During our modern times, almost all professionals are encouraged (or required) to master more than one language fluently. In primary and secondary school as well as university, students have to take language classes in order to meet the requirements for graduation. However, the advantages of speaking more than one language go well beyond the professional realm.
Being fluent in a second language (or a third or fourth one …) may help you to connect to your roots and heritage, should you choose to learn a language spoken by previous generations of your family. In the United States, everybody has a relative that was an immigrant, whether from Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, etc. Learning the language that your family spoke prior to English can surely be a way to better understand family bonds and history.
In addition, learning a foreign language is also healthy for your brain. Studies have shown that people who speak several languages have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s and better memory as well. It is also easier to multitask by switching from one language to another once you’ve achieved a bilingual level.
Other benefits are related to cultural differences, as people who speak various languages are able to perceive the subtleties that are lost in translation, not to mention understanding film, music and literature without the need to rely on subtitles, dubbing and translations.
In sum, studying foreign languages and speaking a second or third language in addition to your mother tongue brings many clear benefits … and no drawback.