Is it easier to learn new languages if you've grown up bilingual or is it an inherent talent that just depends on how your brain's wired? I got thinking about this yesterday, over dinner with a friend. We were discussing my newly arrived niece and whether my brother and sister-in-law were going to bring her up speaking two languages. I guess the dilemma for parents is whether a multilingual household ends up confusing the child's developing linguistic abilities. I'm firmly of the opinion that you should bring up kids speaking as many languages as possible and there's no downside to a polyglot kid!
The other angle of our discussion last night was around whether an aptitude for learning languages was an indicator of a well-balanced mind - the rationale being that linguistic expertise required the use of both sides of the brain; the left brain for the logical, understanding of linguistic patterns and the right brain for the creative, representation of foreign sounds. I'm not sure I entirely agree with this line of thought - sleep-talking in German on the eve of my German A-Level was definitely not a sign of my well balanced mind!
Anyway we love our languages here at Touchnote (12 languages between us at the latest count...and that's not counting programming languages..)
A la prochaine ...