‘On the couch’ with Jasminda

DEAR Jasminda,

MY husband has decided to learn another language through an app.

Every time he gets something correct, the app makes an annoying ding.

The sound is driving me insane.

Rachel B.

Dear Rachel,

Before we delve into your husband’s annoying antics, let’s pause to congratulate him on learning a new language.

There are many cognitive and social benefits to learning a new language.

Studies show that people who are bi- or multi-lingual have improved memories, enhanced problem-solving skills and superior listening skills (all the better to hear those annoying dings you mention).

If his phone is frequently dinging, it’s a sign that he is getting a lot of correct responses, so that’s a plus.

The dinging sound no doubt also gives your husband a little buzz of pleasure, which is probably just the positive reinforcement he needs after your constant loud sighs every time he makes some progress.

If, despite these benefits, you are unable to cope with the noise any longer, may I suggest that you either move to a separate room, wear some noise cancelling headphones, or alternatively disable the motivational messages, haptic feedback and sound effects on his phone thereby taking away one of his few pleasures in life.

Carpe diem,

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