Hacks to speaking a foreign language like a native

Learn a new language quickly

Stars Insider

08/06/19 | StarsInsider

LIFESTYLE language

Many of us dream of being fluent in a foreign language, but are often deterred by the overwhelming task of learning to do so. It can be a frustrating, discouraging, and tedious process—but it is definitely worth the effort. Speaking another language opens you up to numerous opportunities. And what's cooler than being able to communicate with other people in their native language?

However, there's another reason to learn a foreign language—it may help you make better decisions. The moral foreign-language effect (MFLE) is the theory that those who are speaking a foreign language will make more utilitarian decisions. 

study was conducted in 2014 by psychologists Sayuri Hayakawa and Boaz Keysar at the University of Chicago. Hayakawa and Keyser presented a version of the trolley problem to the students. In the problem, five people were drowning, and to save those people you would have to let one other person drown. 

The researchers found that individuals who weren't speaking in their native language approached the problem logically, and tended to be more careful and calculated in their responses. Those who were speaking in their first language on the other hand, appeared to be emotionally stunted by the moral dilemma. 

The bilingual students approached the problem thinking that the fair option was to act for the betterment of the group. It appeared that speaking in another language fostered a less emotional and more logical response.

Now, why is that? It has been theorized that speaking in a foreign language requires more mental effort, which causes our thoughts to slow down. This, in turn, allows us to make decisions more deliberately and rationally. 

Following the initial study, there have been at least six studies which have explored MFLE and had very similar results, according to Psychology Today

While these results are not completely conclusive, it wouldn't do any harm to starting learning another language, right?

Browse the gallery and discover some tips and tricks for learning a foreign language quickly and efficiently. You'll be speaking like a native in no time!

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