For most Millennia as well as children and young people of Generation Z, what seems quite normal is rather unusual for many people of older age groups: Not everyone has had the opportunity to learn one or even two foreign languages at school – and possibly to still further develop them in an exchange year abroad. That which among other things, is now even a prerequisite when searching for a job, used to be a symbol of high education: Learning of foreign languages. Find out in this article why you should still have the courage and drive to learn a (an additional) foreign language in old age.


  1. Do you enjoy travelling beyond the borders of Germany? You are a globetrotter, but still there is one thing that always makes your holiday a hindrance – the foreign language? Start learning at least English, in case you do not yet have in your vocabulary and language usage. You will soon notice that even with the basic knowledge of the world language, travelling is much easier and more relaxed! Be it by check-in at the airport, ordering drinks on the plane or communicating with hotel staff: You will find out how worthwhile the effort of learning has been as soon as you start your journey. Furthermore, you are much more flexible in your holiday destination – you can, for example, rent cars more easily or make unscheduled but important telephone calls to your foreign airline or authorities. Often you may be able to communicate in German in tourist areas such as Mallorca, but not in exotic resorts such as South America or the Caribbean.
  2. You can learn about other cultures much better while travelling – or in everyday life in Germany – if you speak the appropriate language; you can, not only communicate with people from other cultures, but also better understand their cultural background, habits and behaviour.
  3. Do you notice that you forget things more and more often? Be it your friend’s birthday or the last item on your shopping list? Brain and language research studies show that bilingualism and the learning of new languages in general prevent dementia in old age and trains the brain – even in old age, the brain is stimulated by language learning. However, it will become more challenging and time consuming for older people, but with intensive learning you can still achieve great learning progress even in old age!



Therefore, you also can enjoy the benefits from learning a foreign language – if not now, then when?  Get support from the Multilingual Office in Essen and ask for helpful tips and tricks for learning new languages!