Foreign language `easier to learn than tech talk`

Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 3:49pm IST | Place: London | Agency: ANI
Compared to comprehending the latest tech jargon - or technobabble - most adults find understanding foreign languages a relative doddle, researchers say.

Compared to comprehending the latest tech jargon - or technobabble - most adults find understanding foreign languages a relative doddle, researchers say.

With the advent of the digital age and increased reliance on computers, the use of tech terminology has become commonplace, to the bafflement of many.

Researchers found that phrases like ‘reboot’, ‘megabyte’ and ‘ISP’ were much more confusing than words such as ‘boulangerie’, ‘kalinichta’ and ‘ostrovia’.

In a study involving 16 participants, scientists from Mindlab monitored their reaction to different phrases by measuring sweat levels and the brain’s electrical activity.

When challenged with tech terminology, the results showed participants experienced greater confusion and stress than when confronted with a foreign language.

Overall, the participants found being spoken to in tech jargon 42 percent more stressful than hearing a foreign language.

The study also found that women were better at deciphering technobabble than men, who consistently struggled to grasp the meaning of the terminology.

In some cases, men scored double the levels of frustration as women when challenged with jargon, with their negative emotion with terms like ‘vlogging’, ‘plug-in’ and ‘OS’ measuring 138 percent more acute than females.

In addition, men’s sweat levels were up 80 percent when compared to the opposite sex when being tested on tech jargon.

“Trying to understand a language you are not familiar with can be extremely frustrating for anyone. Most of us have been in a situation where we’ve found reading an instruction booklet for a new gadget as difficult as understanding a foreign language,” the Daily Mail quoted Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis as saying.

“The feeling of confusion causes our stress levels to rise steeply. When we don’t understand something, we can become frustrated and emotional, explaining the increases in mental and physical arousal seen in our study,” he added.


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