A multilingual brain might not necessarily make you smart by itself, but it does enhance quite a few things. Let’s count them down.
A multilingual brain exercises more.
A brain that works with two different languages worksout more. Therefore, they have more flexibility, plasticity and enhanced skills. In the case of bilingual children, they are also likely to exercise more both sides of their brain, which gives them a more balanced development in terms of rationality and emotion.
In fact, a multilingual brain doesn’t get old as fast.
Research shows that bilingual people keep their brains more active throughout their lives. Thanks to this, they can delay diseases associated with ageing, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, by five years.
But while we're at it, let's explore the multilingual brain a bit more.
A multilingual brain gives you problem solving skills.
Since they exercise their brains more, multilinguals display better problem solving skills than their monolingual peers. They are better at filtering irrelevant information and multitask more easily. Studies have shown this happens even at the youngest ages in babies who are exposed to more than one language regularly.
A young multilingual brain is different from an older multilingual brain.
People who acquire two languages at a younger age learn similar concepts in different languages at the same time, using both their logical and emotional skills. On the other hand, people who become bilingual at an older age try to transpose one language’s concepts into another.
They acquire a new language using mostly their analytical and logical brain parts, which is why they often display different (higher) amounts of rationality in their second language. Besides, younger bilinguals can often obtain a level of fluency compared to monolingual natives. Find more about this on our page Spanish For Kids.
A multilingual brain is more rational.
Following the previous point, we will explain an example. If you learn a language when you’re not a child, you learn it with mostly with your logical skills. You do not associate emotions with words. That is why saying ‘I love you’ in your native language is probably more meaningful than saying ‘te amo’ or ‘te quiero’. And that is also why learning a second language will make you exercise your analytical skills - in short, be more rational.
A multilingual brain changes your grey matter.
Yes, the famous “grey matter” is more dense in the brains of multilingual people. So, while it might not make you smarter, it makes you stronger! Are you ready for the adventure?