If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you probably noticed the influx of “language panic” posts I’ve been discovering recently. This may have to do with the recent elimination of language degrees in universities in the United Kingdom. With many European countries outside of the UK being able to speak at least two languages, it begs the question why they cannot do the same. I have also notice the United States and Australia also taking notice to this issue in their own countries as well.
Why Should I Bother With Learning Another Language?
Many Anglophones have this mentality that unless the language has a global presence with a substantial amount of speakers, that learning another language is not worth it. This especially includes places like Scandinavia and The Netherlands were most people speak English to an incredibly high level of fluency.
The Independent mentioned that this excuse is no longer valid for sake of globalisation. There is an increasing demand for multilingual speakers of various languages.
Languages are intertwined with a wide variety of cultures throughout the world. They are essentially what makes each culture have its rich personality. This especially includes regional dialects and countries that share a common language but enable their own individually to brilliantly shine through.
- It offers a distinctive perspective by facilitating another way of expressing yourself.
- Knowing multiple languages empowers your creativity by enabling more flexibility in the way you think.
- It contributes to a better insightful understanding of the people and their cultures.
- Improve your critical thinking skills.
Arianna Huffington is a great example of how she used her multilingual capabilities to enhance her business prospects overseas. She was able to launch her blog into exceptionally powerful media outlet. Her language skills enabled a Spanish, Italian and 3 distinct French versions of her site to become reality. Soon after, German and Japanese versions of the site were created.
Are Language Courses At University Worth It?
Well, it depends on how you manage to motivate yourself when you take those classes. Otherwise, if you are NOT motivated to learn your chosen it is essentially a waste of credits.
I have a 4 year degree in Spanish.
You really cannot add that language to your CV/Résumé because you are essentially lying about your abilities in the target language.
Why? Because you need to regularly what you learned on a regular basis by supplementing what you learn in the classroom with meaningful content. Otherwise, taking 4 language courses just for the credit or degree will end up becoming waste of time.
Imagine being interviewed for a job that required fluent language skills. You promote your credentials but once you are interviewed in Spanish, you struggle with the basics and can’t perform the tasks required in the job description. How embarrassing!
If you only rely on your classes to teach you the language, you could experience difficulties in understanding how the language is spoken naturally.
A great example of this is having a revolving study plan like Kemushichan mentions in her Japanese Studies You’ll Never Neglect series.
Another factor to keep in mind is how you plan on using that language as a part of your career. Simply knowing the language is not enough when seeking out possible career opportunities. It is a beneficial skill to have and could become remarkably useful to add to your CV/Résumé. However, unless you are able to locate interpreting or translation jobs, it is probably a better idea to another field of expertise to complement your language capabilities.
Tell Me What You Think!
Have you pursued a language specific degree? If so, were you able to access (an) invaluable career(s) as a result or was your search extremely difficult? Do you think multilingualism will become a requirement in the future? Share your thoughts!