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On the BYU-Idaho campus, it’s not uncommon to hear snippets of conversation in a foreign language.

“It’s just fun not only to speak the language itself, (but you also) get to know kinda how the other cultures think,” said Isaac Pacheco, a sophomore majoring in general studies. “Just being able to see the world in a different way.”

While some BYU-I students come from other countries, others learned a foreign language through serving a mission or personal study.

“Study a foreign language if you have the opportunity to do so,” said Gordon B. Hinckley, former President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “You may never be called to a land where that language is spoken, but the study will have given you a better understanding of your own tongue or of another tongue you may be asked to acquire.”

Those students of BYU-I who speak different languages have both learning and workplace advantages. Knowing a second language can improve your cognitive function and has multiple benefits, according to Cognitive Benefits of Bilingualism.

Learning a second language delays the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It increases executive functions and decision-making abilities. Subsequently, future languages become easier to learn.

Listen as students introduce themselves in eight different languages.


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