. However, the advantages of speaking more than just one language go far beyond those of the professional world.
Being fluent in a second (or third, or fourth…) language can help you to get in touch with your roots and heritage, if you choose to learn a language spoken by your family’s past generations. In the United States, everyone has someone in the family who immigrated over – whether it is from Europe, from Africa, from Asia, from South America, etc. Learning the language that your family spoke before speaking English can certainly be a pathway towards better understanding familial ties and history.
In addition, knowing a foreign language is also healthy – for your brain. Studies have shown that people who speak multiple languages have a lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease and have better memory skills as well. You are also able to multitask more easily, switching from one language to the next once you have reached a bilingual level.
Some of the other perks have to do with cultural differences, as people who speak multiple languages are able to pick up on subtleties lost in translation, not to mention understand movies, music and literature without having to resort to subtitles, dubbing and translations.
All in all, studying foreign languages and speaking a second or third language in addition to one’s mother tongue has multiple, easy-to-see benefits – and zero downfalls.