The importance of having more than one language in the global world

Friday, March 28th, 2014 by: Annette Drenth

I grew up in the Netherlands, where speaking another language apart from your mother tongue is part of society. English is taught from primary school through to high school and other languages like French and German are subjects taught throughout high school. I feel being multilingual has really enriched me as a person. When I describe myself to other people, I often mention that I speak multiple languages, as it is a major part of me and defines my identity. It has also provided me with a multicultural view of the world as language is closely linked to culture. Even studies have shown that people with multiple language skills have a more global perspective compared to people who speak only one language.

There are a multitude of benefits to speaking another language. Studies indicate that people who are bilingual or multilingual are a lot more flexible in their thinking and possess an advanced cognitive understanding. They are better at reasoning, multitasking, grasping and reconciling conflicting ideas. These are all highly beneficial skills to have in our global society.

Australia is starting to feel the effects of a globalised world and multicultural workforce. More and more people with multiple language skills migrate to Australia. Society greatly benefits from this on more than one front. For example, local communities grow into more tolerant places to live as cultural differences become less important. Companies end up with a more flexible and adaptable workforce that is able to assist the company to expand into new markets more effectively and can make a meaningful contribution towards the growth of the company. There are even certain industries that benefit more than others. Being able to understand clients on a bilingual and bicultural level allows for a deeper sense of business-client relations hence retail, sales and customer service related industries use this to their advantage.

As a Career Consultant, I work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and being able to emphasise this as a strength for them, enables me to provide a more profound and personal service.  Being able to tap into my multicultural upbringing creates a deeper sense of business-client relations and benefits me in the pursuit of service excellence towards my clients.

I am available to work with you on a personalised basis so feel free to contact me for obligation free advice on how I can assist you in achieving your career goals.

To learn more about Annette Drenth click here.

This article was published in the “Australian Career Practitioner” – Volume 24, Issue 4 Summer 2013.