Learning a language later in life

Have you ever wanted to travel to a foreign country and be able to communicated with the locals in their native tongue? Whether it's asking for directions or ordering a meal, there's a certain satisfaction to speaking a second language and having a successful interaction without needing to speak English. Well, there may be more to learning another language than being able to talk the talk, as those who speak two or more languages can actually slow down cognitive decline.

Languages helping the aging brain
According to a recent study of 835 Scottish people whose first language was English, participants who spoke at least two languages performed better on mental skills tests in their 70s than they would have been expected to do when they were younger. In particular, these study participants did better in areas of reading and intelligence. The study also noted it didn't matter whether seniors had learned a second language when they were young or if they learned later in life.

 The positive effects can be gained at any point in life. As memory care is such a concern for seniors, learning a second language – even during retirement – could have long-term benefits. This means that learning another language can keep your brain fit for longer and leave you less likely to experience a decline in mental sharpness.

How to learn another language
Upon reaching retirement, you might have some idea of where you want to live or how you will spend your newly-earned free time. While you make these plans, consider learning another language to keep your mind sharp throughout the rest of your life. You might even have the time to travel to another country where you can use your second language after leaving the workforce.

If you're interested in learning another language, you can get started right away. Remember that it doesn't matter what age you start learning, and you can start getting your brain into great shape at any point by learning new skills. Taking on another language can be difficult and time consuming, but the mental rewards are worth it. To begin, pick out the language you want to learn. If you're unsure, consider what foreign countries interest you most and pick a language from there. You can sign up for classes or purchase a home-learning system where you can do lessons on your own time. 

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