Glot Language?

Are you a monoglot? Bilingual? Polyglot? According to this article in The Economist, those who speak more than one language may fare better than those who don’t when it comes to mind deterioration due to old age. (Was Ronald Reagan bilingual?)

Fascinating. I’ve always been a proponent of exercising the mind with the same fervor and passion we do our bodies. I’ve called for the development of “Mind Gyms“. So perhaps immersion language courses or experiences might qualify.

[…] the performance gap between monoglots and bilinguals increased with age[~]something that Dr Bialystok is not yet sure how to explain, but which suggests that bilingualism protects the mind against decline. It may never be possible to prove W.H. Auden’s dictum that [base “]time…worships language[per thou]. But, for the present, it seems that reaction times depend heavily on it.

And travel works too. In China I did my best to harness part of the language. France. Italy. I wish I could speak them all. I’ve often said that when I find a bottle on a beach on some distant shore and after polishing it my personal genie pops out, my first wish would be to be a master of multiple languages. To be able to communicate to anyone anywhere. That’s cool.

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