What’s better, Bi/Multi-lingual, or Monolingual?

2016-04-21

How knowing more than language changes your life, and how you can do it with ‘Dualingo.com’!

If you are bilingual or multilingual, that means that you know more than one or two languages. Monolingual means that you only know one language.

As I am a subscriber and keen watcher of the ‘Ted- Talks’ and ‘Ted-Ed’s’ webisodes on YouTube, I have been taught that knowing more than one language is highly beneficial in a multitude of ways.

First and foremost, being bi/multi-lingual makes travelling the world far easier and simpler, if you’re going to a country which most prominent language is not English- and you have at least some basic understanding of that country’s terminology and phrases.

Another benefit, shown by studies demonstrated by the ‘TED-Ed’ webisode ‘Benefits of a Bilingual Brain’ on YouTube also states that people who are bilingual have greater grey-matter density in their heads. The mental activity of a bilingual brain throughout the person’s life can slow the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia by as much as five years.

In more recent studies, past the 60’s, bilingual people proved to have faster reaction speeds, and as they were increasingly practiced with switching between two (or more) languages, triggers more activity, thus potentially strengthens, the ‘Dorsolateral Pre-frontal Cortex’, which plays a large part of our ‘Executive Function’. This means that bilingual people have an advantage of problem solving, switching between tasks, and filtering out irrelevant information. This can all lead to a more actively engaged, healthier and complex brain. You can learn more all about this, here.

‘Duolingual’ is a brilliant website for any of us to learn a new language.

It is a uniquely themed language-teaching site which utilises a variety of techniques to encourage learners. The layout and structure of the website is impeccably easy and simple to use, as well as being highly aesthetically pleasing.

The site isn’t just in English, either- so whatever your maiden language, you can read the site effortlessly.

All the learning tutorials are ‘Lesson’ based, starting with the basic terminology of basic understanding of your selected language to learn, and the complexity of the grammatical tests gradually increase with a variety of reading, writing, listening and even speaking (with the use of your computer’s microphone) exercises.

One of my good friends on Facebook recommended that I use the website to learn Dutch, as I have a Dutch friend visiting me in a couple of months- (this visitor speaks fluent English, but I wanted to return a courtesy by making the effort in learning some basics of the language) so I took her advice, and tried it out.

As there are ‘prize’ incentives and daily/weekly-set goals to work towards, this method of learning one out of a few dozen of languages at any one time is highly addictive. On my first day, I set the goal to gain ’30 xp’ (experience points) but have so far chalked up 140, from several ‘classes’.

It is completely free, and definitely worth you checking it out. It is great fun and invaluably beneficial! Check it out.