Why bilinguals are smarter

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YkiO
Local time: 15:04
English to Russian
very interesting Mar 19, 2012

very interesting article. I liked the

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traductorchile  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 09:04
English to Spanish
+ ...
Bilingualism - imagination - open-mindness Mar 19, 2012

The experiment of the babies made me think that the bilingual's reaction might be due to having a more versatile imagination, maybe more open-minded, more ready to doubt of pre-concieved answers, ready to accept that there can be more than just one answer to a question (one in English and one in French, ha, ha). Interesting. Maybe one can extrapolate that trilinguals can develop their smartness even further.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:04
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Smarter Mar 20, 2012

Do you mean "well dressed and neatly groomed"?

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urbom
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:04
German to English
+ ...
source: New York Times Mar 20, 2012

Tom in London wrote:

Do you mean "well dressed and neatly groomed"?


Given that the source of the article is the New York Times, one might reasonably deduce that it is written in American English.

For those unfamiliar with standard American English, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is a good source of information:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smart

Sense 4 (specifically, subsenses a & b) might help you to decipher this headline.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:04
Hebrew to English
British English Mar 20, 2012

Also accepts the usage of "smart" to mean intelligent/quick witted.

Origin:
Old English smeortan (verb), of West Germanic origin; related to German schmerzen; the adjective is related to the verb, the original sense (late Old English) being 'causing sharp pain'; from this arose 'keen, brisk', whence the current senses of 'mentally sharp' and 'neat in a brisk, sharp style'

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/smart?q=smart

(See sense 2)

It's actually quite a useful usage really, could you imagine referring to "intelligent bombs" for smart bombs or "intelligent cards" for smart cards.

The only thing I find a bit grating is the (American) use of "smarts" (plural) to refer to intelligence, which to a British ear (in my opinion), always comes off as a bit simple(minded).

[Edited at 2012-03-20 12:33 GMT]


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Melinda Felske  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 14:04
Member (2010)
Hungarian to German
+ ...
Nice article Mar 21, 2012

Being a mother of a bilingually raised 4,5 year old little lady I was eager to read this article as soon as I read the subhead in the daily digest. Very interesting and very true.

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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
a similar article Mar 22, 2012

I read about young chess playes who outsmarted their peers who couldn't play chess.

How about young chess players bilinguals vs. young bilinguals who cannot play chess vs. young chess players monolinguals?


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