Can Arabic make you smarter?

Published April 27th, 2016 - 08:05 GMT
Can Arabic make you smarter? (AFP / File)
Can Arabic make you smarter? (AFP / File)

As anyone who’s tried to learn it as a will know, Arabic is not an easy language.

But it now appears that struggling through dialects, cases and roots may have untold benefits – even if you don’t actually manage to master communication in the Middle East.

According to UAE linguistics professor Dr. Sami Boudelaa, Arabic is processed very differently from others languages because it demands that speakers constantly break words down into their root parts and assess their contexts to properly understand meaning.

In an interview with Gulf News, Dr. Boudelaa added that Arabic hasn’t been heavily studied in the past - and that it would benefit from further research and investigation into its true benefits. That’s despite Arabic being the third most commonly spoken language in the world,

Boudelaa’s idea is not totally new. In 2010, a University of Haifa study concluded that reading Arabic utilised the left and right hemispheres of the brain together – making for harder work than other languages.

That means it could help keep learners’ brains healthy as they age. Mental stimulation has been shown to prevent degenerative brain diseases like alzheimer’s, and the added effort involved in Arabic could make it beneficial in the same way as chess or crossword puzzles.

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