This is a collaborative post.
Have you ever wondered if you could improve your memory simply by learning a new language? I know it is easier to learn when you are younger but it is almost like a brain training exercise and can actually help you improve your memory at any age you decide to learn.
How can you learn languages now?
Do you remember back years ago you had to go to evening classes or buy a book and cassette or CD to try and learn a language? It meant lots of stopping and starting to hear bits again and it was such a tough task.
Nowadays there are apps and other online resources like English with Lucy to help you learn a language that repeats phrases to you, listen to you and can confirm if you have it right when you are pronouncing your new language! How amazing is that compared to having to rewind cassettes?
If you are young enough not to remember cassettes then you will find learning a language easier at your age too!
Do we trust technology too much?
Instead of learning a language do you rely on Google Translate to communicate when abroad? What if it wasn’t working? Wouldn’t it be better to learn to actually say a few things before your holiday and communicate in person with the person serving you in a restaurant?
Why not give it a try, you may be surprised how quickly you can pick up what you need and then how addictive it is and learn more and more.
How has technology affected our memory?
Back when we didn’t have mobile phones we used to have to remember phone numbers or write them down. Now you can even ask your phone verbally to call someone for you. This means we forget things and do not have a reason to remember them.
This is called digital amnesia. We trust our phones, laptops etc to remember everything from passwords to phone numbers and even appointments, there is so little we actually need to remember isn’t there.
By doing this we make our lives easier but it also reduces our memory capacity as we have effectively forgotten how to remember things. this is called digital amnesia.
Training our brain with language apps
If you want to be able to remember your partners or your children’s phone numbers and other important information then training your brain is the way forward!
Learning languages is a great way to train your brain and helps improve concentration and aid memory. Babbel, the world’s first language learning app, shares in their infographic (“SOS memory: does learning languages help the brain?”) how it works.
Explaining how philosopher Plato considers writing as a reminder for what you should already have remembered and the statistics of what people today can remember is interesting reading.
Did you know 60% of people can remember their home phone number from when they were just 10 years old! I am definitely one of that 60%.
Tips for improving memory with language learning
In the infographic that I mentioned above, Babbel also shares how the key is with short lessons, spaced repetition and tips such as learning rules that can be applied to numerous words.
Using these techniques the app helps you to learn languages in a way that is proven to help you to pick it up easily and quickly but also learn ways to help your memory in other aspects. For example, a Swedish study is said to have found that people who study languages are much better at remembering the names of people they have just met than people who do not.
I definitely need to give this a try as I am hopeless at remembering names but I used to have an amazing memory as a youngster!