Learning languages may be seen by many as a mere tool in today’s world. You learn a new language because you may need to escape a country with a really bad economy or perhaps you’re found in even worse situations because you can’t just get up and leave. You are trapped in your home land because of your inability to communicate with others through another language. The universal language right now is considered to be English, but depending on where you want to go (for whatever reason – work, partner, family etc.), you need to learn more.
It is no surprise then that learning languages is a complex process that takes years. Sure, you can learn basic phrases and you may be able to understand some things in a conversation, but mastering a language is a lengthy process. As such, learning languages is bound to have some interesting effects on the mind. Here are some of the effects I’ve observed, as I’ve mastered one foreign language and I’ve been working on mastering the other:
Your logic skills get better
This isn’t noticeable at first, but in time you get to see the real time effects. Some people are naturally born with superior logic skills, so it might not be as easily noticeable for them. However, when you really start to pay attention, you notice that different kinds of problems seem to be easier to solve. Perhaps you have hobbies that require good logic skills and you might see an improvement in that as well. It makes sense why – learning languages requires you to form new logical connection between words and phrases in order to advance your language skill.
Your general communication skills improve
This might seem like a no-brainer – of course I can communicate better if I know another language well! Like this you are open to speaking to more people and, thus, your communication skill gets better. But even in interpersonal relationships – there is an improvement in that as well. At least that’s what I’ve observed. It might have to do with the fact that you can express yourself increasingly better in more complex ways. That way you can detail your emotions better and you might be more perceptive to subtle meanings in words or phrases carefully chosen.
You can read faster
It might be one of those things that happens randomly or gets better as you do it more, but I tend to think it might be connected to solidifying language knowledge as well. Learning languages is a tricky thing, but since it has to do with processing words in both visual and auditory ways, this might allow you to read faster. After all, all you do is process the written words faster – you read them at a faster pace and your brain simply puts it all together at a record pace.