What if we say that bilingualism can probably make you a good communicator, maybe even land you a job? You already know it can, but what about making your decisions a lot more smart and life a lot less messy? Can it really do that? Scientists say it could.
You may best communicate in your native language and maybe not that well in the second, but learning it not only makes you a pro at multitasking but it also comes with a lot of cognitive benefits. Next time when your ex wants you to get back together, think of your answer in a second language, chances are you’ll probably think more practically (and hopefully not make regretful decisions).
But How is that Possible?
When you master two languages, both of them trigger in your brain subconsciously. And while you being more fluent in native language would make you utter any of instant impulses; the second language becomes your savior.
You are probably going to think twice; about the choice of wrong words or wrong timing before saying what you want, when communicating in your second language. This leads to improved communication and rational thinking. Having to think in a foreign language requires more cognitive power, which makes your thoughts more thorough and refined.
Okay, so Bilingualism makes me smarter, what else?
It Slows Your Cognitive Ageing
A research paper by Science Daily says that “Individuals who speak two or more languages often, even those who acquired the second language in the later stage of life, may experience slowed down cognitive decline from aging. Bilingualism is also argued to improve cognition and delayed dementia in older adults.”
Language Shapes the Way We Think?
Humans have the ability to transmit their ideas to other humans and language plays a rather indispensable role in that. Every language has a different structure, sounds, and word bank which also leads to another debatable question- if language shapes the way we think? This isn’t a new question though, but remains an unanswered one. So how would we answer this? Through data, of course.
Now a lot of arguments on this question finally were settled on bilingual people usually being less oriented than people who speak a single language, but they, on the other hand, have a great scope of cognitive flexibility – that is going two and forth the thinking processes. This phenomenon is called code-switching.
Also, the language in which you think makes you perceive time differently. Now there are two categories in which time is measured, so to speak – in distance (time taken to cross a particular area or an event) and in the space filled (as in volume).
While we use distances to express time in English – Like if someone said what time does your office end, you would say “Shortly,” which expresses time in a distance (long or short). While in some language they might refer to as “office will get over after small-time” which is rather expressing it in terms of space or volume.
So clearly, people of language/languages have their difference, and they view something even as universal as time, differently. What is the most intriguing fact about bilingualism is that people speaking two languages are thought to be like two different personalities in one person. (and no, we don’t mean being bi-polar!)
This makes up for really interesting studies on how do our minds really work. Maybe I would’ve actually said something really witty in my native language at the end of the blog but my second language didn’t really like the idea!