Have you ever heard the proverb that says “Those who know many languages live as many lives as the languages they know”? It’s a very good one, and very true. Even science stands behind this, since it’s proven that people often change some aspects of their personalities when they use another language besides their mother tongue.
Now, here’s a word or two about kids and languages. Until the age of around six, children acquire a certain language as their mother tongue. If they acquire several languages at once, we can say that they are bilingual or trilingual. However, an older child or an adult can only learn a language, and their level of speaking and knowing it will never be as perfect as that of a person who has acquired it.
According to numerous scientific experiments, most of which were conducted in Sweden, there are some languages that, when acquired and learned, actually enhance our brains. Those, among some others, include Arabic. Due to its complex writing system, it helps some parts of the brain such as hippocampus to develop more than in people who speak only one language with a simpler writing system, like Romance and Germanic languages.
I’ve recently talked to my very close friends who also live in Brisbane about kids and day cares, and the conversation inspired me to do some research and write this article. The main topic of the talk was how hard it is to find a good place for our kids to spend time in, and that we’re lucky that we’ve found one that’s just perfect. Many parents want their kids to start learning a new language in the day care, especially those who aren’t able to teach the little ones themselves at home. This is especially the case with families where another language is a part of their cultural tradition.
My friends wanted their child to learn Arabic, as many Muslim parents do, but they also wanted a day care centre where they would be sure they would meet an environment with cultural understanding. Luckily, day care centres that Brisbane has to offer are really excellent, and both us and our kids are really happy we found one that suits our needs perfectly. Although they don’t have a program where learning the Arabic language is available, they do work hard and succeed in having kids from all cultural milieus grow up in an understanding environment, as well as mutual support and tolerance, building healthy and happy friendships.
Since they mentioned Arabic as the language they hope their child will be able to learn, I read some more about it, and found even more amazing facts about it. Here are some of them:
- There’s a reason Arabic was considered the language of science. During the Middle Ages, the people who studied numerous fields such as linguistics, algebra and geometry, chemistry, cuisine, physics, and arts used this language.
- Vast reach of Arabic can be seen in the influence it had on other languages. . This is demonstrated with the worldwide use of words that s originated in Arabic: sugar, zero, coffee, alcohol.
- The Arabic numerals. The numbers the whole Earth uses were initially used in this language.
- The roots of medicine can be found in the ancient scripts found written in Arabic.
As you can see, Arabic is a fine, beautiful, and artistic language to which we owe some of the world’s most important inventions. People who learn to use it have the chance to discover a whole new dimension of the famous culture, religion, and history, as well as get the opportunity to develop relationships with the native speakers, which can be beneficial in many, many fields.