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How to Stand Out, Learn a Language

In this, the first in a series of articles dedicated to offering up advice on how to stand out as a job seeker, we look at why you should consider learning an extra language and how you can go about picking it up.

Learning a new language takes time but with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to understand it fairly well - certainly well enough to put it on your CV.

Why should I learn another language?

  • It’s good for your brain, first of all.

 

Multiple studies have shown that picking up a new language and speaking it can have a positive impact on your grey matter.

Learn a new language and you’ll find your memory improving and even stave off age-related decline in brain function.

That alone is reason enough.

  • Learning a new language allows you to connect with people better

 

You’re less likely to sit on the bus or train and hear people talking without understanding them.

Instead, you’ll know what they’re saying and be able to connect with them.

This is South Africa, and we have many official languages. It’s no longer okay to just speak one.

  • It will change the way you travel

 

If you go overseas a lot, learning a new language will help you get by.

You’ll be able to ask for directions without looking like (as much of) an annoying tourist.

  • It improves your employability

 

If there are two equally qualified candidates for a job, one of whom speaks only English and the other of whom is bilingual it’s likely the bilingual candidate will be chosen.

Having learnt an additional language suggests dedication on your part, something that an employer would love to have on their side.

How do I learn a new language?

It’s actually fairly easy to learn a new language.

There are multiple websites out there that can help you pick up anything from German to Welsh, Swahili to Klingon.

Duolingo

Learnalanguage

Babbel

Openculture

Learn101, particularly good for South African languages

And that is the how and why of learning a new language; it’s good for your brain, makes you stand out as a job seeker and is really easy to do! Good luck!

- Conor Engelbrecht

 

 

 

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