Babies who hear foreign speech pick up languages faster

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue May 13 14:06:45 UTC 2008

Forwarded From: edling at


'Babies who hear foreign speech pick up languages faster'

Babies who hear foreign speech in their first nine months of life find it
easier to pick up languages in school or as adults, research has found. But
those who hear only English as babies are left unable to distinguish between
subtly different sounds not used in their native language. The findings will
provide an excuse for British tourists who have struggled with foreign
languages while travelling. Psychologists at Bristol University found that
the developing brain undergoes a period of "programming" in infancy which
sets up for life its ability to recognise key sounds in whatever will become
its native language.

Full story:'Babies-who-hear-foreign-speech-pick-up-languages-faster'.html


Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone: (215) 898-7475
Fax: (215) 573-2138

Email: haroldfs at

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