Learning a new language alters brain development

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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 04:34
English to Polish
+ ...
The funny thing Aug 31, 2013

The funny thing is that my co-ordination is so abysmal I wasn't able to skate or ride the bike as a kid, even having learnt English since about six or seven years of age, German since ten, French and Latin since fifteen and then Greek since sixteen or seventeen. In fact, I can't dance or anything like that, (forget sleight of hand), all such activities being prevented from much success by some kind of inexplicable mental block more so than any general lack of physical fitness.

 

Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:34
Dutch to English
+ ...
I can skate Aug 31, 2013

I learnt 3 languages from the age of 3: English, Spanish and Dutch. I can also skate and ride a bike. Juggling may be a problem.

 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
... Aug 31, 2013

I picked up German and English at the same time in my infancy (Spanish came many years later). I have always been well coordinated, but I believe that my father's influence on me to start practicing martial arts as a small child had more effect than anything else.

I used to skate and snowboard, I did gymnastics, and I studied tae kwon do, aikido, tai chi and fencing (epeé, but I really prefered saber). I was pretty good at all of them except for fencing (too many silly rules).


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:34
Russian to English
+ ...
I think it is oversimplified -- it depends on the person. Aug 31, 2013

I spoke spoke four languages well before twelve, and I think I could do a lot of physical things as well, if I had interest in them,. I even did some ballet classes and I love dancing . Bikes -- I hate riding in a car traffic in the dust, and honestly, I don't really like biking, but I don't think it related to language learning in any way. Maybe the people who have no interest in sports, have more interest in languages, or the arts.

 

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 22:34
Romanian to English
+ ...
beg to disagree Sep 1, 2013

LilianBNekipelo wrote:

Maybe the people who have no interest in sports, have more interest in languages, or the arts.


I spoke fluently three languages by the age of 12, practiced sport, was swimming champion for my country, enjoy going to the Philadelphia philharmonic, love ballet, and at 61 I still train, compete and win triathlons (swimming, biking and running).

Therefore I completely disagree with your statement. It is more a matter of willpower than a genetic mark.

Lee


 

tannergerda  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:34
German to Romanian
+ ...
I also think it depends on the person Sep 1, 2013

I was always good at learning grammar and foreign languages. My mother tongue is German. I learned English in school and was tutored by my mother. She was fluent in German, English, French, Russian, Italianand hebrew. She was also good at swimming and sports.
I am not good at dancing, or singing. I like to work out in a gym, however.


 

George Hopkins
Local time: 04:34
Swedish to English
Middling Sep 2, 2013

As I have often said to my wife, "I can't be good at Everything!".

 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
:) Sep 3, 2013

George Hopkins wrote:

As I have often said to my wife, "I can't be good at Everything!".


All right!


 

Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:34
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cada persona es un mundo Sep 3, 2013

Every one is different or as we say in Spanish "Cada persona es un mundo"

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:34
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Intriguing Sep 3, 2013

Although I did not learn anything like so many languages in my early childhood as Łukasz, I was surrounded by them, and not taught any until six or seven (as opposed to picking up English as my native language).

I never could ride a bike, and passed down no less than three to my younger siblings when I had given up... I was hopeless at sports, and although I can write well with my left hand and passably with the right, my coordination is way too poor for playing a musical instrument, and even when I type very slowly, I still make typos.

I was glad when I finally found something I WAS good aticon_smile.gif

What strikes me is that these studies usually only involve comparatively small samples of individuals. With many of them carried out in the US or the UK, where societies as a whole are comparatively monolingual, although with notable exceptions, I don't think the results prove very much, fascinating as they are.

There was a myth or theory that if left-handed children were forced to write with their right hands, they would stutter, and that there are more left-handers among linguists than among the general population (however you define either).

A lot more study is definitely needed on language learning and brain development to make sense of the emerging patterns.


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 04:34
English to Polish
+ ...
:) Sep 3, 2013

Christine Andersen wrote:

I never could ride a bike, and passed down no less than three to my younger siblings when I had given up...


Ouch.icon_smile.gif Well, as long as you could at least tie your shoelaces without difficulty, you still did better than I!

There was a myth or theory that if left-handed children were forced to write with their right hands, they would stutter, and that there are more left-handers among linguists than among the general population (however you define either).


I was a left-hander forced to switch at around six or seven years of age. Perhaps I wasn't conclusively left-handed or they would've left me alone, but I certainly wrote with my left. To this day I'm startled sometimes. I can no longer wield the pen with my left hand, but if it's a sword, then I basically don't care. I sometimes type with my left rather than my right when my other hand is busy. The worst thing ever is when I start thinking consciously, which makes me stop and think which hand to use.icon_wink.gif


 


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Learning a new language alters brain development

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