We asked around and it turns out that staff here in our head office speak 21 languages fluently, ranging from some of the more obvious ones like French, Spanish and German through to Swedish, Slovak, Japanese, Turkish and Urdu.
New research shows bilingualism wards against Alzheimer’s and other related conditions, including dementia, as well as exercising the brain in ways monolingualism cannot – studies have shown increased control over attention span, faster ability to handle complex tasks and more.
Recent research into bilingualism tends to assume a common hypothesis: that bilingualism is a kind of constant inhibitor, or that with two (or more) languages in mind, nearly everything has two labels (words), two ways of constructing a sentence (grammar). Each time a word or sentence structure is required, an alternative must be suppressed. Therefore, the focus is on how effective bilinguals are on blocking out distracting information. Bilinguals, for instance, are more likely to be able to speed-read and secondly, to be able to do it faster than those who constrain themselves to only one language.
For more information on bilingualism, check out this article from The Economist