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Does bilingualism make you smarter?


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#1    Aggie

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:44 PM

Why speaking a second language can make you brainier: Bilinguals have 'better memories and problem solving abilities.


People who can switch between two languages seamlessly have a higher level of mental flexibility than monolinguals, research suggests.
Researchers believe bilingualism strengthens the brain's executive functions, such as its working memory and ability to multitask and problem solve.
The psychologists think that as fluent bilinguals seem to use both languages at all times but rarely use words unintentionally, they have control of both languages simultaneously.


http://www.dailymail...-abilities.html



I speak three languages fluently  and I don't think I'm brainier than most.

What do you think?

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#2    PlanB

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:48 PM

I envy those who are fluent in a second language. I pretty much abandoned my native tongue to learn English when I was a child.

View PostAggie, on 12 September 2013 - 07:44 PM, said:

I speak three languages fluently  and I don't think I'm brainier than most.

What do you think?

I've never met anyone that knew three different languages and was a dummy.


#3    Aggie

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:51 PM

LOL Plan B, never said I was a dummy but I don't think I'm cleverer than most.

May I ask what your native language is?

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#4    Frank Merton

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:53 PM

The educated classes in all countries of the world except those who have English as a native tongue are generally at least bilingual.  Those unable to become so tend to fail in university.

I think the ability to pick up languages, however, is a special talent only partly related to intelligence, since I know some damn smart people who just can't do it.  Age of first exposure to a second language also has a lot to do with it.


#5    Aggie

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:57 PM

You are absolutely right, Frank as I also know smart people who can't learn a second language.  I think it's more to do with individual abilities and not so much cleverness.

Edited by Aggie, 12 September 2013 - 08:01 PM.

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#6    freetoroam

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:02 PM

We live in a world were many people speak at least 2 languages. Here in England many of the immigrants second language is English and that is also how some are bringing up their children, does it make them brainier?? absolutely NOT! Just look at some of the school results in certain areas.

Edited by freetoroam, 12 September 2013 - 08:03 PM.


#7    Whisperer

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:03 PM

No, I dont think anything but bitter experiance can make you 'smarter' simply because you choose your own degree of 'smarts' depending on your individual needs to be an accepted member of any party you want to be associated with.

I do think how ever that dual languages demand a higher brain or mind mangment factor as comparisions would be ongoing between the scopes of the duality and hence a broader perspective ( though not necesarily a commonly accepted or generalised 'truth') that can be construed or missinterpreted as 'smarter'.

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#8    jugoso

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:07 PM

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.
‒Frank Smith

"Freedom is free of the need to feel free.
Free your mind and you ass will follow.
The kingdom of heaven is within"
G.Clinton

#9    PlanB

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:09 PM

View PostAggie, on 12 September 2013 - 07:51 PM, said:

LOL Plan B, never said I was a dummy but I don't think I'm cleverer than most.

May I ask what your native language is?

Khmer, the native language of Cambodia. Most people assume that I was born in America because I was able to pick up English so well. But I was young and it's my understanding that it's a lot easier to do so then.


#10    Aggie

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:10 PM

View Postfreetoroam, on 12 September 2013 - 08:02 PM, said:

We live in a world were many people speak at least 2 languages. Here in England many of the immigrants second language is English and that is also how some are bringing up their children, does it make them brainier?? absolutely NOT! Just look at some of the school results in certain areas.

True but I think it depends on the culture: the Oriental and Indians are very clever children with high grades and most end up going to university. Some other communities do struggle at school and they are also bilingual....not sure what influences such different outcomes.

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#11    Razer

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:13 PM

I am trilingual as well but I agree with the above posters that the ability to learn a new language is not strongly correlated with intelligence.  I can see how switching back and forth between languages could be a form of exercise for the brain though.

Edited by Razer, 12 September 2013 - 08:15 PM.


#12    Child of Bast

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:13 PM

So what languages do you speak Aggie?

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#13    Aggie

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:14 PM

View Postmumanster, on 12 September 2013 - 08:03 PM, said:

No, I dont think anything but bitter experiance can make you 'smarter' simply because you choose your own degree of 'smarts' depending on your individual needs to be an accepted member of any party you want to be associated with.

I do think how ever that dual languages demand a higher brain or mind mangment factor as comparisions would be ongoing between the scopes of the duality and hence a broader perspective ( though not necesarily a commonly accepted or generalised 'truth') that can be construed or missinterpreted as 'smarter'.

Yep, switching from one language to the other does require a higher brain management, which doesn't necessarily mean brainier.

View Postjugoso, on 12 September 2013 - 08:07 PM, said:

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.
‒Frank Smith

That is true, as I can travel to all English countries, all Hispanic countries and Italy and feel at home wherever I go.
:tu:

View PostPlanB, on 12 September 2013 - 08:09 PM, said:

Khmer, the native language of Cambodia. Most people assume that I was born in America because I was able to pick up English so well. But I was young and it's my understanding that it's a lot easier to do so then.

You should pick it up, or you might regret it one day....it's part of you. :yes:

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#14    Aggie

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:15 PM

View PostRazer, on 12 September 2013 - 08:13 PM, said:

I am trilingual as well but I agree with the above posters that the ability to learn a new language is not strongly correlated with intelligence, but I can see how switching back and forth between languages could be a form of exercise for the brain.

I think it will help us when we are really old, maybe....delaying memory loss and/or dementia perhaps?

View PostChild of Bast, on 12 September 2013 - 08:13 PM, said:

So what languages do you speak Aggie?

English, Spanish and Italian.

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#15    freetoroam

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:21 PM

View PostAggie, on 12 September 2013 - 08:10 PM, said:

True but I think it depends on the culture: the Oriental and Indians are very clever children with high grades and most end up going to university. Some other communities do struggle at school and they are also bilingual....not sure what influences such different outcomes.
Not sure if it comes under "culture", more like "race".
Some asians are very clever, but being bilingual does not make them clever, they are clever anyway,  just like you do not become a member of Mensa because you can speak more than 1 language, you become a member because you have a higher IQ than others and those others may speak more languages than you.
But we also know that "race" does not always determine your intelligence, a good education will always help those who HAVE THE ABILITY in the first place, some are just more fortunate (and some have richer parents) than some other.





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