HOW TO MANAGE WORK RELATED STRESS
0.It is typical to hear a mix of languages on my commute. After all, I live in one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto, Canada. However, one morning, I overheard a very peculiar chat between a mother and her two young children. While the mother was speaking to her children in French, the kids were responding in Arabic, and speaking in English to each other. The mother told me that she was from Lebanon, and that while her two children were trilingual, she was fluent in six! She was a polyglot, a person who can speak several languages.
1.While my linguistic abilities are not as advanced as the woman that I met on the bus, I could definitely see the pros of knowing more than one language. Practically speaking, being able to communicate in more than one language is effective in finding employment. As the world becomes more globalised, the need to speak to people in different countries has increased dramatically. Not only is this important at work, but also whilst travelling. Knowing the language of a particular region allows you an in-depth perspective of the locals and the culture itself.
2.Beyond the recognizable advantages that you have surely heard before, learning multiple languages has cognitive benefits that aren’t overtly advertised. For instance, individuals who can speak more than one language are said to be proficient at multi-tasking. They are able to minimize distractions whilst concentrating on a task just as their brains have to separate the words that they know in other languages while speaking in another. What’s more is that a study in India showed that bilingualism helped to delay memory diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s as opposed to monolingualism.
3.These rewards are amplified in case studies of children who have been raised multilingual. For one, children who can speak two or more languages are shown to be better communicators. This is linked to the ability to change languages to convey different ideas. With an additional language comes an added perspective, and kids have been shown to be able to utilise these when problem-solving.
4.However, before blaming your parents for not teaching you a second language, you should be aware that there are arguments against the claim that only children can learn new languages effectively. While it may be true that children are like sponges, and are able to absorb new words and repeat them, adults are stronger at understanding subtle differences in meaning and committing words to memory much more easily than kids. Thus, while it may be true that children learn better through passive or immersion experiences, adults have a better capacity to actively learn a language.
5.So, if you have decided to become a polyglot, it might be wise to start with languages that have similar words and grammatical structures. Let’s take the woman on the bus for example. As she could speak French (one of her mother tongues), she was able to pick up Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. These languages are a part of a group called Romance languages. Another example of this familial relationship is Japanese and Korean which come from common origins and have similar grammar despite using different characters. Many types of language groups exist in the world.
6.Nevertheless, becoming a true polyglot comes with an insatiable appetite for learning new languages. Why stop at five or six when there are 6,500 languages in the world? In fact, some language lovers might pick up a language that is completely different from the one they know. For example, they may be well-versed in Romance languages and try to learn Swahili out of curiosity or as a challenge For whatever random reason that they do, polyglots will spend the rest of their lives discovering new languages or nuances in the ones they speak.
7.Regardless, this does not mean all polyglots are instantly fluent in any language that they take on. The advantages of being able to communicate in a plurality of tongues comes with a set of struggles as well. For starters, everyone has the same amount of time in a day and learning a language takes a lot of that. With hectic schedules and busy lifestyles, a polyglot may not be able to dedicate a sufficient chunk of time to studying. Moreover, without actively using all of the languages in one’s repertoire, they may become rusty or forgotten.