Speaking another language is good for your brain — at least that’s what we’ve heard.

But some new research paints a less-positive picture. Should you learn another language? And how?

Linguist Daniel Midgley gets bilingual on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Graeme Watson


Show notes

Dramatic decline in number of university students taking modern foreign languages
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/11412441/Dramatic-decline-in-number-of-university-students-taking-modern-foreign-languages.html

Only one in 65 new students chooses a modern language degree – we need a rethink
https://theconversation.com/only-one-in-65-new-students-chooses-a-modern-language-degree-we-need-a-rethink-37768

Americans are beginning to lose their love for foreign languages
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/19/americans-are-beginning-to-lose-their-love-for-foreign-languages/

Learning The Language
http://bcheights.com/opinions/2015/learning-language/

Facebook Is Cracking Down on Viral Hoaxes. Really.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2015/01/20/facebook_hoaxes_news_feed_changes_will_limit_false_news_stories.html

3 News defends use of Te Reo
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/266367/3-news-defends-use-of-te-reo

Kanoa Lloyd’s Te Reo stance wins plaudits
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/266391/te-reo-stance-wins-plaudits

NZ weather presenter hits back at criticism for using Maori language
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/02/18/nz-weather-presenter-hits-back-criticism-using-maori-language

100 Māori words every New Zealander should know
http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/maori-language-week/100-maori-words

Learn about the structure of Te Reo, the Māori language
http://kupu.maori.nz

Bill Gates wishes he’d learned a language.
http://www.9news.com.au/technology/2015/01/29/13/17/bill-gates-reveals-his-biggest-regret-in-life

Here’s the Reddit AMA with Bill Gates
http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2tzjp7/hi_reddit_im_bill_gates_and_im_back_for_my_third/co3q0hr

Now Skype can translate for us, what’s the point in learning a language?
http://theconversation.com/now-skype-can-translate-for-us-whats-the-point-in-learning-a-language-35923

Is Bilingualism Really an Advantage?
http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/bilingual-advantage-aging-brain

Ask a Linguist: Will bilingualism affect my child’s intelligence?
http://linguistlist.org/ask-ling/biling2.cfm

Bilingualism: consequences for mind and brain.
“This research shows that bilingualism has a somewhat muted effect in adulthood but a larger role in older age, protecting against cognitive decline, a concept known as ‘cognitive reserve’.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22464592

Learning a New Language Stimulates Same Pleasure Centres in the Brain as Sex and Chocolate
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/learning-new-language-stimulates-same-pleasure-centres-brain-sex-chocolate-1471766

The pleasure of learning new words
http://www.ub.edu/web/ub/en/menu_eines/noticies/2014/10/063.html

The Role of Reward in Word Learning and Its Implications for Language Acquisition
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(14)01207-X

Speaking More Than One Language Could Sharpen Your Brain
http://time.com/3581457/bilingual-brain-smart/

How learning a new language changes your brain – at any age
http://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-how-learning-a-new-language-changes-your-brain-at-any-age

Learning languages is a workout for brains, both young and old
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-11/ps-lli111214.php

“The fact that bilinguals are constantly practicing inhibitory control could also help explain why bilingualism appears to offer a protective advantage against Alzheimer’s and dementia, said Marian.”
http://www.psypost.org/2014/11/bilingual-brains-better-equipped-process-information-29490

Bilingualism changes children’s beliefs about the world around them
http://www.psypost.org/2015/01/bilingualism-changes-childrens-beliefs-world-around-30786

Saved by song: can singing improve your language skills?
http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/feb/11/singing-improve-language-skills-spanish-portuguese

The Benefits of Failing at French
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/opinion/16alexander.html

Hallo, hola, olá to the new, more powerful Google Translate app
http://googleblog.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/hallo-hola-ola-more-powerful-translate.html

Google’s translation app will soon turn speech into text on the fly
http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/11/google-translate-automatic-speech-to-text/

Google Updates Translate App With Instant Audio, Text Translation http://www.eweek.com/cloud/google-updates-translate-app-with-instant-audio-text-translation.html

404 page uses “up the boohai”. Very NZ.

RT: @sarasavage 10/10 to the @Te_Ara website for its heaps kiwi 404 Error message, lol pic.twitter.com/Z3ioE3iGin @talkrtr

— Grand Poobah Wagtail (@AngryWagtails) February 24, 2015

“Up the boohai”
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/boohai

¿Estos son Reebok o son Nike?


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: http://appointmentsbilanguage.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/bilingual-brain-21.png