Globibo Blog

How our language affects the way we think

Linguists, neuroscientists and educationists have puzzled over the possibility of language affecting the way we think for ages. There still isn’t any definitive answer to this question. However, studies in the field have evidenced so. Renowned American linguist, Edward Sapir, found through his research that the language one uses helps them makes sense of concepts and not the other way around. So long it was thought that language simply facilitated the naming of these aspects of the world.
Let’s take color, for example. Speakers of Dani i.e. a language spoken in New Guinea have only two words to differentiate colors – mili (cold colors) and mola (warm colors). Researchers found that Dani speakers were able to tell the difference between color tones easily.
The language we use sets us up to perceive the world in a certain way. Australian people often have a sharp sense of direction when compares to English people or people of other nationalities because their language has clearly defined special deictics. Gendered languages foster discriminatory behavior. German has three words for “the” depending on the gender of the subject referred to. These gender markers can confound English speakers not used to such rigid gendering of language.

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