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Does bilingualism make you smarter?


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#16    PlanB

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:23 PM

View PostAggie, on 12 September 2013 - 08:14 PM, said:

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

I know... Angelina Jolie probably knows more Khmer than I do at this point.


#17    freetoroam

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:25 PM

View PostAggie, on 12 September 2013 - 08:15 PM, said:

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


Aluminum  is a major cause of memory loss, so it does not matter how clever someone is, if they keep wrapping their sandwiches up in tin foil, they will still lose their memory. :cry:

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#18    Frank Merton

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:26 PM

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.
I tried my hand at learning Khmer once.  Once you get past the alphabet it ain't too bad, although I never became what one might call good at it, I think I could survive there even without English (which of course most in the cities can speak).

View Postfreetoroam, on 12 September 2013 - 08:25 PM, said:

Aluminum  is a major cause of memory loss, so it does not matter how clever someone is, if they keep wrapping their sandwiches up in tin foil, they will still lose their memory. :cry:
I think if you research it in reputable places you will find that is a myth.


#19    Aggie

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:32 PM

Freetoroam: there is not genetic difference between humans, we have the same DNA (99.9%) so there is no 'races' as such, we are all the same.
This is why I think culture is what makes children do well or not so well at school.

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#20    Razer

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 11:25 PM

View PostAggie, on 12 September 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

DNA (99.9%) so there is no 'races' as such, we are all the same.


I don't think we are all the same.  Populations of humans have existed in and adapted to different environments.  I like the differences in people. If we were all the same that would be boring.  The problem arises when we start thinking in terms of who is faster, smarter, stonger.  While that could be interesting from a purely scientific perspective, that sort of thinking can get very messy in the real world. Personally I just don't think we should go there.

Edited by Razer, 12 September 2013 - 11:27 PM.


#21    freetoroam

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:10 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 12 September 2013 - 08:26 PM, said:



I think if you research it in reputable places you will find that is a myth.
Wrong thread for this one so I will not go on, but a "myth" it is not. Come on Frank, don`t be fooled by the "no evidence" theories. :unsure2:

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#22    freetoroam

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:14 PM

View PostAggie, on 12 September 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

Freetoroam: there is not genetic difference between humans, we have the same DNA (99.9%) so there is no 'races' as such, we are all the same.
This is why I think culture is what makes children do well or not so well at school.
Like a cat, tiger and lion are all part of the same family, but try putting them all in the same cage for one night. Ok, humans are not that extreme, but you get the drift.
I like the fact that we are different and that we have different races of humans.

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#23    Catz

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 03:33 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 12 September 2013 - 07:53 PM, said:

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.
I agree with you.
The average South African is fluent in at least 3 to 4 languages.  We have 11 official languages.  But, it does not have anything to do with intelligence.  It's just the culture - the way people grow up.  One of my work colleagues can speak 7 of the languages!  All the urban schools are bilingual.

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#24    ealdwita

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 03:45 PM

I am fluent in Nepali, but useless with the reading and writing side of it!

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#25    and then

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:39 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 12 September 2013 - 07:53 PM, said:

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.
I remember a story of a child who was being raised in a home where 3 generations lived and 4 languages were spoken.  She was baffled when she went to school and found that only one language was being used!  I think Americans in general are sometimes considered snobbish because we almost exclusively use English but I think it's more an issue of lack of necessity.  In Europe the borders are so close that often one MUST learn one or more additional tongues.  I have no doubt that most anything that causes the brain to be trained leads to more mental adroitness.

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#26    Frank Merton

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:44 PM

I think the main reason young people (at least in Vietnam) are so motivated to learn English (we now start it second grade) is cultural.  The movies and music is mostly English and teenagers want to use the latest hip phrases.

Of course the pedagogues don't like this, and prefer the English of the books.


#27    Render

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:21 PM

You do not have to become fluent in it, just opening your mind to it can have significant impact on your overal learning skills. Associative thinking is also stimulated.

Learning a language increases mental flexibility. It can lead to superior memory function, especially your working memory, and has a positive effect on cognitive function. Which makes it easier for the brain to absorb different (new) subjects.


Of course you do not automatically become "smarter", because you still have to absorb different (new) subjects..if you so wish.


#28    Render

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:24 PM

View Postand then, on 13 September 2013 - 05:39 PM, said:

I remember a story of a child who was being raised in a home where 3 generations lived and 4 languages were spoken.  She was baffled when she went to school and found that only one language was being used!  I think Americans in general are sometimes considered snobbish because we almost exclusively use English but I think it's more an issue of lack of necessity.  In Europe the borders are so close that often one MUST learn one or more additional tongues.  I have no doubt that most anything that causes the brain to be trained leads to more mental adroitness.

I don't think it's because the borders are close to each other. France is next to Spain, but spanish isn't something ppl have to learn. Germany is next to the Netherlands, but you won't hear them speaking dutch that quickly. Etc.. If you go to another country in Europe and don't know the native language ppl automatically switch to English.
The reason ppl in Europe learn more different languages is because of history and the past battles that have been fought over territory, and the image that sometimes went along with the language. For example, speaking French was something for the wealthy in some parts of countries.


#29    Michelle

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:44 PM

In the US the people who live in the Mexican border states learn the language almost by osmosis because of a large Hispanic community. I speak fairly fluent Arabic that I picked up from my surrogate Arab family. The youngest in their family that can speak Arabic is my age and non of their children can speak it at all. I think it's sad they never learned the language growing up.

We have a neighbor who is fluent in French and he has been teaching it to his little girl since before she could talk. His wife is going to have to learn it or she is going to feel left out.


#30    Frank Merton

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:49 PM

The Dutch don't generally speak German because of residual bad feeling;  they prefer to speak English (although many for business reasons do speak German).





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