8 Benefits of Being Trilingual (With Helpful Tips)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published November 20, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Speaking three languages can help you meet new friends, advance your career, and enjoy your vacations more. There are several benefits to learning a third language, including the ability to interact more easily with people from other countries and cultures. Learning more about the benefits of speaking three languages and how this can improve your career opportunities may encourage you to learn another language and expand your skill set. In this article, we discuss what speaking three languages means, list eight benefits of speaking three languages, and share various tips for achieving this goal.
What does trilingual mean?
Being trilingual means that you know how to use three languages to communicate with people who speak those languages. It also means that you can listen, read, and speak those languages fluently. For instance, if you consider yourself a fluent Spanish, English, and French speaker, you might have an advanced or expert level of proficiency in all three languages.
8 benefits of being trilingual
Speaking three languages can help you both professionally and personally, as it can allow you to improve your quality of life and access new career opportunities. Here are eight benefits of speaking three languages:
1. Accessing other cultures
Speaking three languages allows you to communicate with people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. This means understanding their expressions, localisms, and writing, which is useful to appreciate their values, beliefs, history, and way of life. For instance, if you're fluent in Thai, you might understand the meaning of many Thai characters, which enables you to read history in the original language. Accessing this information might assist you in identifying other cultures' customs, behaviours, and ways of thinking. In addition, this information can also allow you to understand how certain cultures perceive your values and habits.
2. Having more job opportunities
When you can speak three languages, you can access more job opportunities both in your home country and abroad, as some employers might hire you based on your language skills. For instance, a German corporation might hire you to act as a liaison between their company and a certain provincial government. The hiring manager can consider you a valuable asset if you can communicate with them in German, understand the full meaning of their ideas and convey the information to the provincial authorities.
If you're willing to relocate, three languages also allow you to look for job positions throughout different countries. For instance, if you speak Portuguese, you can work in Brazil, Portugal, Guinea Bissau, East Timon, Cape Verde, or Mozambique.
3. Having a better memory
Speaking three languages can help you improve your memory because mastering a language requires you to memorize expressions, vocabulary, and idioms. It can also help you improve your critical thinking skills and reasoning abilities, as learning a language requires understanding linguistic structures and rules used to process information. For instance, if you know how to speak Arabic or Persian, this means that you've memorized a different alphabet and you've familiarized yourself with a different set of sounds. A third language can also stimulate your memory because it might be necessary for you to learn and memorize grammar rules.
4. Travelling and meeting new friends
Speaking three languages allows you to travel to different places and communicate fluently with local people. This can help you travel across those countries to new places, such as beaches, mountain communities, and cities. Being able to share your opinions and impressions with the locals enables you to hear their stories and learn more about their customs.
For instance, if you can speak Spanish, you might visit a Mexican beach or participate in a Mexican festival. These situations might give you the opportunity to meet new friends with whom you can keep in contact and share information about your travels, city, or work experience.
5. Accessing international courses, conferences, and events
When you speak three languages, your employer might send you on a business trip to attend a conference in another country. This may allow you to network with people from different cultures and learn about their business practices and work experiences. It can also enable you to evaluate and take online or in-person courses created by professionals who speak a language different from your own.
For instance, if you speak Danish, you might be able to attend a medical conference in Denmark where local doctors plan to share their experiences with a new surgical procedure. In addition, speaking three languages can allow you to attend relevant events, such as a reception offered by a certain embassy, consulate, or association.
6. Understanding international politics
Speaking three languages enables you to read the news in a language other than your own and better understand a foreign country's politics. For instance, if you speak Japanese, you can read Japanese newspapers and understand the local news, political events, social issues, and economic trends. This information allows you to comprehend how this country works, how it's changing, and how it's reacting to world events. In addition, being able to understand a country's political and social climate might help you identify job and business opportunities.
7. Appreciating music and art
Speaking three languages allows you to understand a variety of music songs, which might encourage you to attend concerts or buy the music of foreign artists. You may enjoy and have access to a variety of music genres, such as salsa, bossa nova, reggae, calypso, reggaeton, or flamenco. This can allow you to enjoy music from different countries, understand their music lyrics, and learn about their culture through listening to the music. If you're a musician, this can help you create more original music, mix different genres, and share your songs with other artists abroad.
8. Being able to learn more languages
Speaking three languages might encourage you to study a fourth, as you might have mastered the process of learning a new language. This means that you know how to start the learning process, what resources you might need, and how you can practise every day. If you want to learn a fourth language, it's advisable to consider the professional opportunities that you might gain from it and the personal benefits you might enjoy.
For instance, suppose that you can speak English, French, and Italian, and you want to learn a new language to advance your career. Here, if you work in the construction industry and most suppliers are in Mexico, it's beneficial for you to learn Spanish. Doing this might encourage your employer to assign you new responsibilities and instruct you to negotiate with the suppliers in Spanish.
Tips to become trilingual
Here are some tips you can follow to learn how to speak three languages:
One of the best ways to learn a new language is by taking a language course. You can do this online or in a classroom setting. It's important to consider your learning style and choose a course that suits your work schedule.
Write or read a book
If you already have a basic understanding of a specific language, you can start reading a basic book, such as children's books, to familiarize yourself with the vocabulary. You can use a bilingual dictionary to translate words that you don't know. You can get these books at your local library or search for one online.
Travelling abroad might encourage you to learn basic expressions in the local language. This can be a great way to start your learning process and practise your listening and speaking skills. It's beneficial to use mobile applications that can help you translate what you want to convey and repeat the sound you're hearing.
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