Have you ever wanted to expand your ability to speak another language, but just never got around to it? It’s a common promise that many people make to themselves and then never keep. But what is it that holds people back from following through on this promise to expand their language horizons? Currently, there are 7,000 different languages spoken around the world with 90% of these languages used by less than 100,000 people. Surely you could make time to learn one of them?
Justifications for lack of follow through on learning a new language range from time constraints, to difficulty, age, fear of making mistakes and even the perceived expense. Even more common is the thought that even if they learned a new language, they would have no one in their daily circle to help them make use of their newfound linguistic capabilities. Here at Paragon we know that the benefits of being multilingual far outweigh all the negative reasoning. There is no better example than in our own exemplary linguist and founder Hanne Mintz. In fact, Hanne can speak and write 6 languages! The Paragon team collectively speaks over 18 languages, a fact we are extremely proud of.
The benefits of learning a new language are not only to immerse and engage with another culture, but studies show that people who speak more than one language have better executive control, the portion of cognition that is responsible for attention and the distribution of tasks, such as problem solving, higher scope of attention, task switching and mental flexibility. A study by Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Brain and Language by University of Washington, showed remarkably that bilingual people are approximately half a second faster at executing novel instructions than their monolingual peers. If that’s not a reason to learn another language we don’t know what is!
As you know, we take language seriously here at Paragon, so the next time you get that nagging feeling to begin your journey down the multilingual path don’t fight it. Jump in head first, and drop us a note on Facebook or Twitter to let us know how it’s going. The Paragon team is rooting for you!