Researchers have found numerous positive impacts that being bilingual has on our brain. First of all, knowing two languages helps you process information about the surrounding environment more effectively, meaning you become a faster learner. Next, children who speak a second language typically have much better working memories, compared to monolingual peers. Adults, fret not! Though our working memories are developed early in life and it may be harder to master a new language once we’re grown-up, you can still reap the positive benefits.
研 究发现懂双语会对我们的大脑产生许多积极的影响。首先，会双语能帮助你更有效地处理周围环境信息，这就意味着你会变成一个快速学习者。研究还发现，从小会 双语的孩子比只会一种语言的孩子拥有更好的工作记忆力。成年人当然也不要担心，虽然我们的工作记忆在早期已经基本定型，成年后掌握一门新的语言可能就比较 难，但我们依旧受益匪浅。
Being fluent in more than one language improves your brain’s functionality by challenging it to operate within different language systems, hence boosting your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks as well. From a scientific standpoint, switching between different languages triggers the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for problem-solving, multi-tasking, and focusing on important things while filtering out irrelevant information).
Bilingual people are also better at paying attention to their environment and analyzing it. This skill comes from being able to tell which language is spoken, so that one can quickly switch between different languages.
Knowing two languages also makes you more creative as you are more capable of understanding things like language syntax, metaphors, and figurative speech, which boost our creative skills and allows us to respond to obstacles in an out-of-the-box manner. In general, being bilingual allows you to tap into the unused creative parts of our brain unlike those who are monolingual.
According to Brian Gold, a neuroscientist at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, knowing two languages can reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s and postpone dementia.
When conducting a test with bilingual seniors, researchers discovered they were better at tasks that required them to sort out colors and shapes, when compared to monolingual peers. They also monitored the processes happening inside their brains with a scanner. It turned out that the brains of a monolingual worked much harder to accomplish the task, while the bilingual’s brains were more efficient and could be compared to those of young adults. Having more reserve of brain power when you age can help you stay protected against the losses caused by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
在 一项对双语老年人的测试中，研究人员发现与单语同龄人相比，他们能更好地完成给颜色和形状分类的任务。同时还用扫描仪监测了这些老年人大脑中的变化，得出 结论——说单种语言的老年人大脑在完成任务时比较艰难，而双语老年人的大脑在处理工作时显得更为高效，甚至和一些年轻人不差上下。但你变老时，拥有更多的 大脑功率储备可以帮助你抵抗阿尔茨海默氏症和其他形式的痴呆症所造成的损失。
Apart from the obvious fact that being capable of conversing in different languages makes it easier to create social ties with people around the globe and win attraction more easily, there’s also a more subtle level of impact behind that.
Susan Ervin-Tripp from the University of California noted in her report, “When we are in situations demanding a change in language, we may have a strong sense of a shift in values and feelings. Some bilinguals even report they have two personalities.“ Indeed, a lot of bilinguals admit they feel like having two different personalities for operating one or another language. Mainly, this is due to the fact that different languages influence the way we think, from how we choose the vocabulary to describe the world around us to getting influenced by the different cultures you are operating in. Actually, that’s a great thing, as the ability to switch between different languages improves your ability to understand others, be more empathetic, and communicate better; therefore, drastically improving your relationships with others.
加 利福尼亚大学的Susan Ervin-Tripp在她的报告中指出：“当我们处于要求改变语言的情况时，我们可能会有一种价值观和感觉上转换的强烈体会，一些双语者甚至说他们会出 现两种性格。“事实上，许多双语者承认他们想要用两种不同的个性去操作一种或另一种语言，这主要取决于不同语言影响着我们的思维方式，比如我们用什么词汇 来形容我们周围的世界，来适应我们所处的不同文化环境。事实上，这是一件很厉害的事情，能够在不同语言之间自由切换可以让你更加理解别人，更加能够换位思 考，更好地与他人交流；因此，可以大幅提升你与他人的关系。
Language is the core tool to help us better understand morals, beliefs, passions, and woes of other people.
Having more than one language in your resume can drastically improve your chances of getting hired. In fact, a recent survey proved that bilinguals in the US also tend to earn at least $7.000 more annually compared to monolingual peers with the same kind of work experience. The reason is simple: there are fewer bilinguals to choose from, hence each one has a higher “value“. However, in Canada (a bilingual country), many people speak the two official languages of English and French. They tend to earn 7-8% more than monolingual counterparts. Foreign languages that will currently make you the most money include German, French, Spanish, Mandarin, and Arabic.
你 的简历中如果有会讲多种语言这个技能，那么就会大大提高你被雇用的机会。事实上，在最近的一项调查中显示，与单语同龄人相比，有相同工作经历的美国双语人 士每年要至少多赚7000美元。原因很简单：懂双语的人比较少，他们的自身价值相对来说就比较高。然而，在加拿大（两种官方语言的国家），许多人都在使用 两种官方语言——英语和法语，他们要比使用单种语言的人多赚7-8%。目前最赚钱的语言包括德语，法语，西班牙语，普通话和阿拉伯语。
There’s something special about your friend who’s capable of switching between languages, right? Well, a recent international survey has just confirmed that bilingual people tend to appear more attractive compared to monolinguals. Over 79% of survey respondents from around the globe agreed that a person speaking a second language instantly seems more appealing. However, there’s a catch. Only certain languages cast this magical effect. The languages on top of this list are no surprise: French, Italian, Spanish, and English. The least sexy language turned out to be Korean.
你身边会讲多种语言 的朋友身上都带有一种独特的魅力，这应该不会质疑吧？最近的一项国际调查证实双语人士往往比单语人士更具魅力，全球超过79%的人都同意会说第二种语言的 人似乎更具吸引力。但是，其中还有一个问题：只有某些语言会投射这种神奇的效果。其中显然包括：法语，意大利语，西班牙语和英语。最缺乏魅力的语言其实是 韩语。
One of the biggest differences between a traveler and a mere tourist is that the first one is capable of making genuine connections with the locals and getting to know the culture deeper, while the second one simply enjoys a quick and superficial familiarity. Speaking the local language, at least just a few words, will open more doors to you and will help you connect to the locals on a new level.
Obviously, navigating around a foreign land gets much easier. The locals will often make an additional effort for you if you manage to crunch just a few local phrases. At least, that’s what my travel experience has proven so far!