[Translate to English:]

Do we still need foreign languages?

Do we still need foreign languages?

List of languages

In an age of apps like Deepl and Google Translate and globally improving English skills, many wonder if we should even be learning other foreign languages these days. A meta-study from 2019 cites a lot of benefits:

Language learning, for example, is an extremely effective training for our brains.. Multilinguals performed significantly better in cognitive tasks than monolinguals, their attentional control was better and they also developed a stronger metalinguistic awareness.

Language learning keeps us healthy and young, a study showed "a positive effect of bilingualism in later-life cognition, including those who acquired their second language in adulthood."

Employability: One study found "that foreign language/world language abilities in languages other than English brought situated value to durable relations and long-term prospects" for multinational companies. Employers also consider foreign language skills of their employees important to build customer relationships and increase growth opportunities of the company.

It has also been scientifically proven that language learning supports the development of communicative and intercultural competence, especially at higher language levels.

Perhaps more surprisingly, language learners are also more creative: "Language learning skills are systematically and positively related to creativity."

And to get a second opinion we have asked the chatbot ChatGPT why we should still learn foreign languages:

"There are many reasons why it can be beneficial to learn foreign languages. Some of these reasons include:

  1. Communication: By speaking another language, you can communicate with people from other countries and cultures, expanding your perspective and understanding of the world.

  2. Career opportunities: Many careers value the ability to speak multiple languages, as it allows you to build international business relationships and qualify for a wider range of job opportunities.

  3. Travel: If you speak another language, you can make your travels easier and gain a deeper understanding of the culture of the countries you visit by being able to understand and speak the language.

  4. Cognitive benefits: Studies have shown that learning an additional language can improve cognitive abilities, such as problem-solving and concentration.

  5. Cultural enrichment: Learning another language is also a way to immerse yourself in other cultures and traditions, helping you to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the world around you.

  6. Personal Development: Learning a new language can be a challenging and fulfilling endeavor, which can improve self-esteem, develop self-discipline, and enhance self-awareness.


These are just a few examples of the many benefits of learning a foreign language. Everyone may have their own personal reasons and goals, but generally speaking, learning a new language can be a valuable experience both personally and professionally."