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Is bilingualism necessary to be successful in life?


True2marie
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Do you need to be bilingual in order to excel in life?

I am asking this question because several highly successful people know more than one language. They pick up another tongue for the purpose of business. So, to me, it seems that most people should follow in this path in order to communicate properly with more than the people from their native land.

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Maybe for business people, knowing more than one language can be advantageous because they can make more connections with others [via networking] and possibly in process create more business opportunities. On the other hand, If one is a farmer residing in the country, and s/he has no intention of moving from his locality then I don't think being bilingual would make them more successful than they want to be.

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AI would not say necessary in English speaking countries. For most people though speaking English is necessary to be successful in life. there are a few exceptions to the rule though as many senior politicians and world leaders have only a limited grasp on English and they get on fine.

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As people said, it highly depends on a lot of things.

The kind of job you have, where you reside and so on.

And most of all, I guess, what do you consider to excel in life...

If you are in USA and you work locally, you may not need another language. But you may be in an area in the USA where it's very needed to know Spanish. Or any non-English speaking country, often even if you don't want to leave the country, it can happen that you may need English for a whole lot of purposes (your company having international deals, using some English software and so on).

I think that it IS relative, but in most cases whether you need it or not a second language will be of huge benefit.

There are a lot of jobs you could do without language, where language could be bonus. For example, I worked in the USA in housekeeping for a summer. The other housekeepers came from all over the world and some of them barely spoke English. At the end of the day, we were all able to work, but those of us that knew English got a lot more hours- because if a guest happens to be in the room when you stop by, it's more convenient if you can talk to them if needed. Or, I suppose, even if you're a waiter somewhere, if an international client stops by, the person that will serve them with most likely be the person that knows the most other language. That's how it is. Knowing languages is a valuable skill for now. You can go without it, but it can help you a lot if you do have it.

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The short, absolute answer is no. People can obviously achieve success in their native country using only their own language. Having said that, if you're from a non-English background then learning English isn't a bad idea, and for most professions will provide an advantage of some sort.

If your native language is English and your goal is to make money then the time and effort spent learning a second language would be better spent elsewhere.

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It depends what you're life encompasses. I travel a lot and live in a foreign country, so for me, yes it is necessary. As a businessperson I would say that it is necessary. As a person living in one country, never planning to leave, then no, it is not necessary.

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I think that if cases exist in which speaking languages can determine success, in most cases that doesn't happen. Some people don't even speak well their own language, but they do have an eye for business and they achieve success.

Not to mention that the concept of success is highly subjective.

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For those who are interested in working for an international organization it most certainly is a huge benefit career wise to be multilingual.  If you are not involved in something like that then it would really depend on a variety of factors, most of which were mentioned in prior posts.

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Just 'bilingualism' doesn't mean much. Just any two languages won't get you very far. Within certain industries, certain languages are more prevalent so it's possible to be more successful if you know the right languages for your career/life. It seems English is a useful language to know in addition to your native language. If your native language is English, think of who your industry does business with? Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish, there are some big languages our there that *can* greatly improve your ability to do business and be successful.

But necessary? I don't think so.

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To some degree, it's not necessary. You can be highly successful if all you speak is your native tongue. That said, I do believe that knowing two or more languages opens up more POSSIBILITIES to be successful than only speaking one language. It all depends on what you want out of life.

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For business persons, being bilingual would probably be a good thing as it good actually increase business. However, I should think that there are more successful business people that know just one language than those that are bilingual.

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It was for me; if it wasn't because I learnt english a long time ago there is no way I'd have been able to take the oportunities that came knocking on my door.  I'm 100% sure those oportunities wouldn't have knocked on my door if it wasn't because I learnt english early. 

I might actually land a nice job thanks to my englsh skills :)  This year might be the year for me!  So I need to improve my english a bit more in the next few months before I even apply for that job.  I'm so thankful I learnt english... I strongly believe it was destiny!

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I don't think it's going to be a basis of success but it sure will help you achieve an edge in life. If you know how to speak 2 languages, then that will be good for your personality and even in your career especially in business. It's not a bad idea at all to pick up a new language and learn it.

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I think its helpful in life. Today their are more and more people coming from all over the world who do not know english. Or do not know a language!

I know I would love if someone helped me with a direction or how to do something and I did not know a language and thank god for that one person who is bilingual to help.. Its amazing to me that I see alot of people  come into my job who do not know much english and have a hard time explaining something to some one who is not bilingual and they just have a hard time to help them, and I am there and thank god im bilingual and I do not want to brag but I make a person happy by being able to explain to them something. ! Its truly amazing being bilingual learning the different ethics of cultures and how different it is from both sides.

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It's not necessary to know a second language to be successful in life.  World wide businesses speak mostly English so if you know that most likely you will be set.  However, it makes you a much more well rounded person, you are able to learn easier and understand things a lot better.  It is a great experience to be able to communicate with other cultures of people.

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