In any society, a person learning a foreign language is supposed to have a broader mindset than other people. It concerns more than just linguistic knowledge or multicultural competence as learning a foreign grammar involves critical thinking and analysis. Besides, understanding a foreign language is a fascinating skill that allows people to socialize in a broader community and understand people nearby them better.
Some societies pay more attention to learning foreign languages that the others but it happens mostly due to social or economic reasons. Multilingualism is very common in Europe where countries have numerous neighbors and feel entitled to know major European languages. People of developing countries always try to learn English as the language is understood worldwide and it opens broader employment prospects. Interestingly, British, Americans, and Australians often cannot get why they should learn a second language if everyone can simply speak English.
Learning foreign languages makes more sense these days than a century ago. Today we are more likely to go abroad on a holiday or have friends speaking French, Spanish, or German. After all, these are are the languages of people who once arrived in Americas, and it would be nice to speak the language of our forefathers. As the world has become much closer lately, communicating with friends from abroad is a routine thing to many of us.
Though we may not need the second or third language in our daily communication, we may use it to show respect when being abroad. In many countries, people do not like foreigners speaking English and expecting that everyone would rush to help them. Therefore, speaking a foreign language when abroad is a sign of respect to people and culture we visit.