Summary of The Huge Benefits of Working in Your Second Language

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In today’s globalized work world, speaking a second language can give you a leg up: Being multilingual can multiply job opportunities and expand the scope of your work. But working in a nonnative tongue can also feel clumsy and inefficient. Writing for BBC Capital, Bogotá-based journalist José Luis Peñarredonda reveals some unexpected advantages of working in a nonnative language – including benefits in analytical thinking and negotiating. getAbstract recommends this encouraging exploration to anyone who’s struggling in a second language.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What unexpected advantages derive from speaking a second language,
  • Why the “foreign language effect” can help preserve relationships and
  • What advantages you can gain by conducting negotiations in a foreign language.
 

About the Author

Bogotá-based José Luis Peñarredonda writes for BBC Future.

 

Summary

Working in a foreign language can feel clumsy and inefficient. But speaking a second language, reasoning in a nonnative language and conducting negotiations in another tongue all appear to offer unexpected benefits. People who speak more than one language tend to think more analytically than monoglots. Psychology researcher Albert Costa found that reasoning becomes less error-prone when it’s conducted in a second tongue. And research also shows that thinking often becomes more objective in a foreign language. These effects seem to result from the “emotional distance” that comes with speaking and thinking in a nonnative language – termed the “foreign language effect.”


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