A research by Concordia University says that more than half of the world is bilingual. As translators, we have a big portion of piece from this cake. It is amazing how our brains work because we have to think in two different ways while working. The situation gets more complicated when the languages are from different families (like Turkish-English) or when we know more than two languages. In the latter case, you begin to compare three or four languages, which is almost a miracle for me. Of course it is not a miracle, just kidding. Science explains everything for us. I have read an article on langology.org which was originally published on sciencedaily. Here you can find some interesting parts from it. You can read the whole article by clicking the link below.
Concordia University researchers studied two groups of fluently bilingual adults — aged from 19 to 35 and from 60 to 81 years old — and found significant age-related differences in the manner their brains interpreted written language.
“We wanted to know whether older adults relied on context to process interlingual homographs (IH) — words that are spelled the same in both languages but have a different meaning,” says lead author Shanna Kousaie, a PhD candidate at Concordia University’s Department of Psychology and Centre for Research in Human Development (CRDH).
Does “coin” mean “money” or “corner”?
As part of the study, subjects were asked to read hundreds of trios of words. The first word in the triplet was in either English or French, indicating the language of the IH, putting it in context for readers. The second was an IH — a word such as “coin,” which means “money” in English but “corner” in French. The third word was one that might or might not help the person understand the meaning of the IH more quickly.
More than half the world is bilingual
These findings shed light on how bilingual adults process language. Although some 50 per cent of the world’s population is bilingual, much language research has so far focused only on single language speakers.