Learning foreign languages has become a real necessity for people nowadays. Technological progress is moving on very fast, and if you know foreign languages, many ways and paths can be opened in front of you. In addition to this, recent research showed that foreign language learning can really make you smarter.
Not depending on when a person started to learn foreign language, according to Wikipedia: in early childhood or in adulthood, it helps to think, concentrate and stimulate the attention. The common opinion is that it is better to learn a foreign language at a younger age, as the result will be much better than to start learning it in adulthood. However, this point of view can take place only on the level of language proficiency. As for the effect of learning a foreign language on the brain, binding to the age does not really matter. Even if you start learning a language in an adulthood, the brain will still be working for improvement. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh determined that people who know more than one language, are inclined to suffer from the age dementia 4 years later than other people. This fact inclined them to conduct an experiment in which young people had to pass a series of cognitive and psychological tests. Some of the participants knew only one language, while others possessed at least one foreign language. It turned out that people who own a second language are more attentive and have a greater ability to concentrate. These abilities didn’t depend on the age at which people started to learn a second language. This, basically, is not surprising, because a person is instantly switching from one language to another, and the brain learns to select the information carefully, focusing on the essentials. Canadian researchers found the neurobiological explanation to this fact. They found that in the study of a second language the brain begins to create new neural structures and "pushes" them into existing neural circuits. Not necessarily that this will happen at the age when the brain is developing intensively.
Of course, we shouldn’t make a sensation out of this information, because not a large number of people participated in the experiment (38 people, who possessed one language and 60 people, possessing foreign language). it is also possible that people with more advanced mental abilities are beginning to learn a foreign language more often.
Other researchers tried to take this into account in their experiments. In 1947, psychologists have analyzed data on 853 people. They checked their brains first. Second analysis was done by researchers in 2008-2010. As a result, it turned out that people who know a foreign language, have much better mental state than it could be at their age. This indirectly indicates that knowledge of a second language supports educational and cognitive abilities of the brain at a high level.
As far as you can see, learning foreign languages can be very useful not only for your future, but also for the development of your mental abilities. In addition, learning foreign languages we have an amazing opportunity to find out a lot of new and interesting information about the culture of the language you learn.