Speaking someone else’s native language helps us to communicate with them, as well as creating cultural connections. Our brains are dynamic structures, changing in response to new experiences. Learning a language in later life can delay cognitive decline even more than being bilingual during our youth. A recent Swedish survey finds that our brains actually grow when we learn a language and that speaking it fluently gives us better memories. Learning gives great personal satisfaction, and not only develops our minds, but enriches us by improving our understanding of other cultures.

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