By AJAY KRISHNAN
There is a Hindi saying : Yadi aap ek aadmi se us bhasha mein baat kartein hai jo wo samajhta hai toh veh uske dimag mein jayegi. Yadi aap usse uski hi bhasha mein baat kartein hai toh veh uske dil mein jayegi. The closest translation is, “If you talk to someone in an understood language, they’ll take it to their brain, but if you talk to them in their language, they’ll take it to their heart.” This proverb should apply not only to conversations, but also the school environment. Students should learn foreign languages because unfortunately, less than 19 percent of students are enrolling in foreign language classes according to ced.org.
The University of Sheffield says that 19 out of the current 194 countries speak English. However, Bilingual states that almost a billion people speak English around the world, making it the second most important language for business. For the countries that don’t speak English, which is a big majority, learning a language other than their own would be a useful skill.
Science backs them up. For example, Lead With Languages shows that second languages help with multiple cognitive abilities, including better memory, critical-thinking skills, and listening skills. In addition, decision-making in other languages is less biased as biases in your primary language do not transfer to others. You can also immerse yourself much more into other cultures. And who doesn’t love learning the occasional swear word?
Raise your hand if you like to travel. Judging by the eight million people that travel, there are a lot of hands up. However, in most countries, English is not the official language. For example, the most visited countries in the world, France and Spain, are both countries where English is not the native language. I have visited both of these countries personally, and some knowledge of French and Spanish is necessary for navigating the countries.
Being bilingual helps people of all demographics, whether it be business, travel, or educational. In this case, one should watch their language.