|Bilingual Brains are Better (DNews)|
|click image to open video page|
Being bilingual can drastically alter your life... and we don't just mean being able to order from a menu when visiting a foreign country! Trace has the details.
DNews is a show about the science of everyday life. We post two new videos every day of the week.
Are you bilingual? Trilingual? you might have a better brain than me and you might live longer.
"Hola hombres, Estar Tres!"
Uh... doesn't work, that's "my name is the number 3". Thanks mum and dad. What was that in Spanish class, "Manuel", I think?
"Hola, me llamo Manuel"
I don't like that either. I think, you know, I'm just gonna stick to English... for now.
Thanks for tuning into DNews everybody. It looks like bilingualism isn't just useful when you're travelling, or when you're trying to order food at your favourite restaurant or for trying to figure out what those girls on the train or talking about across from you and if it's your shoes. No, it also could help you live longer. They know this because when they tested English-speaking seniors the ones that were bilingual answered quicker.
Without getting too deep into the technical and medical details, bilingual brains are better at switching between major tasks like languages and simultaneously filtering out superfluous information. Obviously this is really beneficial throughout people's lives but if you enrol children in a bilingual school it will not only help them learn to learn but keep their brain agile throughout their life.
It's not the only way. You can also exercise, do stimulating tasks or, you know, even do the crossword, and they've all been shown to keep your brain spry. Although this is the most fun, unless you wanna know what 77-down is... "vacation destination for sandwich lovers"... Deli!, hah! y-you know, India, Delhi.
Now that you're all +++ to learn Cantonese or whatever let's have science stomp on your bilingual dreams for a minute:
After about 12 months you begin to filter out sounds that aren't found in your language which is why my German friend Nina can't really do the TH sound very well and I can't do the Ü, the, you know, the U with the dots, I can't do that, they're just not part of our learning. That being said it is of course possible to learn new languages, but it better to be exposed early, like before you're four years old.
If living longer isn't a good enough reason for you to learn a new language then perhaps this will help. Look, we're about to get real deep. Words are just an outward expression of emotions and thoughts. They don't really mean anything on their own unless we assign them meaning. Design student Pey Ying Lynn created this infographic of untranslatable emotions.
My favourite shortcoming in the English language is that chasm that exists between liking someone and loving someone. You may really like them or whatever, you made adore them, but that's a little trite. The infographic shows that Italian and Korean have a word for love that's specifically for friends, family, inanimate objects and pets. We have to use the same word to express romantic love to our wife or our husband as we would express to our mom or our dog or a really nice painting. That is insane.
Here some other words that we don't have that show up in other cultures. I'll probably pronounce them really badly. In Japan they have a really weird one: BAKKU-SHAN, which has to do with a beautiful girl but only when viewed from behind. This one is really good, it's Filipino and it has to do with seeing something cute and wanting to pinch or squeeze it, and it's called GIGIL. In Mexican Spanish they have a word for when you feel embarrassed from watching someone else's humiliation, that's PENA AJENA.
You get the picture, so there are a lot of words that English just doesn't have that express these emotions, so not only can you learn another language, maybe you can just learn these and that'll help you live longer. I mean, probably not a lot longer, like a few hours but, hey, at least you can express yourself better.
Ever made up a word? I'm sure you have, I know I do it all the time. Leave your made-up word down on the comments and give a definition so that we can all start using your fake words and maybe they'll become real words.
So thanks for watching and TI VOGLIO BENE, which is the Italian word for I really care about you but I don't love you like a romantic partner so... it would be nice if we had a, you know, word in between LIKE and LOVE.
Thanks for watching. I'm Trace. See you later.