Picture the scene: you are walking along a glorious Colombian Caribbean beach, sand squeaking beneath your feet. You’ve had a great day splashing around in the ocean and reclining under palm trees, the sun is now setting and the party is getting started. You stroll up to the nearest bar when, from over your shoulder you hear a smooth voice purr “oye sexy… baila conmigo”. Do you:
- Hand over your jewellery and run
- Say loudly and clearly “No speako Spanish. I’M ENGLISH” before ordering a cup of earl grey
- Dance with the sexy Colombian
Speaking another language means you can really get to know other cultures. How exactly you get to know them is, of course, up to you.
If you spent your gap year in Latin America, you would have noticed how Spanish-speaking travellers could get on with the locals. You don’t even need to be fluent, but a grounding in a language makes that all-important first contact much easier.
There’s little doubt that speaking a second language gives you sex appeal when you are travelling, but does it make a difference when you get back home?
The answer is… probably. Although no scientific research has been published into whether speaking a second language makes you more attractive, there has been some less formal research. When a journalist contacted 270 British dating agencies to find out whether they asked their clients about any additional languages they spoke, he found that 97% did ask. Why? Because their customers said that people who spoke a second language came across as more intelligent and attractive than people who spoke only one.
There is plenty of debate over whether speaking a second language does actually make you more intelligent, but the important thing is that single people perceive someone who speaks a second language as sexier. And when it comes to attraction, perception is all important. Anyway, speaking a second language certainly doesn’t do your brain any harm.
Which languages are the sexiest? Again, this is completely a matter of perception. Our hormones make us want to snag the best partner we possibly can. As such, the prestige of a language is closely tied to how attractive it is considered.
For example, most Brits would probably say that French or Spanish sounds sexier than German. Although nobody can be 100% sure why, it’s likely that this comes from the vocabulary of English: the prestigious forms of words usually come from Latin or French, while the non-prestigious forms come from Germanic languages. We have various words that mean the same thing, for example start and commence; the only difference is the prestige. Start is Germanic, commence is French.
Learning and speaking another language can also make you more attractive in indirect ways. For example, having a conversation in a language that is not your first can do great things to your confidence. And confidence is sexy. Speaking another language is also a sign that you have seen the world, which again leads back to prestige.
So, if you learn another language when you are on a gap year or travelling abroad, not only will you have a better time when you are away, you will bring sexy back with you. Image Source: Alex Hammond