The Global Indian

Want to stay young? Learn more languages

Here’s good news for most Indians who are bilingual.

In a study conducted by the UK’s University of Edinburgh, it was found that those who spoke more than one language were able to slow down the aging of their brain.

What is more reassuring is that the additional language could be learnt at any age and still receive the same benefits of good brain health.

The study of 262 people found that reading, verbal fluency and intelligence improved.

The research, published in Annals of Neurology confirmed that learning a new language helped in developing cognitive functions.

The lead of the research Dr Thomas Bak, who works at the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, studied  262 volunteers from Edinburgh at the age of 11, and then again in their seventies.

Dr Bak confirmed that people who spoke more than one language had better cognitive abilities compared to what would have been expected if they spoke only one language.

And it didn’t matter at what age the second language was learnt.

Dr Bak also completed another study in India where most people are bilingual. This study found that being bilingual could delay dementia by many years.

So there you go – you have something to be thankful for if you are an Indian. Your brain is likely to remain younger compared to your western counterparts where being bilingual is not as prevalent as in India.

For those who are not Indians or bilingual, there’s still hope. Enroll to learn a foreign language. It will stand you in good stead in your old age.