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Linguaholic

How has learning a foreign language improved your prospects?


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The acquisition of foreign language skills is known to open many doors across the globe for those who are lucky to have acquired knowledge of more than 1 language. To those of you here who are polygots, can you share how speaking a few languages has so far enriched your life, whether it be socially or professionally.

TIA :) 

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It has opened the doors for me to have confidence when travelling to countries who don't speak my native language, given me the opportunity to learn a new way of thinking, life and culture and meet new people and open my mind and eyes to their world. I feel more self confident and makes me feel happy being able to communicate in different languages that I could never speak or understand before. It psychologically feels great. 

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I totally agree, @Slang Poet; It's a very good feeling being able to go to foreign countries and being able to communicate with the locals. It's easy to see that they're very receptive of foreigners speaking their language and seem friendlier and more helpful if you're seen to be trying to communicate in their language. You don't even have to be fluent in it. I also feel that it's good manners to show willing, which is why I always cringe when I see people who've lived in countries other than their own for years, yet don't speak the local language.

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Apart from the fact that I can talk to and understand different people from different cultures, knowing more then one language can also help you when you are looking for a job. Many companies nowadays prefer people who can speak at least 1 additional language to their native tongue. It also helps when traveling for sure.

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It's helped me a lot actually I've actually been attending some online language learning courses for a few months now. So far it's been really helping me. I know that there are a lot of really good jobs out there that require you to learn a new language. So in the end I think it's all going to be worth it for me. Plus it's just really fun to learn a new way of talking to people. I can go to another Country and actually have a really nice conversation with the people that live there, and learn about their lives. I'm really excited about it.

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I'm not at that level yet of speaking German to involve myself doing business/employment with it. In the future, I totally see myself being open to moving and getting a job there, or possibly a promotion to our company's German office. I can see how this must open doors for a lot of people. Heck, if I knew Korean, Chinese or Japanese I'd totally move there and teach English ;)

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A quick backstory about me: I'm double majoring in both linguistics and genetics and have taken several languages in college. When I was looking for a research professor to work with for genetics, I was having a lot of trouble because of my lack of work experience and available time. I finally met with a professor who said that my unique combination of majors might be perfect for a job he had. In the end, I got the job, and I think a large part of that was because I had learned a fair share of languages--something my fellow STEM majors don't really tend to focus on.

My job is largely just data curation (I go through publications and sort through information for a database) but we have a couple side projects where my languages come in handy. Sometimes I have to go through really old microbiological publications (often in French or Russian) and do my best to pick information out of there. Sometimes the publications are in Chinese and I need to sort through those.

This isn't a full-time job but it's still really exciting to me that I can combine my science degree and my language minors (which is something I didn't think I'd be able to do)!

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I'm not at that level yet of speaking German to involve myself doing business/employment with it. In the future, I totally see myself being open to moving and getting a job there, or possibly a promotion to our company's German office. I can see how this must open doors for a lot of people. Heck, if I knew Korean, Chinese or Japanese I'd totally move there and teach English ;)

...or you could just do it the other way round; go over there to teach English and learn the language while you're over there :)  I know they're always looking for native English speakers to teach English in those countries, and there's never any expectation to have any level of the local language. An English friend of mine is travelling that neck of the woods teaching English and he absolutely loves it.

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