6 Reasons Seafarers Should Learn Another Language
Learning a new language is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Although the process is not always easy: it requires time, effort and funds sometimes. But the investment is well worth it especially for seafarers.
The maritime industry is a global community with people of diverse cultures. A seafarer or mariner will enjoy a lot of benefits learning a new foreign language. Here are 6 reasons seafarers should learn another language:
1. Develop friendships
Speaking the native language of your foreign colleague or boss can create a bond of friendship and more personal communication. Learning a new language gives you the opportunity of making new people and developing life-long friendship with them.
2. More career opportunities
A new language open doors to exploring job opportunities and building a career in a country other than your own. Multilingual professionals are more sought after. To work in a multinational shipping company, speaking two or more of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) official languages increases your employability.
You can do your Certificate of Competency (CoC) or further your studies in a foreign country.
3. Explore different culture
During your career as a seafarer, you will visit different countries. Speaking the languages enables you appreciate and enjoy diverse cultures: Music, movies, food, literature, poetry, theatre, fine arts, etc.
Exploring a different culture is an immensely enriching experience intricately tied to the knowledge of a foreign language. This is also beneficial if you decide to live abroad or go on a vacation.
4. Health benefit
Learning a new language keeps your brain sharp and helps you make smarter decisions. It increases your brain power and keeps you more efficient at work.
A psychologist at York University in Toronto, Ellen Bialystok, has found that students who study foreign languages tend to score better on standardized tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in the categories of math, reading, grammar, and vocabulary.
Additionally, a study conducted by Researchers from University College London has shown that learning other languages altered grey matter – the area of the brain which processes information – in the same way exercise builds muscles.
5. Expand your knowledge
There are machineries on board with instruction manual written in a language other than your own. Your knowledge of a foreign language affords you the opportunity of studying the manual and understanding it the way it was intended.
6. Transform your career experience
Learning a foreign language, even as little as a handful of phrases, can transform your career experience. Your ability to interact with the locals at ports can result in warm smiles and invitations for drinks. It might bring you opportunities that you'd not imagine.
Having shared with you 6 Reasons Seafarers Should Learn Another Language, you may ask, which language should a seafarer learn?
The answer to that depends on the language or languages you currently speak. If you can speak English, i'd recommended you learn French.
As a seafarer, i strongly recommend choosing a language from the official languages of IMO.
The official languages of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The working languages are English, French and Spanish.
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