Using languages to fight Alzheimer's
Those who want to stay mentally fit should learn languages. Language skills can protect against dementia. Numerous scientific studies have proven this. The age of the learner doesn't play a role at all. What's important is that the brain is regularly exercised. Learning vocabulary activates different areas of the brain. These areas control important cognitive processes. Therefore, people who are multilingual are more attentive. They can also concentrate better. However, multilingualism has additional advantages. Multilingual people can make better decisions. That is, they come to a decision faster. This is because their brain has learned to choose. It always knows at least two terms for one thing. Each of these terms is a feasible option. Therefore, multilingual people are constantly making decisions. Their brains have practice in choosing between many things. And this training doesn't just benefit the speech centre of the brain. Many areas of the brain profit from multilingualism. Language skills also mean better cognitive control. Of course, language skills will not prevent dementia. However, in multilingual people the disease progresses slower. And their brains seem better able to counterbalance the effects. In language learners symptoms of dementia appear in a weaker form. Confusion and forgetfulness are less serious. Therefore, old and young profit equally from language acquisition. And: With each language it gets easier to learn a new one. So, we should all be reaching for the dictionary instead of medicine!
Guess the language!
______ is one of the eleven official languages of South ****ca.
It was the language of the Boers.
They settled in ****ca during colonial times.
Its origins can be traced to 17th century Dutch.
Therefore, it belongs to the West Germanic language family.
The language has naturally changed over time.
The grammar of ______ is simpler than that of Dutch today.
It also contains many elements that were borrowed from English.
This is because the British also had colonies in the region.
______ is not only understood in South ****ca, though.
It is also spoken in Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.
It is estimated that in total more than 20 million people understand ______.
It is the native language of 7 million people in South ****ca alone.
Even more people speak ______ as their second or third language.
A person can get around easily in many regions of ****ca with ______.
Therefore it is worth it to learn this relatively simple language!