Go Deep, Be
Courageous, Emerge a Winner!
Serving the Business and Professional
Community since 1983!
N. Elizabeth Fried, Ph.D.
Learn a Foreign Language
today's global economy we're likely to interact with others who speak a
foreign language. Those executives who are multi-lingual have a real leg up on
others. There are some
leadership programs designed for executives that may include this as part of their
curriculum. I encourage you to decide which foreign language you'd like
to explore. Once you learn it, consider spending some of your vacation
time doing an "intensive" by living with a family to really learn. If
your organization offers opportunities for a sabbatical, this is an ideal way
to broaden your skills.
The American Council on
Foreign Language has an a broad range of offerings to help to determine
where to learn and understand the standards required for becoming proficient
in a language. There are many reasons to learn a foreign language, but
the Top 10 according to the Rosetta Stone langue system are:
- Expand your horizons: You will get
a richer experience when traveling to foreign countries if you know at least
the basics of their language.
- Open doors professionally: From a
business perspective, when you are able to communicate in a foreign language,
it gives you an edge.
- Sharpen your mind: Research has
shown that learning a new language stimulates the language center of your
brain. This results in the added benefit of improving your native tongue.
- Make the grade: Because discipline
is required to learn a new language, it can carry over to improving grades in
- Immerse yourself in arts and culture:
Many nuances are "lost in translation," to truly appreciate the cultural
references and metaphors contained within certain masterpieces, learn the
language associated with them.
- Grab the global market: Sell your
product, your service, even yourself. Globally.
- Explore at home: Enjoy and gain a
better appreciation for the cultural pockets that are present in the U.S.,
such as Chinatowns and Latin communities, especially on holidays like
Cinco de Mayo.
- Gain more perspective: How do other
cultures perceive world events? Read a foreign newspaper or watch a newscast
in a different language.
- Lend a helping hand: Ever wanted to
do more than just donate money? Join the peace corps, go on a mission, or
simply go abroad to help.
- Improve yourself for a lifetime:
Many of the ways we improve ourselves are temporary, but an investment in
language learning lasts forever.