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Aggie

Does bilingualism make you smarter?

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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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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.

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.

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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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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.

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

‒Frank Smith

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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.

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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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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
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So what languages do you speak Aggie?

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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.

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:

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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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?

So what languages do you speak Aggie?

English, Spanish and Italian.

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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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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.

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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:

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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).

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.
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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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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
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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:

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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.

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

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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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