Someone having a hard time remembering the name for the bright yellow shiny ball in the daytime sky might have an easier time of it if he knew that “the sun” is also “le soleil.”

New research indicates that being bilingual can help delay dementia by an average of 4.5 years.

Further, it shows that a person doesn’t need to be literate to enjoy the benefits — just bilingual. Characteristics like education, sex and occupation did not change the findings.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh and Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, India, found that being bilingual “better develops certain brain areas” that come into play with the following types of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and vascular dementia.

A scientist from Edinburgh believes bilingualism “might have a stronger influence on dementia than any currently available drugs.”

That’s bonnes nouvelles for those of us who can still remember at least some of our foreign language skills.