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(来源:英语交友 http://friends.englishcn.com)

 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.

  学外语不仅是丰富你的简历或者方便旅行。学外语会让你更聪明,更果断,甚至让你的母语更棒,语言学作家安妮梅里特讲到。

  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.

  生理研究发现能讲两种或以上的语言对于认知过程大有帮助,是一笔莫大的财富。能讲两种语言的人们,其大脑运转方式和只能讲一种语言的人是不同的,这种不同,带来了好些脑力方面的帮助。

  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.

  以下是学习一门外语的七个认知优势。这其中的很多特质只适用于频繁讲多种语言的人—如果你在达到初级水平之后就再也没讲过这门外语,你的大脑可能还没有抓住这些双语优势。然而,在成人阶段开始语言学习的人们仍然可以达到和年少学生一样的流利程度,也同样可以收获相同的认知优势。

  You become smarter

  变得更聪明

  Speaking a foreign language improves the /SPAN>

  讲外语会迫使你的大脑去识别、调整语义,并且在不同的语言系统中交流,以此提升大脑的功能。此技能也会帮助你在解决其他问题时懂得调整。

  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.

  学习外语的学生,和只会讲一种语言的同学相比,更倾向于在标准化考试中取得更好的成绩,尤其是在数学、阅读和词汇这些范畴。

  You build multitasking skills

  拥有同时执行多项任务的技能

  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.

  能讲多种语言的人,尤其是小孩子,擅长在两种口语、写作和结构系统中转换。宾州州立大学的一项研究表明,这种“玩戏法”的技能让他们能够很棒地同时执行多项任务,因为他们可以轻易地在不同架构中转换。在一项研究中,参与者在使用模拟驾驶系统的同时做了其他分散注意力的事情。研究发现能讲多种语言的人在这种驾驶过程中更少出错。

  You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia

  延缓老年痴呆或者其他痴呆症

  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.

  针对这一话题开展过多项研究,结果是一致的。对于只讲一种语言的成人,初现痴呆症状的平均年龄是71.4。对于能讲两种或者以上语言的成人,平均年龄为75.5。这些研究考虑了诸如教育、收入、性别和身体健康等多方面的因素,但结果都是一致的。

  Your memory improves

  提高记忆力

  Educators often liken the brain to a muscle, because it /SPAN>

  大脑越用越灵活,所以教育者通常将大脑比作肌肉。学习一门语言需要记忆规则和词汇,这些有助于锻炼你的认知“肌肉”。这样的锻炼会全面提升你的记忆力,这意味着能讲多种语言的人更擅长于记忆列表或者次序。研究显示,双语学习者更擅长记住购物清单、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?

  来自西班牙庞培法布拉大学的一项研究揭示:讲多种语言的人更会观察他们周围的环境。他们更擅长于集中注意力在相关信息上,同时排除无关干扰,他们也更擅长于找出迷惑性信息。名侦探夏洛克福尔摩斯和赫尔克里波洛都通晓多种语言,你还觉得惊奇么?

  Your decision-making skills improve

  更会做决定

  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.

 
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