The Benefits of Studying a New Language

1. 你好
2. Hola
3. नमस्ते
4. مرحبا
5. Olá
6. হ্যালো
7. Алло
8. こんにちは

Choose one. One you think looks cool, or one you recognize, or one you select randomly.

Got one? Now, match up your pick with the list below.

1. Mandarin
2. Spanish
3. Hindi
4. Arabic
5. Portuguese
6. Bengali
7. Russian
8. Japanese

All right, here’s the fun part. Take the language you chose, and go learn it.


The above list contains the languages estimated to be the most widely spoken in the world. Notably absent is English, which comes in as the third most popular language, but was intentionally excluded from this list because if you’re able to read this, you know English already. And our goal is to encourage you learn a language you don’t know.

Let us explain why.

To put it simply: It’s good for you. It’s good for your professional life, and your health, and more.

Speaking more than one language makes you smarter. That is a scientifically and quantifiably true fact. Children who speak more than one language tend to perform better on standardized tests, and they have increased attentive focus and cognition. Multilingual people are more adept at switching tasks, and they’re more likely to perform those tasks without errors. They make more rational decisions. They’re more perceptive to their surroundings. They’re able to better compete in an ever-increasingly global marketplace. They retain memories better.

And not just short-term memory—they have better long-term memory, too. In fact, studies show that people who develop Alzheimers and dementia will show the first signs of the disease later in life if they speak more than one language. The mean age for monolingual adults is 71; for multilingual adults, it’s 76.

The brain is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it will become. Do you know how heavy verb conjugations are? Learning them in a foreign language is like squatting double your body weight. Studying a new language will get your brain Arnold Schwarzenegger strong. It might even get you a cool accent like his, too.

Ahora, ¡ve aprender! (Now, go learn!)

Not sure where to start? For Saint Joseph’s College students, faculty, and staff, Wellehan Library provides access to Mango Languages, a self-paced, online language learning system. For non-SJC members, look into free mobile apps like Duolingo, or check out a more comprehensive list of language learning services on

11 Ways to Have a Good Day at Work

1. Wake up 20 minutes early.


Get out of bed, take a shower, eat your oatmeal, brush your teeth. Don’t putt around the house because you think you’ve got the time to spare—instead, use the extra time to show up to work early. Not only will it impress your boss but it will also give a calmer start to your morning. There’s never a need to curse traffic lights or school buses when you’re 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

2. Write down your goals for the day. 


Think about the top three things you need to accomplish during the day and jot them down. Next to them, put how much time you’ll devote to each task. When the time’s up, move on to the next one.

3. Exercise.


Whether it’s before work, on your lunch break, or after work—try to incorporate physical exercise into your daily routine. Exercise is proven to reduce stress and increase endorphins. Less stress and more endorphins make for happier days.

4. Focus on one task at a time.


Multitasking is overrated. When you’re answering emails while talking on the phone and scribbling down notes, nothing gets your full attention or your best effort. Concentrate on one task and complete it before starting something new.

5. Dress well.


Dressing well doesn’t mean spending $500 on a new pair of shoes. It means wearing work-appropriate clothing that’s comfortable and flattering. Feeling good in your outfit will give a boost of confidence to your day.

6. Take meetings on foot.


Skip the standard sitting meeting and take your talk on the walk. You’ll get exercise, fresh air, and new ideas. Bring along a small notebook or an audio recorder (found on most smartphones) if you need a way to keep notes.

7. Take breaks.


Take breaks from your computer, your desk, and even your building. Breaks are important for both your physical and mental health. Stand up, look away from your computer, do a few squats, or maybe chat with a co-worker. Short breaks throughout the day will rejuvenate your body and mind.

8. Think positively.


This one may seem obvious—if you want to have a good day, have good thoughts. Sometimes it can be trickier than it sounds, especially if you have co-workers who love to complain. Their negativity is not contagious, no matter how much it might feel like it. Find ways to remind yourself why you like your job. Smile!

9. Eat snacks.


Snacking throughout the day will help to keep your energy high. Strive for a balance of protein, fiber, nutrients, and healthy fat in your snacks. Nuts, eggs, fruits, and vegetables are all great foods to keep in your snack arsenal. 

10. Listen to music.


Most radio stations offer free online streaming. Find your favorite one, or use music services like Pandora or Spotify, and jam. If you can’t concentrate with music playing, get a pair of noise-canceling headphones to block out chatty co-workers.

11. Drink coffee.


Caffeine sometimes gets a bad reputation, but coffee actually offers a lot of health benefits. Besides the boost to your energy, coffee provides antioxidants and can reduce stress.