Being Multilingual: Know A Language That Is Not Closely Related To English


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Being Multilingual is 'Cool'!

Sai Svati, Staff Writer

Learning a language is not the hardest thing in life. There are a lot of other things that are harder ,like finishing your shampoo and conditioner at the same time or finding the ‘other’ sock when you are in a rush. You know the ‘other’ sock! Knowing a language is a skill that many have. It just depends on how you want to hone that skill.

The brain contains areas that are specialized to deal with language, located in the perisylvian cortex of the left hemisphere. This area works more when you speak more than one language.  Language education in the United States has historically involved teaching American English to immigrants and Spanish, French, Japanese or German to native English speakers. These languages are globally spoken and well recognized. But, sometimes students feel there can be more diversity in the languages that are offered here in the US. Why not languages from the Middle East or the languages from the Far East, say, Thailand or China or India. The languages of these countries are beautiful too and well known. Being multilingual is gaining popularity these days; and more than half of the world can speak 2 languages. With this being the case, why can’t schools offer more diverse languages.

Offering more languages has many advantages. Studies prove that students who know more than one language closely related to English, help them score better in standardized tests like the ACT and SAT. Languages can help you multitask and be good in all the tasks that you perform. Being bilingual literally helps you see the world differently. Your brain processes colors differently. Most bilinguals can see color variations that monolinguals cannot. People who make crucial decisions in a language that is not their first language, the decisions tend to be more rational and less biased. Knowing more than one language can literally slow the process of aging.

On a fiscal economic front, knowing languages from the Far East or Middle East can open up a lot of business opportunity. You learn about a different culture that can help you start a conversation with people easily. Moreover, the countries that does not have English as their primary language are evolving quickly and developing faster.

So, if you ever want to spend a beautiful summer in Thailand vacationing, knowing Thai can help you get better customer service. Or, if you want the curry from India to be less spicy you can talk to them in Hindi and you will surely get a less spicy curry. On a side note though, knowing a language that is not closely related to English will make a really cool Instagram caption, so, what are you waiting for?