Learning a Second Language Isn’t Just Good for Your Brain—It’s Good for Democracy, Too

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“The impact that shifting languages can have on us reveals how central it is to our identities and social connections. In a series of intriguing studies, Boaz Keysar and his colleagues at the University of Chicago have shown that when speaking a second language, people tend to behave more rationally. In our native languages, we’re somewhat stuck in our habits, and likely to be susceptible to classic cognitive biases. But the more thoughtful effort that is required to speak a second language helps elevate us into more rational territory.”

SOURCE: Cook, Ed. “Learning a Second Language Isn’t Just Good for Your Brain—It’s Good for Democracy, Too.” Quartz.

Translation – and Migration – Is the Lifeblood of Culture

4320Culture is not a purely national business. I work as a poet and translator and would find it inconceivable to read Chaucer without being aware of the figures of Dante and Boccaccio in the background, or Shakespeare without Plutarch. Or indeed TS Eliot (himself an immigrant to the UK) without referring to 100 texts from other states in other languages. This form of internationalism is the lifeblood of art. It is rootless, it is cosmopolitan, and it is free thinking.”

SOURCE: Szirtes, George. “Translation – and Migration – Is the Lifeblood of Culture.” The Guardian.