Speak English & Hindi fluently to have smarter brains
If you are learning how to speak English fluently to improve your chances for the much sought after job or promotion, you will be happy to know that if since you also speak your mother tongue fluently, it leads to a marked improvement in your mental skills and intelligence.
Being fluent in two languages, also known as being bilingual, makes your brain more alert, quicker in response, and better able to deal with complicated situations. As a bilingual you are also able to avoid memory problems, decline in reasoning skills and diseases of the nervous system like Alzheimer’s for a longer period than single language persons.
This is how it works. A person who speaks, for example, in Hindi and English fluently, develops two networks in the brain, a two language environment represented by two sets of neuron connections.
Suppose somebody speaks to you in English. With both networks of Hindi and English languages active and available, the brain identifies the meaning of words, understands the patterns of sentence structure and grammar, and recognizes the nuances of pronunciation unique to the English language. The brain then stops the activity of the competing network for Hindi in the brain. When you are spoken to in Hindi, the brain system of Hindi is activated and the English network is suppressed.
Thus a bilingual brain is constantly alert to the challenge of evaluating between two competing language systems. Frequent shift from English to Hindi and back to English throughout the day exercises the cognitive functions of the brain and continually strengthens them for future use.
As our muscles become stronger with physical workouts, so also as you develop fluency with more and more usage of English and Hindi, the brain builds strength, speed and efficiency in the assessment function of both language networks.
This increase in efficiency and speed in the brain is not limited to only translation of language and better communication skills. Bilinguals also develop an increased attentive focus, do not get distracted easily, and possess better decision making, judgment and analytical powers. These mental skills becomes stronger over the years.
No wonder children growing up in a two-language environment, and adults learning a new language, score higher in mental and intelligence tests. Moreover, continuously using two languages is responsible for the better health and preservation of the brain’s nervous system and delays the onset of memory disorders and other diseases of the nervous system in later life.
You may think that a person is likely to get overloaded with exposure to two languages. This is not true. The brain has a remarkable ability to modify its internal wiring whenever there are changes in behavior, environment, learning, thinking and emotions. This is called brain plasticity, or flexibility, which also gives us this extraordinary ability to learn not two, but three or more languages! The late Shri PV Narasimha Rao, Prime Minister of India from 1991-1996, was fluent in 11 languages, including Sanskrit, English, French and Spanish.
Remember, however, that you must not just be fluent in both English and Hindi but be speaking both languages in your daily lifeto allow your brain to develop sharper mental perception and better problem solving skills.
So when you appear for your next job interview, not only will you impress the interview board with your fluency in English, you will also dazzle them with a much more smarter and intelligent you. Best of luck!
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