Sleep talking: what happens in your brain?

Humans spend the majority of their time communicating: speaking and listening make up to 60% of our day. But did you know that about 66% of people experience talking in their sleep as well? Sleep talking is defined as the production of speech (words and sentences) or vocalisations (mumbles, whispers, and laughs) during sleep. However, if you tell someone that they were sleep talking, they will likely not remember it! In fact, when someone talks during their sleep, they are not really aware of it.


Language abilities after stroke: patient research

About 25–40% of people who suffer a stroke have difficulties with one or more aspects of communication—e.g., speaking, understanding, writing, or reading. This is what is called aphasia. About 80% of aphasia cases result from stroke. Aphasia mostly occurs after a stroke on the left side of the brain, where language is mostly located. However, even when critical areas have irreversible damage, patients recover some or even all of their language and communication abilities. How could research help these patients to improve their communication abilities?


Do bilinguals switch between personalities when they switch languages?

When people start learning and using a new language, some of them notice that they come across differently, almost as if they have a different personality. Could this be because they lack finesse in the new language? Or does the language we speak really shape our personality? A person’s personality is usually seen as a set of qualities and behaviors that are stable over time and across different situations. This is why it may be counterintuitive to think that it could change when speaking a different language.


What I learned about language development during the COVID-19 lockdown – Part III: Bilingualism is what you make of it

Oh, the lockdowns… Thankfully the last one was more than a year ago (at the time of writing), and although it was challenging being at home so much, it also allowed me to spend much more time with my daughter. In my last two posts, I told you about how my then-one-and-a-half-year-old was starting to understand and produce her first sentences. Now a feisty three-year-old, she is talking nonstop and switching between two languages.


Hot stuff: Talking about temperature

The weather. Ugh, yeah I know, the weather. Possibly the most common thing we all like to complain about and also a (stereo?) typical topic of small talk. In every language course I have ever taken, words and phrases describing weather phenomena are among the first I learned. Speakers of languages all around the world love talking about it and with the UN climate report released recently, I cannot imagine us stopping any time soon. However, we don’t all talk about the weather in the same way.