Monday, March 26, 2012

More Languages make you More Intelligent

A monolingual state like MP provides meagre opportunity to expand one's horizons.  A timely article "Why Bilinguals Are Smarter" by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee in the "Gray Matter" column of NYTimes (Sunday Review) is a must-read for all the alumni of The Genius.

"SPEAKING two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.
"Bilinguals, for instance, seem to be more adept than monolinguals at solving certain kinds of mental puzzles. 
"... the bilingual experience improves the brain’s so-called executive function — a command system that directs the attention processes that we use for planning, solving problems and performing various other mentally demanding tasks. 
"... Bilingualism’s effects also extend into the twilight years."  

Most of us would of course know Hindi and English, but in the multi-lingual milieu of India one who knows a couple of additional languages has a distinct advantage.  At least two Indian languages in addition to Hindi and English must be thought necessary.
Smarter ones can easily throw in a foreign language like French, Spanish, German or Chinese to add to your lingual assets.
Every new learning that comes with every new language would result in so many more neuron connections and so much more intellectual power.  Nothing on earth can then hold you back from a brilliant future for yourself.  Even the social advantages would be immense!

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