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讲外语7大优势 动动大脑更健康

2014-07-15    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

It's one of life's truths: Being bilingual or multilingual can only be considered a good thing. The ability to travel seamlessly in another country; to interact with people you wouldn't otherwise be able to communicate with; to really understand and immerse yourself in another culture, whether it be your own or another's; and on the most trivial level, to order off a menu and truly know what you're ordering.
生活的真相是:会讲两种或多种语言只会有益。可以无障碍地去另外一个国家旅行;和那些如果你不会讲外语就无法与其沟通的人互动;真正地品读和沉浸在另外一个文化里,无论是你自己的或者他人的;还有最微不足道的好处,可以自己点餐同时知道自己点的是啥。

But aside from all these reasons, there is a multitude of research showing how speaking more than one language is also good for your health -- particularly, the health of your brain. Here's where the bilingual among us have an advantage:
但是,除这些原因以外,大批研究表明会讲外语对你的健康——尤其是大脑的健康也很有益。以下就是我们中会讲外语的人占据优势的原因:

They have better "cognitive flexibility".
他们有更好的“认知灵活性”。

Older adults who have spoken two languages since childhood seem to have better cognitive flexibility -- meaning, they are better able to go with the flow in the face of a new or unexpected circumstance -- than adults who only speak one language, according to a Journal of Neuroscience study. The study involved having participants complete a cognitive flexibility task; while monolingual and bilingual adults were both able to complete the task, the bilingual adults did it more quickly and certain parts of their brains used less energy to do so.
根据一则神经系统科学的期刊研究,年纪大的人中,从孩提开始就会讲两种语言的人似乎有更好的认知灵活性,也就是说,和只会讲一种语言的成人相比,他们在新的或者预期之外的情况下,表现得更加顺其自然。在这一研究中,两类人群都被要求完成一项考验认知灵活性的任务。虽然他们都可以完成,但会讲外语的人们完成得更快,而且他们大脑中的特定区域消耗了更少的能量。

Their brains stay sharper in old age.
他们年纪大时,脑袋更灵光。

And this is true even for people who learned a second language later in life, according to a recent study in the Annals of Neurology. The study involved following native English speakers who took an intelligence test when they were age 11, and then again when they were in their early 70s. People who spoke two or more languages had greater cognitive abilities -- particularly in general intelligence and reading -- from their baseline, compared with those who only spoke one language.
根据一则神经病学年鉴的研究, 甚至对于长大后晚些学外语的人,这一点也是适用的。研究追踪了母语为英语的人,他们11岁时做了智力测试的,到70多岁早期时又测一次。和只会讲一种语言的人相比,会讲两种及以上语言的人有更好的认知能力——尤其在广义的智力和阅读部分。

They look at certain words in a different way than their monolingual counterparts.
和只会一种语言的人相比,他们会用不同视角去看待特定词语。

People who speak two languages may process certain words faster, particularly if the word has the same meaning in both languages, according to a Psychological Science study. Using eye-movement technology, researchers found that bilingual people spend less time looking at "cognate words" -- words that have the same meaning in two languages, such as the word "sport" for both English and Dutch -- which suggests their brains need less time to process the word, Scientific American reported.
一则心理科学研究表明,会讲两种语言的人处理特定词语会更快,尤其当此词在两种语言中有相同意思时。《美国科学》报道,采用眼动技术,研究人员发现会讲两种语言的人用了更少的时间看“同源词语”——在两种语言中意思相同的词语。比如“运动”一词在英语和荷兰语中就是如此——这说明他们的大脑处理此词所需时间更少。

While not immune to Alzheimer's, they may experience a delay in developing the condition.
也许不能完全免疫,可他们的老年痴呆症状会延迟。

Alzheimer’s can strike anyone, but people who are bilingual may develop the condition four to five years later than people who only speak one language, according to findings presented at a 2011 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The study included 450 Alzheimer’s patients, half of whom had been bilingual for most of their lives.
根据在2011年美国科学发展协会会议上提出的发现,任何人都可以得老年痴呆症,但是会讲两种语言的人,比起只会一种的人,可能会晚4-5年才开始出现症状。这项研究包括了450个老年痴呆症患者,其中一半在他们人生的大多数时期都会讲两种语言。

As kids, they have a leg up on problem-solving skills.
还是小孩时,他们在解决问题的技巧上占优势。

Bilingual kids seem to do better on tasks examining problem-solving skills and creativity, according to a study in the International Journal of Bilingualism. The study included 121 children, about half of whom were bilingual, who were asked to complete tasks involving repeating number series, solving math problems mentally, and reproducing color block patterns, HealthDay reported.
根据《国际双语杂志》的一项研究,会讲两种语言的孩子似乎能更好地完成考察解决问题的技巧和创造力的任务。这项研究包括了121个孩子,其中大约一般都会讲两种语言。孩子们被要求去完成涉及重复数字系列,心算数学题目,以及重现彩色版块模式的任务。

Their brains are better switchers.
他们大脑转换得更快。

Bilingual kids may be speedier at switching between tasks, according to a Child Development study. The study involved having bilingual and monolingual children look at images of animals or depictions of colors on a computer screen. When the children were asked to press a button to switch between images of animals to images of colors, the bilingual children did this faster than the monolingual children.
根据一项《儿童发展》的研究,会讲两种语言的小孩可能可以更快地转换任务。研究中,会讲两种语言和只会讲一种语言的孩子看着电脑屏幕上动物的图片或者彩色的描绘。当孩子们被要求按下按钮在动物图片和彩绘图片中切换时,和只会一种语言的孩子相比,会讲两种语言的孩子们完成得更快。

They can use their ability to think in another language to make better decisions.
他们可以应用自己用另外一种语言思考的能力,做出更好的决定。

When people think in another language, they are more likely to make rational decisions in a problem scenario, a 2012 Psychological Study showed. Because people are naturally averse to loss, they tend to make decisions that minimize loss, even if the odds are in their favor.
一项2012年的心理学研究表明,用另外一种语言思考,人们更倾向于做出理性的决定。因为人类天生不喜欢失去,即使拥有很大胜算,也会倾向于做让损失最小化的决定 。

But University of Chicago researchers found that when people think in a foreign language, it provides distancing -- which could help them make more deliberate, less emotion-based decisions. "Perhaps the most important mechanism for the effect is that a foreign language has less emotional resonance than a native tongue,” study researcher Sayuri Hayakawa said in a statement. “An emotional reaction could lead to decisions that are motivated more by fear than by hope, even when the odds are highly favorable.”
但是,芝加哥大学的研究人员发现,当人们用外语思考时,会有一种距离感,——这会帮助他们做出更深思熟虑的,更少情绪化的决定。“也许这种效应里面最重要的原理是,和母语相比,外语能触动的情感上的共鸣更少,”研究人员早川小百合在一项陈述中讲道。“任何情绪化的反应都可以产生更多是出于恐惧而非希望做出的决定,甚至在胜算极大的情形下。”



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