Monday, January 20, 2014

Being Bilingual: How Does The Brain Benefit From Being Fluent In Two Languages

Newly born babies have such a flexible brain that is so talented for languages that they could be able to speak fluently in any of the 6,800 languages currently spoken in the world. And even though only nine months afterwards, this talent begins to fade, by the time we are old enough to start with formal schooling, we still have a remarkable ability to learn a second or third language.

Being bilingual does not only have a positive impact in people’s employment possibilities but it also affects their social abilities in a way that no other ability does. Recent scientific studies show that bilingual and multilingual people have developed the possibility of fluently reading and writing in at least a foreign language as well as to: deal better with ambiguities, solve conflicts faster and more efficiently and resist the Alzheimer’s disease longer than people who only manage one language fluently.

Social Benefits of Bilinguism

From the social point of view, the benefits of being bilingual cannot be doubted. Teachers, education experts in general, linguists and social analysts agree on the fact that exposing a child to a second language from a very early age:

  • ·         Provides children with a more flexible thinking and a greater sensitivity not only to language but also to cultural issues.
  • ·         Enables children to communicate with people from different cultures, thus increasing their awareness of world issues.
  • ·         Enables children to appreciate cultural, ethnical and social diversity.
  • ·         Promotes children’s mental and intellectual development.
  • ·         Improves the way children understand their mother tongue.
Brain Plasticity and Being Bilingual

But, in which way does the brain benefit from being bilingual? Being fluent in two or more languages has a positive effect on our brain’s neuroplasticity. In other words, it has an advantageous impact on the plasticity of our brain.

Neuroscientists have discovered that knowing how to speak and write in more than one language challenges our brain to create different neural pathways and synapses. These new connections make our brain not only more flexible but also encourage it to create new circuits that keep it young no matter our physical age.

In fact, it has been proven that our brain is not a static organ. Just as any other muscle in our body, it changes physically as we challenge it and force it to make new synapse connections.

Being fluent in more than one language is a way to stimulate our brain’s plasticity. Reading a passage in a language and then joining a conversation in another language forces our brain to constantly restructure itself, reorganize and create new synapses that help our brain to be more alert, more active and highly more responsive. As we learn new vocabulary or a new grammar tense, our brain is constantly adding, saving and relating that new info to previous concepts we have learnt so that our brain’s plasticity if always put to the test.

In such a context, children who are exposed to a bilingual environment from a very early age have plenty of opportunities to expand their neuroplasticity and this means that, in the future, they will have more tools to fight against Alzheimer’s disease as well as many other mental illnesses.
As it can be appreciated, learning languages is beneficial for our brain.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Over The Phone Interpreting in Hospital Environments
All around the United States, hospital environments are increasingly offering over the phone interpreting services for patients and their relatives who do not master English and it has proven to be a very valuable service for patients and doctors alike.

The ever increasing immigrant population in the United States implies that not everybody living in America is fluent in the English language. In a hospital environment, healthcare professionals and patients need to communicate fluently and accurately in order to ensure their comfort and safety during their stay in the hospital. In such a context, over the phone interpreters play a prominent role providing a language and cultural bridge between the two parties. 

Over the phone interpreting experts not only make sure that patients receive the high quality service  they deserve and that  doctors and nurses understand their ailments correctly but also help medical experts to improve their understanding  of the patients’ cultural background in order to appreciate how it may influence decisions taken in the medical field.

Over the phone interpreters can assist doctors, nurses and even administrative staff in different stages of the medical procedure. Whether their presence is required during admissions, consultations, examinations or other encounters with the patients, in each and every case they encourage direct communication between the expert and the patient and or his relatives by consistently, accurately and completely repeating each utterance in the language of the speaker. 

These language professionals ensure that all patients, no matter their language background, origin or immigration status, receive the medical treatment they deserve and require. In fact, the federal law expects those hospitals that receive Medicaid, Medicare or other government funds to provide over the phone interpreting and in person interpreting services to the patients that require them free of charge.

Working as an over the phone interpreter in a medical facility is a challenging and rewarding position that also implies assuming a huge responsibility. The job is not only limited to hospitals as such language professionals are also required in nursing homes, surgical centers, long-term care facilities, dental offices, physician offices or mental health facilities. 

Day Translations offers professional over the phone interpreting services for hospital environments not only in the United States but also worldwide. Our experienced and highly qualified interpreters can help you communicate with doctors, nurses and other medical staff accurately and completely and thus ensure that you and your relatives receive the information and attention they require and deserve.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Legal Translation: Helping International Law Firms

International law firms and those dealing with immigration cases usually find themselves in the need of translating important and sensitive documents from and into English. However, finding a professional, accurate and reliable legal translation company is not easy.

Legal documents usually contain confidential information that cannot be openly disclosed. And just as lawyers wouldn’t let anybody manage their legal cases, they also need to pay attention to who is handling their legal translation requirements. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Music: A Bridge in Crossing the Language Barrier

Globalization brings people from different cultures closer together. While the language barrier still exists, there are several things that make communication among people speaking different languages possible. Travelers would say that one must learn at least a few basic words and phrases to get by and the easiest way to do this is to buy a phrase book. Others might find the language interesting enough to enroll in language class before embarking on a trip to a foreign land. People wishing to settle, do business or study in another country where the language is different from what is normally spoken at home must engage the services of a document translation service provider to have their documents translated accurately.

How else can you make yourself understood when you do not speak the language of the country you are visiting.? Aside from the handy phrase book, you can use sign and body language; you can draw, use facial expressions, or ask the help of someone who is willing to translate for you. However, there is one universal thing that does not need to be translated in a language you are familiar with to be understood. It’s called music.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Value of Keeping Silent (At Times)

Freedom of speech is a basic human right. People around the world are exercising this right. The availability of modern communication tools allows people to express their ideas and thoughts freely to more people than ever. Today’s generation specifically seems to have already forgotten that at times, being silent is important too. When too many people are expressing their opinion at the same time, it is hard to listen and sometimes, the best way to be heard is by keeping silent.

Silence is golden

This is a very old proverb, and yet its value is still immeasurable. Yes, it is fine to speak our minds out. However, we do not have to do it all the time, especially when we are hurt or angry. You know why? Because we have to remember that words are very powerful. Words are used to educate, bless, help and express one’s expertise. They can also harm, curse, reveal a person’s foolishness or cause damage.

It is all right to speak about things and ideas that arouse our passions. However, it cannot be stressed enough that at times, especially when we are hurt or angry that we should stop and hold our tongue, to avoid causing more hurt, damage or irreparable consequences. When we are in such a situation, we should refrain from using our mobile phones or visiting a social networking site and curb our tongues until our heads are clear.