speaking beyond the mother tongue
Being monolingual in today's world may do little harm to a speaker; however, those mastering more than one language does have an edge over monolingual speakers. In order to adapt to the current setting in which globalization is happening so rapidly and explore miscellaneous cultural aspects expressed through languages, one should aim to venture beyond their mother tongue.
The first benefit of knowing many languages is relatively self-explanatory: that is being able to communicate with various corners of the world. This applies to not only leisure activities such as travelling but also to working and collaborating. In fact, being bilingual or multilingual is now a plus for promotion candidates or for job interviewees. Furthermore, access to materials is more open than ever when people can read in different languages. To better understand this point, simply think about fantastic foreign books and movies that are not subtitled yet . That is when we aspire to be fluent in those languages.
Second, languages reflect cultures, and each language is a different lens through which people look at life. In other words, the more languages people know, the richer and deeper their life experiences may get. Cultural aspects such as belief, values and perceptions are demonstrated explicitly in their respective languages. For example, in Chinese, while the word "xin" is commonly translated into the "heart", yet it also means the mind and emotions. That is to say, in Chinese culture, the heart as we know it is not only a physical one, it is also a mental representation of emotional world, the will and desires of a person and the wisdom. In other cultures, rarely does the "heart" mean this much if not influenced by the Chinese. A further implication of this is that those learning foreign languages might have access to a set of beliefs and concepts that do not exist or are obscure in their culture. Through this process, they may come to respect cultural diversity as well as appreciate the unique features of their culture.
To conclude, I truly believe that bilingualism or multilingualism eases people into the process of globalization and brings about a variety of cultural perspectives that one may not be acquainted with in their mother tongue. Therefore, much more emphasis should be placed on teaching foreign languages.