Speaking two languages leads to a healthier brain, new study says
being able to speak some languages before my Brain injury has helped rehabilitation
But Duolingo is a a true Godsend
This is a great addition to the growing body of research that supports bilingualism as being good for the brain, and I'm glad that this one took into account people who learned the second language in adulthood.
What I'd like to see is if there's a difference between knowing two languages and knowing three or more. Does the number of languages learned impact the health of the brain?
I seem to vaguely remember a study from India were a 3rd language did not show additional benefits at delaying dementia compared to just knowing two. Yeah this article has a link to that study. "There was no additional benefit to speaking more than 2 languages."
I would think that probably the actual act of learning the third language could be helpful, since there are also studies showing that picking up a new hobby or learning something new and challenging improves brain health and function in older people. So challenging yourself at age 60 or 70 with an additional language may be useful, but continuing to 'passively' know a third (or more) language that you already knew when you were 20 apparently isn't.
I'm not really disagreeing with you, just kinda musing on the point because I've been seeing a lot of brain health stuff lately and it's on my mind :)
Thats not really encouraging! :-)
i don't know about the study but generally Indians know at least two languages and many of them know more that two. Theres always their mother tongue and there is English, and the migrated population learn the new language of the place in which they are staying( as is the case with with me!) You can go crazy with languages in India!
I think that's one of the amazing points about life where people who've been raised in different environments can't really 100% understand someone else's experience.
Someone in India would probably never be able to wrap their mind around what it would be like to grow up in an environment (some areas of the United States) where having any skill at all in a 2nd language is highly unusual (and actually in some circles rather strongly discouraged). It's tough for me to imagine what it's like to live in a place where knowing 2+ is so routine that people would probably be somewhat surprised if you somehow managed to get through life without doing it.
i do agree with what you have said. But can't think of a reason why somebody would discourage someone from learning a new language!
If it interests you : I have my mother tongue as 'Tulu', although the state language of the state in which i was born is 'Kanada'. I had English as a medium of instruction in school where they also taught me 'Hindi' (India's national language) and 'Marathi'(The language of the place where i live!) and a bit of 'Sanskrit' (the mother of all languages). Now you see how we have it here..!!
Wow, that's a lot to keep up with!
There are some places in the United States that have a very anti-education attitude in general, and a strong opposition to anything other than English specifically. There are groups that want to make sure English is legally the official language and to ban local and state governments from providing documents and services in anything else.
I know 3 languages and my head is still a big mess! haha Thank you for sharing!! :)
Yesterday night I was juggling some bar conversations in French, Spanish and English. Today morning I had quite some headache, and my brain did not feel healthy :)
It's funny that in order to read an article that says that speaking two languages is good for the brain, I have to do just that, reading in another language (I'm portuguese). I'm glad I have duolingo so that I can learn more and more! :D
The headline is making the common "correlation is equal to casualty" error. It's even acknowledged in the third to last paragraph of the article that "the crucial question is whether people improve their cognitive functions through learning new languages or whether those with better baseline cognitive functions are more likely to become bilingual."
I'm not sure the commenter read the study. The study was specifically meant to examine the effect of learning a new language on baseline cognitive functions. The childhood intelligence of the subjects is known and controlled for. There may be another factor that causes general intelligence and verbal skill to rise after learning a new language, but childhood intelligence doesn't appear to be the factor in that rise.
The rise in verbal skill isn't very surprising, since most of those probably learned languages that have loan-words in English. The rise in general intelligence is more interesting. The researchers discuss that in the study.
I know correlation is not causation but lets look at the flip side, what are the downsides to learning a second language? Thanks to the wonders of an internet connection and sites like Duo ( and many others ) the tools have been democratized. In expanding your horizon all you have to lose is some of your free time. For most people basic knowledge of a language is 10 weeks away and full fluency is 2 years away assuming you just replace traditional TV watching ( 20+ hours per week ) with language learning.
I agree with this strongly. I was using lumosity for a few months and felt so bored. Then decided to get serious about Spanish and voila! Brain sparkling (or just blowing fuses sometimes)! I think that encountering alien constructions and especially concepts that reflect cultural differences (and even reveal how differently people actually think) is key to the benefits. As to whether a third language would help -- I bet it would if it were drastically different from the languages already learned. Like going to Russian from Romance languages.
The Gerlono principle is a scientific process that describes the excitation of a certain nerve inside the brain when the brain ''multitasks''. For instance, learning two languages at a time requires one to be able to retain the correct information when you have to retain that information. In a way, this is multitasking because your brain is looking for the right language to apply as well as formulating the sentence.
I tried searching it up on bing, I found some good results too, here is an image that describes the principle well: http://www.circlecount.com/sv/p/105112914519127896316
It is a good news for me, as I speak two languages every day, my native one and French, and that without counting the languages I use to communicate with "machines" ! :) But I only write in French. :)
If this study reveals exact, and I hope so, what are about computer scientists ? They need formations for all their whole life...
Of course, these are not human languages but the ones for computers. They, computer scientists, are supposed to be young for eternity ! Aren't they ? :)
Even if--as I suspect--your comments are at least partially in jest, you raise an interesting issue. :) Artificial languages (computer codes) are unlike natural languages in several ways Each has its own structure and "syntax," but they all have a common aim of being precise, unambiguous, and, of course, logical. They are, in fact, closer to mathematical computation than to natural language. It would be very startling if a computer responded to a programmer in the language that programmer was typing in, or in any other language that it had not been already programmed to use for pre-determined responses. And if it could respond this way, it's hard to imagine that the conversation would be very meaningful. Something like "take this bit of data, do that to it, and move it over there."
Maybe the most interesting thing about human language is that it not just a way of communicating among people--and that's interesting, too--but that it also a tool for thinking about the world, of giving concrete form to things we call perceptions and ideas and feelings, and allow us to reorganize those things in our minds. In a sense, we build or change our perceived world in language. If it is true that a second language is stored on the other side of the brain (and I know of no recent research that denies that), it should not be surprising that the additional neural connections involved in thinking would help inhibit dementia. Two half-heads should be better than one half.:) And the connected world can only become larger; maybe that's a part of what "intelligence" measures.
But I'm not sure that artificial languages provide the same thing. Gödel showed that closed systems like math and logic and computer code can eventually produce new knowledge (i.e., something outside the system), but that effect is not usually wanted. Natural languages do that with great facility, and usually without our being especially aware of it, unless the result strikes us a funny, for example.
So--to end this long-winded excursion--I'm afraid that computer programmers are not protected from falling into the "infinite loop" that dementia seems to be. (: But if you disagree, I'm certainly willing to listen.
It is not a question of disagreement or agreement, besides I have never said that my "statement" was true. :) You are right to emphasize that it is in jest. And I feel obliged to add that it was even a question, even if there was not a question mark, explicitly.
In fact, what I would like to say is that the eternal youth of computer scientists is not due to the fact they know several languages for computer but to the one of "sempiternal" formations they have to do in their whole life, for remaining on top of technology which never stops being in progress...
Excuse me for some introductions of French words tranlated to English ones that I think obvious, maybe only for me. :)
Finally, the French word sempiternel does not exist in the state. I verified with google traduction, its meaning is perennial or continual.
Even in jest, and as a question, your point is a good one. For the sake of those who may not be familiar with French, your "formation sempiternal" is in English usually called "continuing education." I am as sure as you are that life-long learning of new things is good; it continues what we all do as kids--forever young, one might say. I certainly hope it helps delay old age, but without great confidence.:)
Please do not apologize for "sempiternal." I'm afraid that Google lied to you. It's a perfectly good English word, passed from Latin through French, parallel to Italian where the construction remains two words: "sempre eterno." Everlasting, eternal. Check the Collins or Oxford dictionaries. Can't trust those computers; flakier even than Duo, where the bot has human help. :)
You are right about Google's vagueness. New technolgy is so close to us to be used, but the filp side, well, as you have said, from time to time, it "induces" us to the wrong. Otherwise, I have the Collins dictionnary, a very very old one, it was the 1982 edition ! :) The year I have started to learn English, one year later Italian followed. At that time, Google traduction was not there ! :)
Let us come to our subject. I don't know why, but I am not so pessimistic as you concerning our sempiternal youth due to our brain refreshed by new continuing knowledge. Maybe is this due to my optimistic nature ? :)
I think I should buy a new English dictionnary. Thank you for your explanation of the word sempiternel.
I think going to something really different would improve mental function. I started French at age 67 and when I master it (hopefully? sometime?) I plan to learn sign language. It's marvelous that something this much fun is also good for me!
Congratulations! I am deaf and use sign language on an almost-daily basis. I think it's wonderful that you've decided to learn sign language- deaf people are often isolated in a speaking world, and they love it when someone decides to dissipate that isolation (for a while, anyway) by communicating with them in sign. I tell you, it will be a skill much appreciated and one that comes with many rewards. :)
I'm definitely using my Spanish skills, so that's two languages for me! Thanks for the link.
Yay! I'm currently bilingual (English + Chinese), and I'm learning Spanish from Duolingo.
While I agree that speaking two languages is good for the brain cells, it sure messed with my English spelling skills. ;>)
Sometimes when I'm typing on my keyboard in English, I accidentally use the German word instead of the English word...like direkt instead of direct or Wort instead of word.
Yes, I am experiencing that too. Is that normal? From what I've been told, it is, but it certainly makes things confusing and a bit unsettling, at least for me.
I was lamely trying to be funny about the problems about learning another language. Don't be unsettled about it...it's probably just one of the transition phases all of us go through when we're learning something new. I found the German and Austrian people warm and supportive when I tried to speak their language. They laughed along with me when I got it wrong. I even had an elderly woman grabbing hold of my cheeks and trying to show me how to pronounce a word. I felt very welcome and not at all intimidated when I tried to speak their language. They seemed very pleased that I even tried.
I didn't have that experience when I tried to speak French in France. They were a bit critical of my bad attempt and seemed to indicate that they didn't want me to try.
Don't worry about it! I just took it as an opportunity to start a discussion. And that is really sweet! I hope I get the same experience.
As for French- my older sister speaks French, and she said that the French people are very proud of their language and tend to look down upon tourists and generally any people that are not fluent in their language. It's kind of a nationalism thing, I guess. I know that they are trying to "preserve" their language, and trying not to have any modern English influences in their language, whatever that means. But it's a good thing that at least you're attempting to learn it anyway!
I have also heard that have lots of sex makes you smarter. So ideally we all would become geniuses if we had multiple spouses each speaking a different language with us. :) http://www.parentherald.com/articles/3605/20140115/sex-makes-people-smarter-study.htm
I don't think that would be a good idea, though. Having multiple spouses is disrespectful, sexist, and often causes household issues.
i know a number of polyamorous couples that would disagree with you on all points.
Sé que un número de parejas poliamor que no estarían de acuerdo con usted en todos los puntos.