8 Brain Benefits of Speaking Multiple Languages

Most people agree that speaking more than one language is a good thing. You have more job opportunities, can talk to more people and have an easier time on vacation. There are also several ways that speaking multiple languages benefits your brain – whether you grew up multilingual or started learning a new tongue later in life. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Speaking multiple languages helps protect against dementia. A 2012 study from the University of California, San Diego evaluated the bilingual proficiency of 44 elderly Spanish-English bilinguals. They found that the higher your level of proficiency, the later you were likely to experience Alzheimer’s symptoms.
  • Speaking multiple languages improves your memory. It takes a LOT of memory to remember just one language, let alone two or more. So it’s no surprise that multilingual speakers have a better working memory than monolingual ones.
  • Speaking multiple languages improves your ability to multitask. Multilingual speakers are used to switching mentally between tongues. All that practice means they’re also better at multitasking.
  •  Multilingual people are less likely to be persuaded. This doesn’t mean they’re immune to good arguments; rather they’re “more resistant to conditioning and framing techniques,” according to a 2014 study. This could be because it’s easier to keep psychological distance from a language when it’s not your mother tongue.
  • Multilingual people are creative problem-solvers. Speaking a language is a creative process, as you use imagery and create varying forms of syntax. Since multilingual speakers have more practice at this creative process, Psychology Today says they have an easier time coming up with creative problem-solving techniques than monolinguals.
  •  Speaking multiple languages changes your brain structure. Did you know that being multilingual literally changes your brain? One study found that learning a new language increases the neural connections in your brain, which is crucial to brain health.
  • Speaking multiple languages opens your mind. Just like your body, your brain gets healthier as it gets more active. When you speak a foreign language, you’re opening yourself up to a world of possibility that’s not available to monolingual speakers. Multilingualism lets you talk to more people and interact with different cultures. All those diverse experiences are great for your brain.

So what are you waiting for? Download a language-learning app today! After all, the more you learn, the healthier your brain will be.

Liked this? Check out 10 Tips to Learn A New Language!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: amslerPIX via Compfight cc

Most people agree that speaking more than one language is a good thing. You have more job opportunities, can talk to more people and have an easier time on vacation. There are also several ways that speaking multiple languages benefits your brain – whether you grew up multilingual or started learning a new tongue later in life. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Speaking multiple languages helps protect against dementia. A 2012 study from the University of California, San Diego evaluated the bilingual proficiency of 44 elderly Spanish-English bilinguals. They found that the higher your level of proficiency, the later you were likely to experience Alzheimer’s symptoms.
  • Speaking multiple languages improves your memory. It takes a LOT of memory to remember just one language, let alone two or more. So it’s no surprise that multilingual speakers have a better working memory than monolingual ones.
  • Speaking multiple languages improves your ability to multitask. Multilingual speakers are used to switching mentally between tongues. All that practice means they’re also better at multitasking.
  •  Multilingual people are less likely to be persuaded. This doesn’t mean they’re immune to good arguments; rather they’re “more resistant to conditioning and framing techniques,” according to a 2014 study. This could be because it’s easier to keep psychological distance from a language when it’s not your mother tongue.
  • Multilingual people are creative problem-solvers. Speaking a language is a creative process, as you use imagery and create varying forms of syntax. Since multilingual speakers have more practice at this creative process, Psychology Today says they have an easier time coming up with creative problem-solving techniques than monolinguals.
  •  Speaking multiple languages changes your brain structure. Did you know that being multilingual literally changes your brain? One study found that learning a new language increases the neural connections in your brain, which is crucial to brain health.
  • Speaking multiple languages opens your mind. Just like your body, your brain gets healthier as it gets more active. When you speak a foreign language, you’re opening yourself up to a world of possibility that’s not available to monolingual speakers. Multilingualism lets you talk to more people and interact with different cultures. All those diverse experiences are great for your brain.

So what are you waiting for? Download a language-learning app today! After all, the more you learn, the healthier your brain will be.

Liked this? Check out 10 Tips to Learn A New Language!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Photo Credit: amslerPIX via Compfight cc

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