Stave off dementia by learning Welsh!

Another good reason to learn Welsh (or any other new language!)

Study into how language delays onset of dementia -


One reason I’m here,

reason I’m here

Actually the main reason I’m here. I enjoy language learning and have always believed in life-long learning as a way to keep the brain healthy.

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Make that three of us so far. It’s not the only reason, but certainly one of them.

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Could this be a marketing opportunity for SSiW? or anyone else teaching Welsh? To be honest, I’m not doing this out of any particular interest in Welsh language or culture -(sorry!). Its just a question of what’s available language-learning-wise in my area. Which isn’t much, as it turns out. I really wanted to learn Russian, but that isn’t possible in my area. But I see that as a positive: you don’t need any other reason to learn Welsh other than that it’s a mental exercise. This widens it out. And if it makes people happy who have a cultural agenda, its win-win, tydy?

My Dad died of Alzheimer’s and my Mum is in the final stage now, and this is a strong factor in why I wanted to learn another language. Although having started, I am enjoying it too.


That’s the thing. It’s fun. I enjoy the almost physical sensation that comes with “oh I get this now. I can see the pattern. Its not so hard after all.”

And the Welsh culture will draw you in gradually, anyway. It’s unavoidable. :slight_smile:


Yes, I can see how that might happen eventually. Its all good.

I disagree that language learning staves off dementia (although I’m hoping it’s true, wrth gwrs!) I also study German and Spanish, and can chat quite comfortably in both. However, while using these languages I’ve often used a word from the other language without realising it. I think that my head says ‘foreign’ and out comes something, but not necessarily in the expected language. My classmates and friends of both languages think this is very funny. So I fully expect to become demented in four languages, since I include English. And the problems that I am having with learning Welsh make me think that dementia may come sooner rather than later. I’n nearly 74 now; ask me again in a few years time!

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I have been doing that for years, since 1970’ish! My classic was ‘halen’ for salt when trying to communicate in French! I don’t think i was showing any signs of dementia at 29!

It’s a very widely studied element of language use, and lots and lots of evidence that it makes a consistent difference, so it’s one of the more certain aspects of the field… :slight_smile:

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At age 82 I am certainly hoping it will stave off dementia, but it must have been Welsh grammar that caused me a mild stroke last year!! (“Mae y Gramadeg Cymreig perfedd moch”). My favourite word remains “Llongyfarchiadau” - which I announce loudly to myself when I get some grammar nearly right!!