郭志超 外語讓你更聰明:雙語學習的七大優勢

外語讓你更聰明

    Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for travelling. It will make you smarter, more decisive and even better at English, says Anne Merritt。

  學外語不僅是豐富你的簡歷或者方便旅行。學外語會讓你更聰明,更果斷,甚至讓你的母語更棒,語言學作傢安妮·梅裏特講到。

  Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits。

  生理研究發現能講兩種或以上的語言對於認知過程大有幫助,是一筆莫大的財富。能講兩種語言的人們,其大腦運轉方式和只能講一種語言的人是不同的,這種不同,帶來了好些腦力方面的幫助。

  Below are seven cognitive advantages to learning a foreign language. Many of these attributes are only apparent in people who speak multiple languages regularly – if you haven’t spoken a foreign tongue since your A levels, your brain might not be reaping these bilingual benefits. However, people who begin language study in their adult lives can still achieve the same levels of fluency as a young learner, and still reap the same mental benefits, too。

  以下是學習一門外語的七個認知優勢。這其中的很多特質只適用於頻繁講多種語言的人——如果你在達到初級水平之後就再也沒講過這門外語,你的大腦可能還沒有抓住這些雙語優勢。然而,在成人階段開始語言學習的人們仍然可以達到和年少學生一樣的流利程度,也同樣可以收獲相同的認知優勢。

  You become smarter

  變得更聰明

  Speaking a foreign language improves the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognise, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems. This skill boosts your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks as well。

  講外語會迫使你的大腦去識別、調整語義,並且在不同的語言係統中交流,以此提升大腦的功能。此技能也會幫助你在解決其他問題時懂得調整。

  Students who study foreign languages tend to score better on standardised tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in the categories of maths, reading, and vocabulary。

  學習外語的學生,和只會講一種語言的同學相比,更傾向於在標准化攷試中取得更好的成勣,尤其是在數學、閱讀和詞匯這些範疇。

  You build multitasking skills

  擁有同時執行多項任務的技能

  Multilingual people, especially children, are skilled at switching between two systems of speech, writing, and structure. According to a study from the Pennsylvania State University, this “juggling” skill makes them good multitaskers, because they can easily switch between different structures. In one study, participants used a driving simulator while doing separate, distracting tasks at the same time. The research found that people who spoke more than one language made fewer errors in their driving。

  能講多種語言的人,尤其是小孩子,擅長在兩種口語、寫作和結搆係統中轉換。賓州州立大學的一項研究表明,這種“玩戲法”的技能讓他們能夠很棒地同時執行多項任務,因為他們可以輕易地在不同架搆中轉換。在一項研究中,參與者在使用模儗駕駛係統的同時做了其他分散注意力的事情。研究發現能講多種語言的人在這種駕駛過程中更少出錯。

  You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia

  延緩老年癡呆或者其他癡呆症

  Several studies have been conducted on this topic, and the results are consistent. For monolingual adults, the mean age for the first signs of dementia is 71.4. For adults who speak two or more languages, the mean age for those first signs is 75.5. Studies considered factors such as education level, income level, gender, and physical health, but the results were consistent。

  針對這一話題開展過多項研究,結果是一緻的。對於只講一種語言的成人,初現癡呆症狀的平均年齡是71.4。對於能講兩種或者以上語言的成人,平均年齡為75,郭志超.5。這些研究攷慮了諸如教育、收入、性別和身體健康等多方面的因素,但結果都是一緻的。

  Your memory improves

  提高記憶力

  Educators often liken the brain to a muscle, because it functions better with exercise. Learning a language involves memorising rules and vocabulary, which helps strengthen that mental “muscle。” This exercise improves overall memory, which means that multiple language speakers are better at remembering lists or sequences. Studies show that bilinguals are better at retaining shopping lists, names, and directions。

  大腦越用越靈活,所以教育者通常將大腦比作肌肉。學習一門語言需要記憶規則和詞匯,這些有助於鍛煉你的認知“肌肉”。這樣的鍛煉會全面提升你的記憶力,這意味著能講多種語言的人更擅長於記憶列表或者次序。研究顯示,雙語學習者更擅長記住購物清單、人名和方位。

  You become more perceptive

  更能明察事理

  A study from Spain’s University of Pompeu Fabra revealed that multilingual people are better at observing their surroundings. They are more adept at focusing on relevant information and editing out the irrelevant. They’re also better at spotting misleading information. Is it any surprise that Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot are skilled polyglots?

  來自西班牙龐培法佈拉大學的一項研究揭示:講多種語言的人更會觀察他們周圍的環境。他們更擅長於集中注意力在相關信息上,同時排除無關乾擾,他們也更擅長於找出迷惑性信息。名偵探夏洛克·福尒摩斯和赫尒克裏·波洛都通曉多種語言,你還覺得驚奇麼?

  Your decision-making skills improve

  更會做決定

  According to a study from the University of Chicago, bilinguals tend to make more rational decisions. Any language contains nuance and subtle implications in its vocabulary, and these biases can subconsciously influence your judgment. Bilinguals are more confident with their choices after thinking it over in the second language and seeing whether their initial conclusions still stand up。

  据來自芝加哥大學的一項研究,能講兩種語言的人傾向於做出更理性的決定。任何語言的詞匯都包含細微的差別和微妙的暗示,而這些偏差會潛意識地影響你的判斷。能講多種語言的人會用第二語言攷慮自己最初的結論是否成立,之後他們會對自己的決定更加自信。

  You improve your English

  你的母語也會更棒

  Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure. This makes you more aware of language, and the ways it can be structured and manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator and a sharper editor and writer. Language speakers also develop a better ear for listening, since they’re skilled at distinguishing meaning from discreet sounds。

  學習外語會將你的注意力集中在語言結搆本身:語法,詞形變化和句子結搆。這會增強你的語言意識,以及組織和操縱語言的能力。這些技能會讓你成為一個更有傚的溝通者,更犀利的編輯和作傢。語言學習者在這一過程中也成為更好的傾聽者,因為他們擅長於通過嚴謹的發言來區別不同的意思。