When you started learning Arabic, you probably didn’t think much about the long-term benefits of learning the language. Most likely, you were just happy that you’re able to ask where the bathroom is in Beirut or ask for directions to your business conference in Cairo. However, the benefits of being bilingual go far deeper than that. Today we’re going to discuss how you can improve your life in many ways when you learn to speak Arabic as a second language.
With both a growing population and rising middle class, the Middle East has become a dynamic center for investment. It provides many opportunities for doing business throughout the region. As a result, Western businesses are looking for Arabic speakers to help them take advantage of the opportunities for doing business in Arabic speaking countries. Fortunately for you, Western Arabic speakers are in very high demand but in very low supply. As a result, mastering Arabic can make your resume stand out.
Learning Arabic can be beneficial even if you’re not into the business world. You might simply want to make a career change. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Arabic interpreters and translators is expected to grow 19 percent between 2018 and 2028. This is much faster than the average for all occupations. Arabic language skills are also in high demand in Other fast-growing fields like travel and tourism, healthcare and national security. Fields such as journalism, education and international development are always in search of bilingual employees who speak Arabic. And if you dream of being a real-life Jason Bourne of the Middle East, the C.I.A. loves Arabic speakers.
Studies conducted by Wharton and LECG Europe found that learning a second language such as Arabic is correlated with about 2% more in annual income. The median salary for interpreters and translators is around $50,000 in the U.S. A 2% more in annual income equals about $1,000 more a year. Okay, so maybe that won’t make you rich. But, factoring in compounding, your Arabic could make you a little over $100,000 more in savings by retirement. Looking at it from that perspective, that’s not too bad. Not too bad at all.
Speaking Arabic will give you the chance to interact with different people and understand the nuances of the Arab culture. This means you might have more opportunities to make friends and better understand the richness and diversity of Arab culture though its music, film and literature.
You might also find that traveling is also be cheaper and more rewarding when you learn to speak Arabic. No longer will you be limited to staying in expensive hotels that most foreign, non- Arabic speaking guests stay in. Nor will you have to eat in high-end restaurants where the staff speaks English.
You’ll also not have to shell out a lot of cash for a tour group or pay for a foreign language guide. Instead, you’ll be able to navigate the country on your own and experience it the same way the locals do which will present you with more opportunities to meet new people, have conversations with them, and learn more about the culture than you ever could if you didn’t learning Arabic.
One of the best reasons to learn Arabic is the enormous health benefits it can have, especially for your brain. Studies conducted by Dartmouth College neuroscientists have discovered that the brains of bilingual people show more activity when they switch between two languages than those who speak only one. Through the use of imaging technology, the neuroscientists found that people who speak only one language only use the speech areas of the left side of their brains, while those who speak two languages like English and Arabic exercise speech areas in both sides of their brains. Bilinguals also show increased left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity as well. In layman’s terms, bilingual people use more of their brain when speaking than their monolingual peers do, something that the Dartmouth neuroscientist proclaimed “a very good thing”.
No matter what age you start to learn Arabic, the benefits of learning it are lifelong ones. This is especially true as you reach old age. The ability to adapt to unfamiliar or unexpected circumstances— otherwise known as cognitive flexibility — tends to decline as we grow older, but speaking Arabic can drastically hinder that decline.
According to the results of scientific research, learning Arabic can also improve cognition and delay dementia in older adults. Now, we’re not saying that learning Arabic is a “cure all” for diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s, but research has shown that it can delay the onset of symptoms of these diseases as much as five years. In fact, recent research has found that the brains of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s show the same physical deterioration no matter whether they speak one or more languages. However, regarding the symptoms of Alzheimer’s like memory loss, confusion and difficulties with problem-solving and planning, bilingual people tend to exhibit these warning signs much later than those who only speak one language.
There are numerous benefits to gain from learning Arabic including the benefits you’ll reap in your work, leisure and health. The sooner you learn Arabic and the more often you use it, the greater the benefits will be. So why not get started today? Once you’ve started reaping its rewards, you’ll be glad you did.
So, what’s the best way to learn Arabic and start taking advantage all of its benefits today? Why, it’s through Arabic learning apps like the one offered by Kaleela, of course!
Kaleela is an Arabic language app and website designed for those of you who would like to learn Arabic online for free. Our user-friendly app is downloadable to both IOS and Android mobile devices and available in a number of languages including English, Spanish, Indonesian, and Chinese – with more to come!
After downloading the app, you can choose from a variety of Arabic language courses including Modern Standard Arabic (also known as fusha) or delve a little deeper into the Arabic dialects by learning Egyptian Arabic, Levantine Arabic and even the Syrian dialect. For those of you learning Arabic for beginners, there are even special courses on the Arabic alphabet and how to write Arabic letters.
Visit kaleela.com today for more info and start learning Arabic today!
Kaleela – Learn Arabic the Right Way!