When learning languages becomes as colourful as your holiday pictures

In this article I will tell you about a phenomenon that at first view might sound a little strange to you. I started learning languages as a child but I was never able to tell why I learn them more succesfully than my colleagues at school. After many years on a late summerday I finally got the answer. In summer 2014 I went to Gothenburg in Sweden for a Swedish language course and after the lesson I talked to a German psychology student. I was speaking with her about different psychological phenomena, symptoms and diseases. I was always interested in psychology and even visited some lessons in psycholinguistics at university before. Suddenly she told me that there is a psychological phenomenon called synaesthesia which means that the human brain ‘gets the five senses mixed up’. She named a few examples that for some people for instance the sound of a circular saw tastes like chocolate or that maths experts with synaesthesia associate numbers with different sounds. In that moment I found the answer why learning new languages comes so easy for me. When I was 4 years old my parents bought me magnetic letters which you can put on a blackboard. They were all in different coulours which I associate with the letters until today. I will show you one simple example. Let us take the word LANGUAGE. Each of these letters has a certain and steady colour for me. The L is red, the A is yellow, the N is blue, the G is red, the U is violet, the A is yellow, the G is red and the E is green. In all those years I never questioned that as I thought that this is something natural and so I always took it for granted. After this information I started reading more about synaesthesia and especially how it helps people in different fields of science. There are different kinds of synesthesia and mine is called grapheme color synesthesia which for a language freak and passionate traveller like me makes language learning as colourful as any holiday picture. If you want to get to know more about grapheme color synaesthesia I recommend you this article:





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