The Power of Language

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By Ibidunni Thaabitah 

  • Have you ever found yourself helpless because you couldn’t clearly get your thoughts across?
  • Did you, at a point in your life, feel frustrated because you could not render help to your dear ones as a result of inability to speak a particular language?
  • Was there a time you lost an opportunity because you don’t possess the ability to speak a language?
  • Do you believe that learning a second language can actually save lives?

If your answers to the above questions are YES, then it is not an overstatement to say that learning a second language has great benefits. 

Firstly, the brain develops in a remarkable way, and one of the ways it does this is the level of knowledge embedded in it. For the brain to function remarkably, it has to be nurtured in that direction. Therefore, the ability of individuals to use their brain in profound ways hinges on the variety of knowledge they have stored in their brain.

The brain has different networks or storage for different types of knowledge and there is no limit to what the brain can accommodate.

Learning a second language expands the brain, consequently, improves the memory. Multilinguals usually find it easy to remember information stored in their brain because they have different words with the same meaning. For instance, someone who speaks English, Arabic, and Yoruba would easily remember the meaning of trees because the person has mastered different words for it.

Similarly, a multilingual does multitask effectively thus saving time and increasing confidence. To know is one thing, however to be confident of what you know is another.

Performing a particular action frequently increases confidence and indeed, saves time.

According to Flora Lewis, learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things. Hence, learning a second language does not limit your ability, rather expands your mind and brain.

Furthermore, Federico Fellini once said;

A different language is a different vision of life.

Federico Fellini

This means that learning a second language helps in understanding other people’s culture. This is evident in the way people, who speak the same language connect and relate with each other in a friendly and accommodating manner.

Understanding other people’s culture makes one have different perspectives about life. It also increases the level of tolerance an individual possesses. Indeed, this sustains healthy relationships. 

The opportunities in learning a second language is endless. This could emerge from both internal and external environments where one resides. For example, a multilingual would always have an edge over his monolingual peers when they both come across organizations that need a multilingual.

The probability of a Nigerian who speaks French getting hired in France is higher than that of a monolingual. Likewise, as a politician, you stand a chance of becoming an ambassador of your country if you can speak other languages.

These and lots more are opportunities gained from being multilingual.

In conclusion, learning other languages does not restrict but widens. It presents an extended range of opportunities for the speaker to choose from. It also expands the brain. From the foregoing, it can be understood that learning other languages does nothing but good. For this reason, every individual should strive to be multilingual.

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