Language and brain development are closely linked. Some studies suggest that babies who are exposed to more than one language in the first weeks and months of their life develop some traits that allow them to learn faster. Their brain is more developed as it copes with two language systems simultaneously and this is believed to lead to better learning processes being developed in a brain.
There are many studies and experiments done by scientists as it is very fascinating how language shapes who we are and how it affects our brains. One of the experiments has actually confirmed that learning foreign languages literally grows your brain! It was a study done with the help of the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy in Uppsala. You can find more info and full bibliographic information in this news release.
In short, the experiment is based on individuals who learned Arabic, Russian, or Dari to a very high level in just 13 months and their brains have been monitored before and after the course. At the beginning of their study they had no knowledge of these languages at all, and they had their brains MRI scanned to record the size and the development of their brains.
After 13 months of intensive language studying, where they learned from morning till night 7 days a week, these individuals learned so much that they were fluent in their chosen languages. At the end of the process their brains were scanned again and it was noticed that some parts have grown compared to the scan done at the beginning of the course. They included the part of the brain responsible for acquiring new information – hippocampus, and three areas in the cerebral cortex.
The most amazing part is that learning a new language had a different effect than studying other subjects. The experiment had a control group composed of medicine and cognitive science students at Umea University. These students acquired huge volumes of information in the same time period but did not study languages at all. Even though the control group has worked very hard and acquired huge volumes of information as well, the scientists have not noticed any brain growth for these individuals.
This fascinating study shows how important and valuable language studying is. It also leads to question how big the brains of our translators are as some of them can translate technical texts in 5 or even 6 languages!
However, if you aren’t able to spend 13 months studying a new language, but still want to communicate with overseas markets, do get in touch with us and our big-brained translators will be delighted to translate your documents.