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Boost Brain Power By Learning A Language

¿Hablas Español?

You may have considered how good it would feel to be able to speak to people in another language, but did you know it also expands the range of your possible thoughts? There are many concepts in each language that don't exist in others, and there are also different expressions. These give you new ways to think, and they change your perspective on things.

Changing Perspective Through Language

It's no coincidence that most Americans see money as something created, and not a static quantity to be divided up. English, after all, is one of the few languages that has the expression "making money." Many languages use the verb "to gain," or "to take," or "to get." These affect the ways in which people think about money. "Making money" may provide a very healthy perspective.

Did you know that in Spanish you're not thirsty or cold or afraid. You have thirst (yo tengo sed), or coldness (yo tengo frio), or fear (yo tengo miedo)." Does the difference matter? Maybe.

The best therapists now will tell you to stop saying or thinking things like "I am afraid?" It creates too much identification with the feeling, so it's healthier to say "I feel fear." You're not "afraid" - you're a human; fear, like all feelings, is just a temporary visitor.

You can see how other languages give you new perspectives. You may feel differently about decision making if you had to "take a decision" ("tomar un decision" in Spanish)" instead of "make a decision." The German word "angst," (roughly; a feeling of existential anxiety) might immediately pinpoint how you feel, when you can't quite express it in English.

Better Understanding With Languages

You gain words when you learn a language, but also the ability to understand things better. Who speaks more precisely about snow; someone with three or four words for it (snow, sleet, powder), or an Eskimo with 23 words for snow? Which is more efficient, the German word "zeitgeist" (roughly; the taste and outlook of a period or generation), or the paragraph of English necessary to say the same thing?

Other Advantages Of Learning A Language

Most people experience a general improvement in memory from studying a language, and there are more advantages. Getting older? It's been demonstrated that you can halt the age-related decline in mental function by learning a new language.

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