Have you ever thought about learning another language? It’s a valuable skill that can not only impress your friends but can actually improve your experience in another country. It can also lead to you having a great job and being able to command a higher salary if you know where to look.
In an age of mass communication, bilingualism has never been more valuable or essential than right now. If you are considering learning another language, here is everything you need to know about the benefits of bilingualism.
1.More Friends and Greater Networking Opportunities
The more languages in the world you can speak the more people in the world you have access to. It’s that simple. Even if somebody speaks English, if it is not their native language, then it still might inhibit your ability to communicate with them since they might not always have the vocabulary to express themselves properly.
Knowing a person’s native language can cultivate a better friendship with them as they might feel that you have the effort to learn their language, and earn a mark of respect. It also can put someone at ease, as it will make them feel like you are coming down to their level, which provides much more comfortable in any situation.
In a business setting, this can also be valuable as you can earn the respect of those businessmen and women you are talking to that might lead to them having a higher opinion of you. This can also open doors for awarding you contracts you might not have got otherwise, or perhaps get a new lucrative position. It also opens up more opportunities to connect with more people since you can attend networking sessions in languages other than English.
2. Command a Higher Salary
Knowing another language can really help your salary expectations in many businesses. If the business is based in South America or Spain, man people can use a Spanish pronunciation guide, but they can also have someone like you to guide them if you are fluent in both languages.
If your boss knows that you will be able to speak to a client in their native tongue or to write emails in another language, then this will give you the edge over other candidates. It might even persuade your boss to pay you more, rather than hiring somebody else who is not bilingual.
In developing economies like Vietnam, the knowledge of the language and culture could be the difference between winning a contract or not. Learning a more obscure language, therefore, might be beneficial as it enables your boss or company to make inroads into a market where fewer people have the language skillset needed.
When you attend job interviews you should definitely make this clear and put it at the front of your resume. This could lead to your resume being put at the front of the pile even though you fall down in other areas.
To really ensure you get that higher salary you could even consider taking an official qualification to show that you have an advanced understanding of another language and are truly bilingual.
3. More Job Opportunities
Being bilingual also affords you lots more job opportunities that are unavailable to those who just speak one language. For instance, there are lots of subtitle translation jobs for major video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime video, as they expand and want to publish more of their content in other languages.
You can also set yourself up as a freelance translator or teacher of the languages you know alongside any full-time role you do. That way you can create a second income for yourself which is always beneficial. Perhaps you need to save up for a new car or a new computer or you want to buy your first house. The more experienced you become, the more money you can charge.
With the internet, there are now many more opportunities to access jobs, particularly ones from other countries, as you can work remotely and apply online.
4. More Opportunity to Travel
The more languages you know the more of the world it opens up. And technology makes it possible to learn most languages. If you work for a company then they will probably be more willing to let you go on business trips to other countries if you can speak the language of that country.
Moreover, if you decide to go freelance as a teacher of another language, as a subtitler or translator then you generally work from anywhere and can travel as much as you want to.
Knowing another language might even make it easier for you to obtain a work permit in your country of choice since this shows that you have bothered to learn the culture and are likely to work hard to increase the tax revenue of the country.
There Are So Many Benefits of Bilingualism: Everyone Should Do It
The benefits of bilingualism far outweigh any negatives. It creates more opportunities to travel the world since it opens up doors to jobs that are more likely to allow you to work remotely. But it also greatly enhances the experience of travel since you can communicate with people native to that country.
It also means you can start conversations with people who cannot speak English at all.
In terms of job prospects, bilingualism gives you the edge over other applications who can’t speak other languages and it can make up for other weaknesses in your resume.
Business today is a global profession and it involves speaking to clients all over the world, from China and Vietnam to Spain and Brazil. Businesses’ are prepared to pay extra for this and, with the right negotiation skills and a strong resume, you might even be able to command a higher salary for yourself.
For more great career tips, check out the other blogs on Career Geek.