lunes, 21 de julio de 2014

Learn Chinese is good, even for your health!

Chinese 'takes more brainpower'
Mandarin speakers use both sides of their brain
Speaking Chinese may take more brainpower than speaking English, a study suggests.

Researchers in Britain have found that people who speak Mandarin Chinese use both sides of their brain to understand the language.
This compares to English-language speakers who only need to use one side of their brain.
The researchers said the findings could boost understanding of how the brain processes languages.
This, in turn, could one day help scientists to develop better ways of helping people to re-learn languages after a stroke or similar damage to the brain.
Brain scans
Dr Sophie Scott and colleagues at the Wellcome Trust carried out brain scans on a group of Mandarin and English speakers.
They found that the left temporal lobe, which is located by the left temple, becomes active when English speakers hear English.

People who speak different sorts of languages use their brains to decode speech in different ways
Dr Sophie Scott,
Wellcome Trust
The researchers believe that this area of the brain links speech sounds together to form individual words.
They expected similar findings when they carried out scans on Mandarin speakers.
However, they found that both their left and right temporal lobes become active when they hear Mandarin.
"People who speak different sorts of languages use their brains to decode speech in different ways," said Dr Scott.
"It overturned some long-held theories."
Mandarin is a notoriously difficult language to learn. Unlike English, speakers use intonation to distinguish between completely different meanings of particular words.
For instance, the word "ma" can mean mother, scold, horse or hemp depending on how it is said.
The researchers believe that this need to interpret intonation is why Mandarin speakers need to use both sides of their brain.
The right temporal lobe is normally associated with being able to process music or tones.
"We think that Mandarin speakers interpret intonation and melody in the right temporal lobe to give the correct meaning to the spoken words," said Dr Scott.
"It seems that the structure of the language you learn as a child affects how the structure of your brain develops to decode speech.
"Native English speakers, for example, find it extraordinarily difficult to learn Mandarin."
Learning languages
Dr Scott said the findings could help scientists to understand how the brain learns language.
It could be particularly useful in trying to understand how it re-learns language after a stroke.
She suggested it could also lead to new drugs to help people who have lost their language skills.
"There is evidence from other studies that certain drugs affect learning in the brain regions that support hearing and speech," she said.
"This is something we can improve on."
Dr William Marslen-Wilson, of the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge University, welcomed the study.
"It is an interesting finding," he told BBC News Online.
"Looking at languages that are very different from each other helps us to understand how the brain processes language.
"It can also help us to understand language rehabilitation," he said.
"This field is really opening up but it is very early days."
The findings will be included in the summer science exhibition at the Royal Society in London, which runs from 1 to 3 July. 

Article taken from BBC News 

8 comentarios:

  1. Carlos Mauricio Pedraza Peña 10B

    I agree with the argument that this writting exposes, because mandarin is actually a lenguage that is not easy to learn, and learning a new language worths using both parts of your brain, Mandarin is comproved to be a language that makes you use more of your intelligence.

    And concluding, mandarin is the language of the bussiness future and the language more people must start learning for economical improvement

  2. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.

  3. 我觉得汉语难学,我觉得汉字难写, 我觉得汉语未来将是非常有用。
    Learning other lenguage it's very important, and even more if that lenguage is one of the most important lenguages in the all world, like the Chinese, it's a difficult lenguage, but it's also a very important lenguage, because some of the bigs companies are in China, because all of the cheap hand made job is there.

  4. 语言学习是一个人的未来非常重要,并了解不同的母语可以帮助我们有更好的生活,因为作为我们的语言更使得公司更感兴趣的路上我们的生命,承载着我们的服务

  5. I find this article really interesting because it allow us to know how our brain works when we're learning and speaking languages. I totally agree with what the article says about "brain scans" because learning Mandarin bring us many posibilities and new skills that probably we could not develop with other languages, for example using both of brain sides when we're talking, listening and writing mandarin help us to increase our knowledge levels and improve our brain usage.
    All in all, Mandarin not only bring us benefits for our brain and knowledge,it also help us to relate with many people around the world and start knowing their culture.

  6. I am agree whit this article because it says that learning new languages can give us more opportunities in our working life and it says that learning mandarin give us the opportunity to use both sides of our brain, no matter how hard it is to learn, we can strive to make our life get better in the working life.

  7. i really think this article is very interesting because it shows how the science is improving and also helps us to now more about the process of learnig a new language. us we now this process is not easy for all people and i think the idea of make a drug that help us to learn easier a language, know how the brain work is interesting and does we know why we are better in some things, as the article said learn mandarin is not easy we have to memorize many things we are not accustomed to using like tones and characters also the pin yin and so on.
    finally learn new languages is important in the present and we have to work hard to speak, write and understand well any language you want to know

  8. This article is really interesting and informative, well; speaking Mandarin may be as stimulative as doing exercise or listening to music. It stimulates our brain and boosts our learning process, making it quite efficient for us to learn a new language, and also to communicate with other cultures on an easier way.