3 June 2014

Being bilingual makes you smarter

Bilingual people are smarter, and it doesn’t matter when you learn a new language according to this recent study.

To quote the article, 

“Findings showed that those who spoke more than one language tested better on intelligence tests, regardless of when the second language was picked up.”

Now that should be motivation to get cracking on your language study.

learning  languages (500x333)

Here’s an extract from the article:

“Our study is the first to examine whether learning a second language impacts cognitive performance later in life while controlling for childhood intelligence,” said lead study author Dr. Thomas Bak from the Centre for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh.

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  1. Mike
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I very well agree with your pinion, learning many languages definitely makes anyone smarter.

  2. Colin Johnstone
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Hi Steve, I just posted on a pre-historic post of yours. I don’t know if you still get notification emails from such old threads, so I figured I would stick a link to it here.


    • Posted January 2, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      I don’t remember that post all that well. When it comes to global warming I have to admit I am an agnostic. The claims on both sides are excessively sensationalist. I prefer to think that we should not use non-renewable resources where renewable alternatives exist. We don’t have the right to deplete resources that future generations may need thousands of years hence. We should also reduce consumption. Technology rather than moral pleading is the best way to get there.
      At our sawmill we have made an investment in producing electric power from waste that makes no economic sense because it is just the right thing to do.

  3. Posted September 15, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this interesting fact with us. I’m wondering if learning a 3rd language also makes you smarter? Would love to get your take on that.

    • Dana
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      Haha I like the way you think, Alain 😀 I’d love to know that too!

  4. Spark
    Posted October 8, 2014 at 1:53 am | Permalink


  5. Posted November 8, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I know bilingual and trilingual people who are very very stupid.

    • Posted January 1, 2015 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Think how stupid they would be if they only spoke one language.

  6. MM
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Hey Steve you haven’t posted anything new since june, what’s going on 🙂 ? I love your insights on language learning and knowing about your progress with your Target language !!!

  7. Rebekah Murphy
    Posted December 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I agree that learning a second language can “make your smarter”. I think that this article http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-benefits-of-bilingualism.html?_r=0)( does a great job explaining the benefits of learning a second language. It states that it helps us to overcome internal conflicts within our brains. It was believed before that second language acquisition actually hindered the learning process until more research was conducted. I wondered if any of you believe that there could be a point in time whether it is due to age or other factors that learning a second language could hurt rather than help?

  8. Sarah
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree that it’s important to learn another language. I’ve been using the Duolingo app to brush up on my Spanish and it’s actually pretty fun. Zuri Apps also made a blog post about it that you might like to read.

  9. Posted December 17, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    this is a really interesting article! great stuff!

  10. Posted December 23, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    As a person who communicates in two languages I would be happy to think that I am smart or smarter…

    But being a math-person I have some doubts in this conclusion. I would tell that smart people have more desire to study other languages. So people are smarter not because they know one more language but they know more then one language because they are smart (was born like that ;)).

    But I from another point of view I am sure that any intellectual activity is good for our brain. So learning foreign language is developing our brain :).

  11. TommyT
    Posted January 5, 2015 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Being smarter makes you learn languages 😉

  12. Alessandro - Inphras
    Posted February 27, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    That’s new for me, I’ve always tought that age you started is fondamental, especially if you want to sound like native speackers.

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