Is Being Bilingual Good for Your Brain?

While bilingual individuals enjoy the obvious advantages that come with being able to communicate in a language apart from their mother tongue, Welsh researchers at Bangor University hope to uncover other less apparent benefits of speaking a second language.

Preliminary research has shown that the complex processing entailed in speaking another language may shield the brain from the aging process, including age-related memory loss. According to one linguistics researcher “The very act of being able to speak, listen, and think in two languages and of using two languages on a daily basis appears to sharpen people’s abilities to pay close attention to aspects of tasks relevant to good performance.”

Researchers are looking to recruit 700 participants between the ages of 2 and 80 years old to take part in the study. The subjects will be asked to complete some basic language tests followed by puzzles and tasks displayed on a computer monitor.

Read more about the planned research study at BBC News

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5 Responses to “Is Being Bilingual Good for Your Brain?”


  • I definitely do believe that speaking fluently more than two three languages is good for your brain! I speak my native language, Romanian, and also Spanish, English and French. I would very much like to learn German, but it seems very difficult for me, as I am a ” latino girl”

  • To your comment..
    The very act of being able to speak, listen, and think in two languages and of using two languages on a daily basis appears to sharpen people’s abilities to pay close attention to aspects of tasks relevant to good performance.”…

    It may help explain my wife’s attention to detail and her need for exactness in communication.

    She is bilingual (English/Portuguese) and sometimes drives me nuts with her need to be precise, but perhaps it comes from her bilingualism which sounds like it may provide her with some positive health benefits as well.

  • If being bilingual can help prevent memory loss, then i’d love to learn another language or two so my brain will get sharper ;) I hope they’ll continue with their research and let us know what the findings are.

  • I know several who would love to participate in this study. I personally would love too. It amazes me how so many of my students are speaking two, sometimes three languages already. They’re usually the highest scores in class when it comes to understanding detailed processes.

  • The advantage of knowing more than one language has been long established. As for this new claim about its disadvantage, this needs to be substantiated beyond doubts.

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