How Knowing a Foreign Language Can Improve Your Decisions: Scientific American | Language learning | Scoop.it

The study of how people process foreign languages has traditionally focused on the topics we wrestled with in high school French or Spanish classes -- botched grammar, misunderstood vocabulary, and mangled phonemes. But in recent years psychologists have gone to the laboratory with a phenomenon that historically was only discussed in memoirs by bilingual writers like Vladimir Nabokov and Eva Hoffman: a foreign language feels less emotional than the mother tongue. Consider the case of taboo words. For many multilinguals, swearing in a foreign language doesn't evoke the same anxiety (or bring the same emotional release) as using a native language.