Flexible Brain Shifting

Studies on Bilinguals prove that language can affect our most basic senses, our time perception, visual perception, and our emotions.

The flexible brain-shifting of bilinguals also aids in their learning, multitasking abilities, and mental well-being.

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According to a new study, the people that can speak two languages frequently, develop cognitive flexibility, due to their brains getting rewired.

Bilinguals can switch back and forth between the two languages effortlessly, something known as code-switching.

Time Perception

Different cultures have different perceptions about time. The Mandarin language, for example, places time in a vertical axis, with next week becoming down week, and last week becoming up week.

These differences in language have a psycho-physical effect in bilinguals and change the way the same person experiences the passage of time, depending on which language the brain is operating in.

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Forgetting the First Language

While our brains are flexible and adaptable as children, we tend to start having more rigid learning and relearning skills as we grow old.

There have been some extreme cases when the mother tongue or the first language is completely forgotten in adults.

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Cognates are “true friends” of words you recognize from your native language that mean the same thing in another language.

For instance:

  • Words like Action, nation, precipitation, solution, frustration, and thousands of other -tion words are spelled exactly the same in French, and you can quickly get used to the different pronunciation. Change that -tion to a -ción and you have the same words in Spanish. Italian is -zione and Portuguese is -ção.
  • Many languages also have words that share a common (Greek/Latin or other) root.
  • Even languages as different as Japanese can have heaps of very familiar vocabulary.

Use the 360° maximalist approach: no matter which learning tools you use, it’s crucial to practice your new language every single day.

Really, really go for it and try to use it throughout the day. Try to think in it, try to write in it, try to speak to myself even in that language.

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