Pearson Adult Learning Centre HomePearson Adult Learning Centre: Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde


editpaperDoes Language Shape the Way We Think?

Recently I read an intriguing article in The New York Times regarding language. In the 20th Century, many people believed that language could shape our thinking; thus, certain language speakers were “unable” to think certain thoughts.

 Now discredited, it is still possible to argue that language does, at least, influence our thoughts. The example given in the article is based on a simple sentence: “I spent yesterday evening with a neighbour.” In English, we are unable to know if your neighbour is male or female (and it may be none of our business!) However, in German, one must use a different verb depending on our neighbour’s sex!

 Truly, it is easier to poke our nose into another person’s business in German! Read the Article

(November 21, 2010)

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