Written by guest contributor Ted Meyer
With the New Year just around the corner, millions of people are already contemplating the ways their life will look different on January 1st. Some people are probably devising a radical new exercise regimen to finally achieve that Hulk-like physique; others may be pledging to spend more time with their second-favorite dog. Above all, people are thinking of how their lives in the New Year will be different.
A new language leads to new opportunities
But if leading a more vibrant, engaged lifestyle is your goal, then you could hardly do better than picking up a new language. Trying to expand your business? Learning a language could prove instrumental. Do you want to make more friends in your neighborhood? Speaking like a local could be the difference-maker. Whatever your goals may be for the New Year, add learning a new language on Verbling to your list of resolutions.
We live in a world that is fundamentally multilingual. In many walks of life, it’s becoming increasingly advantageous to have some familiarity with different languages. Language acquisition brings such a remarkable array of practical benefits that just about anybody can improve their lives markedly with language acquisition.
While the popular languages to study have changed over time, businesspeople have always understood the value of language acquisition. In the 1980s, young executives flocked to Japanese courses; today, Mandarin Chinese might be the language of choice for a savvy businessman or woman. In today’s globalized, competitive economy, language acquisition can be essential. If you and a rival firm are competing for a major contract from a Chinese company, for example, the Chinese company might be more inclined to deal with a company with employees that have the courtesy to learn Mandarin.
Build your personal market value
Language acquisition can even give you a competitive advantage in the job market. If you’re applying for a position at a company that does a lot of business in Latin America, a candidate that speaks Spanish would stand out compared to one that only speaks English. Or perhaps that post-graduate program you’ve been dreaming of requires taking a language proficiency test, in which case learning a foreign language might be your key to admission. In this respect, language isn’t just a useful exercise - it’s a marketable skill.
Make lasting connections in your community
The benefits of language acquisition are just as prevalent closer to home. If you live in a large metropolitan area, chances are that many of your neighbors speak a language other than your own. Learning the most common neighborhood language can be a great way to become more integrated in your community. You can make friends with your neighbors much more easily. The shop owners at the Mexican market might point you to better deals if you greet them in well-versed Spanish. Even if you can just understand the names and signs better, you will have benefited.
What to expect during the year
So what will your year look like? The great thing about language acquisition is that while fluency takes a long time, you’re constantly rewarded when you’re learning a new language. Here’s what a year of language lessons with Verbling might look like:
Month | Casual Learner | Business Learner | | :------ | :--------------- | :--------------- | | January | You learn the basics of the language, how to greet someone, and how to describe yourself, your job, and your interests.| You learn a few polite phrases to greet your international clients. They are impressed by your thoughtfulness to learn a few words of their language.| | April | You now know enough to engage in basic conversations with native speakers. They are impressed with your vocabulary and confidence. | You know some key technical terms and phrases in the foreign language, helping facilitate discussions with international clients. | | July | With your foreign language skills steadily increasing, you begin to dream about traveling abroad. | Your boss begins to take notice of the development in your language skills and discusses possibly promoting you next year. | | December | You booked that vacation and you're now in an international locale, navigating the streets and stores with ease, thanks to your language skills. | You seal the deal with an additional international client because of your language skills, and you nab that promotion. |
With so many possible advantages, why not acquire a second language? Language acquisition can profoundly enable you, whatever your personal and professional goals might be. With Verbling’s flexible hours and excellent teaching staff, language acquisition has never been easier. So this New Year, take a chance on learning a second language! It’s a great path to a new you.
About the author:
Ted Meyer is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. He hails from Minnesota, went to college in Ohio and has lived in India and Berlin. Ted's latest language is Dothraki.