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Aug 27, 2020

How language shapes the way we think

Posted by in category: neuroscience

You’ll be surprised by how much your language shapes your perspective.


There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world — and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language — from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian — that suggest the answer is a resounding yes. “The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is,” Boroditsky says. “Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000.”

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

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