Case Study: How does my braen work?

By cMasta | pmcmasta | 20 Sep 2020

I didn't get the 400 UNI because I'm still kind of a cryptonoob, but that's okay because I got a real job instead (just yesterday), which, just in case you were following me and wondering, is why I broke my one-post-per-day streak. Having a steady income allows one to invest a little more liberally into cryptospace.

Anyway, I work for Abbott Labs mass-manufacturing these new 15-minute COVID tests now and there are a lot of Spanish-speakers at the factory. I got through Spanish IV in high school and managed to retain the basics thanks to periodic review. I was working in China from mid-2017 to the beginning of 2020 where I picked up a fair amount of basic Mandarin, but hadn't thought about Spanish very much at that time. Now, when I try to think in Spanish, I think in Mandarin instead. Being a native English speaker in the US, I was not exposed to any other languages until around fourth or fifth grade when we had a 1-hour Spanish class once a week, so I find this interesting because it kind of gives me some insight into how my brain (and likely yours too) physically works. According to these observations, 'foreign language' of all kinds is stored in its own space, distinct from the mother language. As the foreign language is used more and more, the brain develops a complex network between the regions. Initially the brain needs to send a signal from 'foreign language' to 'mother language' before it can comprehend the meaning, but as it fires the neurons more often, the connections are reinforced and eventually the 'foreign language' signal does not have to pass through the 'mother language' region before it can be comprehended. Then it can think in either language and understand what it thought without having to translate it first. Kind of like how my loaner iPhone learned how to play Pokemon GO without draining the battery dry in 30 minutes...

In my case, 2+ years in China was enough time to be able to think in Mandarin (with diligent practice, of course). During those 2+ years, however, I apparently lost the ability to think in Spanish without translating it back into English. In fact, as I mentioned before, when I try to think in Spanish, my thoughts naturally come out in Mandarin. It requires focus to silence the Mandarin pathway and reinforce the Spanish one. This has occurred previously, but obviously I've been noticing it more now. Maybe you Europeans are thinking to yourselves what a stupid American I am, but, yeah, this is still kind of a novel phenomenon to me. I know given some time I will improve, as it usually is, but for now it feels a little weird. It's okay, though, because I'd like to retain both languages anyway. 

When I taught English, the most frequently asked question was,

'How do I improve?'

The students were rarely satisfied with the answer I gave them...

Practice often

But honestly that is the only way. As the old saying goes, 'Rome wasn't built in a day.' There is no magic bullet and everyone is different. Find out what works for you, do it, and expect it to take a little while before you noticeably improve.

This is pretty solid advice for almost all difficult things, I think.

~ Peace, love, and music


On another note, if you got in on the UNI love and want to share, feel free to send some my way:


If you want an address for a different coin, that can be arranged 😬😂

Oh, Lordy, look at what I've become 😂😅

Peace again! ✌💚🎶


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Science enthusiast, semi-smart person, amateur musician, human father, plant father, hoping my crypto bags get me rich.


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