We all know that speaking any language involves using our brains, but how does this effect the way we think? For example; people who are deaf may use sign language or read lips and communicate more with body language, other languages assign genders to inanimate objects, and in the U.S.A we use egocentric directions whereas some other countries use cardinal direction. In “Does Your Language Shape How You Think”, Gay Deutscher explains that the language we speak and the dialect we use can influence how humans perceive their surroundings and the world itself (447). According to Tom Munnecke in “Nothing Is Missing”, he describes how frustrating it can be, to be bilingual, because you can be thinking in one language, but have to translate your thoughts to another language (455). Lera Boroditsky in “Lost in Translation”, describes how language along with the culture influences our thoughts and how language can change the way a person thinks and reacts in everyday situations (469). Language is not just a use of communication, it has a huge impact on the way we think, act, and perceive the world we live in today.
In many other languages; such as, Italian, French, German and Spanish, genders are assigned when speaking about inanimate objects, but in English inanimate objects do not have an assigned gender. Deutscher points out “When your language routinely obliges you to specify certain types of information, it forces you to be attentive to certain details in the world and to certain aspects of experience that speakers of other languages may not be required to think about all the time” (449). In English when speaking about inanimate objects we can just say “it” or “thing” and point, instead of speaking the...
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...direction seems like nonsense to them and pointless. Boroditsky states, “They perform navigational feats scientist once thought were beyond human capabilities” (471). If the aboriginals were to visit a big city any where in the world their minds would be blown and confused on how the rest of the world uses their sense of direction, just as I would be if I lived with the Aboriginals in Australia.
My native language, English, is one of the most used languages in the world so obviously I’m not saying that everybody who speaks English has the same thought process but it does influence our life’s when compared to other languages. The way we think is definitely influenced by our language, but how much it influences our thought process? Nobody knows that answer, but research and beautiful minds that were shaped with the influence of language will continue to find answers.
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