Can Learning a New Language Help Improve Memory?

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How many phone numbers do you actually know off by heart nowadays? How many appointments do you remember without a note or a reminder on your phone?

It’s all well and good saying ‘well I don’t need to remember if I’ve got my phone to I? but what if you were to lose it? Worse still, what if our over reliance on our phone to remind us of things that in the past we would have remembered ourselves is actually damaging our memory?

It’s called digital amnesia: Nowadays, we are entrusting our phones with all the things we used to remember on our own, effectively diminishing our memory. One in two people can’t remember their children’s phone number, one in three can’t even remember their partner’s phone number.

How can we train our ability to remember? Learning languages can help the brain improve concentration and aid memory, as explained in the infographic “SOS memory: does learning languages help the brain?” by Babbel, the world’s first language learning app.

From Plato’s aversion for writing, the culprit of taking away some of our memory, to fun facts about polyglots and the language of space, this infographic will take you on a journey into our ability to remember, and the help that learning one or more languages can provide.

Language study online through short lessons, a new routine and spaced repetition are all useful tips and practices to help one’s memory not only with a new language, but also in all everyday situations, as proven by a Swedish study: Those who take language courses are better at remembering names of the people they just met.

This definitely sounds like something that would benefit me as neither names nor faces are really my thing. I can put down a book and immediately forget the name of every character, which I’m sure can’t be a good thing!


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