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Look at the media to see who the great leaders of today are. All of them are bilingual (or multilingual).
Jack Ma, for instance, the founder of Alibaba, is Chinese but fluent in English. He embraced huge opportunities by mastering English (which he supposedly did speaking with foreigners coming to China).
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, speaks English and Chinese.
In the European Union, language learning has been encouraged in schools from early childhood.
Multilingualism and opportunities go hand in hand. Those who only speak their native language simply do not know the world! We hope you are not one of them…
The issue is that not everyone has the opportunity to develop a new language. But, fortunately, linguistic exchange can be easily and inexpensively done today: you just need to use the Speaky app on your phone.
The 6 most powerful benefits of language exchange
Mastering a new language is good for your mind, your career and… to design a better world.
Language exchange brings a breath of fresh air to life In a language exchange, you enrich your life for sure!
A new language you practice means getting in touch with a different culture, which means a different way of life.
Learn to cook new dishes and discover various ways of eating (some cultures use hands… while others use chopsticks)…
- understand the different types women and men dress themselves;
- find out if it’s polite to ask about age and salary in a conversation;
- learn the true meanings behind the multitude of curious hand gestures (have an Italian conversation mate and know more about it…) and facial expressions;
- know which types of gifts are appropriate for different occasions (so you don’t make a faux pas);
- discover where the people gather for parties or leisure activities and know about traditional festivals (a Spanish colleague will provide details about La Tomatina);
- and add to your life hobbies you never even imagined existed.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to experience in your life right now!
(Who knows, you might even get to meet your new friend and their country in person someday!)
Language exchange boosts memory. Longevity is very good… as long as it comes with health.
Science has already proven that learning other languages prevents dementia, which is so common in older people.
The thing is, mastering another language is tough: you need to repeat and repeat until you memorize words and structures. These repetitions create new neural connections (the same ones that would fade away with age) – no pain no gain!
And it’s so simple that there are no excuses: just chatting in another language a few hours a week!
Language exchange builds self-esteem. Self-esteem is a complex concept, which depends on several factors.
One of these factors is the ability to accomplish any difficult task. Look at children: when they succeed in using scissors to cut paper properly (at least for his age), he feels so great! His self-esteem grows a bit more!
And the same happens when learning how to communicate well in another language: we feel so proud of ourselves for that (at first, difficult) achievement! It explains in some way why people who master a second language decide to learn a third… and a fourth and so on…
Language exchange expands horizons in career. Have you ever wished to work abroad?
In that case, the first step is mastering the language of your destination (and mastering a language for work is not the same as learning phrases for tourism!).
Even if you don’t end up moving abroad, the simple fact of being fluent in another language gives you priority qualification if your company needs to temporarily send a representative there.
Let’s take a look at the case of Andy Brassell: as an English sports commentator, he seamlessly navigates among players from various backgrounds. He speaks French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish, and is a living testament to the fact that knowing multiple languages aids in his profession – according to him, players themselves feel more at ease in interviews when they realize they are understood in their native languages.
Alex Bertolotti is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. His native language is English, and he learned French, German, and Russian – he currently heads the company’s Russian department.
Knowing a language beyond your mother tongue is no longer just an employer’s preference – it’s a basic requirement. And they have a point in asking for it: would you be able to communicate with people from other countries or participate in meetings with them?
And that’s where linguistic exchange through an app becomes incredibly useful: you can develop multiple languages at once. Many are successfully expanding their connections around the world this way, right now!
5. Language exchange brings a sense of belonging to humanity
Yes, cultures are incredibly different!
However, it’s astonishing how many feelings, thoughts, ideas, and attitudes are exactly the same all over the world! And it’s natural: deep down, we are all human beings.
When you develop the notion that we are all brothers and sisters, you will feel a stronger sense of fraternal love emerging within you – that is solidarity.
How to discover all these pleasant similarities without speaking the same language?
Practicing a new idiom with an app you will automatically engage in global topics.
Have you ever wondered why the United Nations meetings involve 6 official languages? The European Union itself has more than 20 official languages! International aid organizations, like Doctors Without Borders, bring together professionals who need to communicate.
A conversation partner from an English speaking culture will tell you how to reach peace in many idiomatic expressions!
Challenges like those the COVID-19 pandemic revealed – difficulty of understanding a language well can lead to the incorrect interpretation of information. We also felt how this difficulty can isolate entire communities.
We don’t want that any more.
We are sure that mastering the languages of other people will make the world more and more interconnected socially and economically.
6. Language exchange teaches respect
We make a point to emphasize this: getting to know new cultures is one thing; recognizing their value is another.
When we learn another language from a native speaker, we gain a better understanding of their traditions, customs, and history. These have a purpose – and every nation is magnificent.
Is it true that all Chinese people practice martial arts?
Is it true that all Italians dress stylishly?
Through language exchange, we can overcome stereotypes that lead to prejudices and their harmful consequences, such as intolerance.
- When you are able to master another language, you are less prone to upset a person from a different culture unintentionally (different set of values and ideas may lead to this risk)
- Probably your own culture is seen in different (and wrong) ways by people from other cultures – you can undo these mistakes if you can explain it in their language.
- You can be surprised to understand the usual facts of your life and your country in a completely different approach!
- You will be proud of your own culture by talking about it to others – and that´s so good! Every single culture has many reasons to be proud of itself, you will see for yourself.
For us at Speaky, that’s the main objective of exchanging languages: celebrate diversity and build a strong global community feeling, to address the challenges we have been living with.
Now… some important tips before you jump into Speaky app.
Do’s and Don’ts of Language Exchange
Yes, there are some rules you should follow in order to learn effectively and maintain your foreign friendships for the long term.
Why are we making this so obvious point?
Well, you might already be a polite person, but… how can you be sure your level of politeness aligns with another culture’s expectations?
Thus, exercise extra caution in basic communication tasks, such as:
- Expressing gratitude
- Speaking in a calm and respectful manner
- Avoiding making jokes (especially during initial meetings)
- Listening attentively to your partner
- Correcting your partner’s mistakes smoothly
- Using polite words like “please” appropriately
- Please, adhere to the scheduled time! Avoid being late, as all of us have personal commitments in addition to our meetings. Show your genuine dedication to the activity of learning a foreign language.
- Make sure that the place where you make the call for your meeting is free of noise and that your voice is audible.
We’ve just demonstrated how incoherent (to say the least) it would be to not participate in language exchange. Even more so that we can do it comfortably from home!
Join us in creating a global community embracing