1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. "Why Bilinguals Are Smarter"


"Why Bilinguals Are Smarter"

Hello everyone!

I had to read this for class, and I thought of you guys! In a nutshell, it is a New York Times article, titled "Why Bilinguals Are Smarter," that talks about the benefits of being bilingual, and possible reasons as to why these benefits exist. Is should brighten your day as all of us are studying another language. :-)


July 13, 2017



Nice! I always thought this primarily applied to people who have been bilingual from an early age like myself (Finnish and Turkish are my first two languages), but according to the article, "there is reason to believe that it may also apply to those who learn a second language later in life." So that is great news, indeed!


Exactly! It's never too late. :-)


Thank you for sharing that! :)

In return I have another for you which has long been my favorite:

Does Your Language Shape How You Think?


That was such an interesting article! From how people view objects based on their assigned gender to the geographical locations. It's interesting how language can influence how we view the world. I remember learning the Sesotho language, and the word for "sir" is "Ntate," which means "father." Basically, everyone you meet is either your brother, sister, mother, or father. That made people bond even closer (or at least I thought so!).

Also, that's the reason my Duolingo name is "Ntate Narin," as I have fond memories of people calling me the word for "father." :-)


Also, that's the reason my Duolingo name is "Ntate Narin," as I have fond memories of people calling me the word for "father." :-)

What a neat story! Thank you for sharing part of it. I am sure there is a lot more to it though. :)


I used to be doing this for my project, I find this kind of research so interesting :-)


I'm glad you enjoyed the article! :-)


Here's an earlier Duo discussion. (Hmmm . . . I wonder if Ellen Byalistok is related to Max Byalistock? ;)) There was a BBC World Service 2-part program(me) about this, broadcast w/in the last year . . . which I cannot find right now. I'll add it to this comment, if/when found.

. . . Here the two broadcasts are: part 1, and part 2 . . . and an article listed by Lorel90 in another thread.

Cool! It looks like Lorel90 hits a 1000-day streak today. Congrats, Lorel90 (should you read this)!


Thank you for the links! I'm slowly going through the amazing videos. :-)

Also, congrats on your 1,000+ day streak Slogger!


Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. This makes me feel all the more smarter than I wuz before. I heard 2 ( or more ) different languages being spoken at home when I wuz little, most likely English (sometimes) & Punjabi. And I've apparently been to many foreign countries too, but seeing as I'm living in America, I learned English, and sadly, forgot all the Punjabi I knew. #:(

& that's not even the worst part; since I spoke Punjabi when I was little, then learn English afterwards, all my memories when I spoke and thunk in Punjabi was practically erased. #Double:( (but I think I'm smarter than I would've been monolingual :)


Well, I have good news for you. You still have neurons for those early languages and should you decide to relearn the Punjabi (a very popular world language) you should be able to do it easier.

Two studies, one with Chinese adoptees and one with Korean adoptees show this:




Most people have very few memories of their early childhood, regardless of which languages they may or may not have been using at different times of their lives.


I know. I am relearning it. But I was just saying because most of my friends and peers remember things when they were 3, 2 and even 1 years old! I just think that's crazy. Thx. :)


Sorry to hear you forgot the Punjabi you knew. What's nice though is that you'll be surprised by how much you remember when you're reintroduced to the language.

For me, I learned the Sesotho language for 2 years in the country of Lesotho, and after a few years, I forgot most words, sadly. But when I met someone that knew the language and spoke to me in it, many of the words came flooding back to me, and I can understand him! Granted, not all the words, but at least I know that I can relearn it again much faster if I tried again today. :-)

I wish you the best in your language learning Navi_11!


What about trilingualism? Or even more than that? Is bilingualism enough? (I actually was making a school paper answering that question before it got disapproved by the teacher and I went back to square one.


That's a good question, and I thought of that as well as I have a few friends who could speak more than one language. Hopefully someone can answer that question!


Cool! Happy that what I'm doing is helping me in other ways than one


Exactly! Helps you not only with communicating and understanding other cultures, but helps your brain as well! :-)


Great article, the protection from alzheimer's and other cognitive ailments is a great benefit of learning more than one language.

They have really only studied the benefits for babies raised as bilingual form birth.

It is really only an assumption that these benefits would extend to those who learned a second language earlier, and that the degree of benefit would depend on the degree of proficiency in the second language.

This makes sense, but has yet to be studied according to the article.

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.