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In cultures where text is read from right to left, when someone from that culture pictures time on a linear scale, the past is on the right with the future on the left. In languages with masculine and feminine pronouns, a natural speaker of that language is more likely to point out the aspects of that object that are generally associated with the pronoun's gender. The effect that language has on how we perceive the world is astounding. amirite?

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The voters have decided that Suzywao is right! Vote on the post to say if you agree or disagree.

In Spanish, the word for "plug" is male (el enchufe) and the word for "socket" is not only female, but it's also a synonym for "female" (la hembra).

If you get my drift.

@Fluoxetine In Spanish, the word for "plug" is male (el enchufe) and the word for "socket" is not only female, but it's also a...

Actually, when I was helping my brother get an extension cord for something, he told me that I he had needed the "female" part of the cord. At first I was like "haha, I get the joke." but then he told me that's what they're really called. Now I know what that originated from. :)

I read somewhere that it affects how you see color. For example, a red piece of paper was shown to a native English and a native Hindi speaker. After a while, they showed them an orange piece of paper and asked if it was the same color. Most English speakers said no, but most people who spoke Hindi, where they don't have separate words for orange and red, said yes. They did a similar test with English and Russian (where they have different words for light and dark blue) speakers. The English speakers thought they were the same color, but the Russian speakers could tell the difference.

LittleReds avatar LittleRed Yeah You Are +48Reply
@LittleRed I read somewhere that it affects how you see color. For example, a red piece of paper was shown to a native English...

That's correct :) There are some more really strange examples, like cultures who don't have words for right or left have incredible sense of direction, since they instead always know where north is. Or "wild" children who were raised without language not being able to remember any or all of their childhood, because without labels to put on their memories, they just faded. I could only fit so much in the post, however.

Suzywaos avatar Suzywao Yeah You Are +45Reply
@PinkSponge Where did you get this information? I'd really like to read more about it.

Cool! I'm so glad you're interested. I got it from a few of my Psychology professors in college, and some textbooks and independently read articles. When I'm at a computer I'll get you some links so you can read up.

Suzywaos avatar Suzywao Yeah You Are +14Reply
@PinkSponge Thank you! In the meantime, I'll look it up a little myself.

If that's too heavy you can also read the Linguistic relativity page on Wikipedia.

Suzywaos avatar Suzywao Yeah You Are +7Reply
@PinkSponge Thank you! In the meantime, I'll look it up a little myself.

I just saw this video yesterday. I downloaded it. BBC horizon series 48 episode 1.

Anonymous +2Reply
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@1691789

It's okay, once you've hit rock bottom you can only go up.

Courage_Wolfs avatar Courage_Wolf Yeah You Are +8Reply
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@1689664

She might just be colour blind.

Anonymous +10Reply
iceeselenawizs avatar iceeselenawiz Yeah You Are +12Reply
@Favvkes so... your parents speak Russian and Hindi? O.o

Oh, lol, no. That'd be pretty interesting though...
Anyways, it's actually that my parents are native Hindi speakers & Hindi was my first language but I'm more accostumed to English. So, we always seem to clash on whether something is one color or the other. Like, if my brother and I say something is yellow or lime and they'll think it's just green. & I thought it was pretty neat to finally know why.

iceeselenawizs avatar iceeselenawiz Yeah You Are +6Reply
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@1691794

For your education: you can't BE Hindi. Hindi is a language, not a ethnicity.

@LittleRed I read somewhere that it affects how you see color. For example, a red piece of paper was shown to a native English...

Hindi does in fact have separate words for Orange and Red. You are thinking of a different language, although your point still stands.

@dan94 nirangi.

i like how "nirangi" kind sounds like "orange," and even more like "naranja," which Spanish for orange

Favvkess avatar Favvkes Yeah You Are +4Reply
@Favvkes i like how "nirangi" kind sounds like "orange," and even more like "naranja," which Spanish for orange

"naranja" is actually orange as in the fruit, though it is rather similar to the color orange, which is "anaranjado"

Anonymous +1Reply
@dan94 nirangi.

Oh, cool. Yeah, I think I may have heard that before… Thanks!

Thinking about it, I don't really understand why we draw time as progressing from left to right. It just always made sense. I guess you're right.

I've also always thought it was amazing how even within the same language simply the choice of vocabulary can change a sentence to paint a completely different picture in your head.

For example:

"I made love to a fair maiden upon a bed of reeds"

"I fucked a hot chick in a bush"

HastyCroissants avatar HastyCroissant Yeah You Are +31Reply

Finally, a long post that actually holds my attention.

Anonymous +26Reply

I also think this is why Asian countries generally have a more respectful culture, as the language that they speak can completely change depending on who they are talking to. They grow up having to learn how to speak to a variety of different people properly using honorifics in speech and other such things.

Korean for example changes drastically depending on whether you are talking to someone who is older or more experienced than you, or a friend of the same age. They also add many words to describe people that we do not use. Such as a "Seonbae" which is a person who is more experienced than you are in your line of work, or perhaps a mentor figure. "Hubae" is the opposite of that, and it is what you would call someone that is younger and less experienced than you.

There are some people that may even talk in honorifics even to their peers as a sign of respect and neutrality. What we would consider normal conversation to someone of any age or class level in English, Koreans actually separate it as a whole different type of language use called "Banmal", which is essentially a casual way of talking.

Lexs avatar Lex Yeah You Are +14Reply
@Lex I also think this is why Asian countries generally have a more respectful culture, as the language that they speak...

Like on TV, there is a code of how people should talk to each other. They must add suffixes to their names such as "Ssi" (The equivalent being the use of Mr or Mrs in English). If we watched TV and everyone had to refer to other people on the show as Mr Jones and Mrs Flowers it would feel really strange and put on, but this is how it works in Korea. Only times you see people talking more comfortably is on a long running variety / comedy show, but even still the language used is never 100% casual. It always has a lot of use of honorifics.

Lexs avatar Lex Yeah You Are +8Reply

Another random example: native Koreans are significantly better than Americans, Europeans, etc. at determining how loosely or tightly something fits because they use entirely distinct words for each.

a_fetuss avatar a_fetus Yeah You Are +13Reply

I really like when we have intellectual POTDs. It's just something different from the usual jokes.

KirstenAnns avatar KirstenAnn Yeah You Are +12Reply

I just read about this not too long ago, it's really fascinating! There was an article about how which language you spoke affected everything from how you view things (masculine or feminine like you said), which details you pay attention to (say a person vs an action committed by that person), to how much money you save. It's incredible. Really great post. :)

Cuban_Bs avatar Cuban_B Yeah You Are +10Reply

this is a good post

Suzywaos avatar Suzywao Yeah You Are +16Reply

...This comment section is currently the politest place on the internet. Well done, my fellow amiriters. Well done.

Treeleafs avatar Treeleaf Yeah You Are +10Reply

http://tinyurl.com/cdabf7m is a pretty good article on this, and I'm sure you can find better ones. "Language shapes meaning" is a good keyphrase to use for research on this topic. And yes, it absolutely amazing the power words can have. Simply choosing a different word, even if they are synonymous, can give people a whole different impression of the same thing. :)

If you're looking for something a bit more casual, Cracked did a surprisingly good article on this too: http://tinyurl.com/crackedlanguage

Chous avatar Chou Yeah You Are +9Reply
Suzywaos avatar Suzywao Yeah You Are +4Reply

Language can also affect they way you perceive your own experiences.

My friend went through some pretty difficult stuff while she was studying in China. Whenever she talks about it in Chinese, she gets panicky and very upset very quickly. If she talks about it in English though, she says it feels farther away, and so it's easier to deal with.

In a related vein, my boyfriend can only speak Chinese, so when I try to talk about him in English to my friends and family, it's kind of hard.

These things-- my friend's experiences, my relationship with my boyfriend-- they just don't exist in English.

@Apple_Pie Language can also affect they way you perceive your own experiences. My friend went through some pretty difficult...

I fail at proofreading. That text shouldn't have strike-through... It was supposed to be hyphened.

Yeah, and that's why English is so god-damn boring to me. I mean, in Russian (and even Spanish) I feel much closer or emotional when speaking about anything, no matter how boring it is. We can manipulate already good words to feel even closer or stronger about them, such as changing the feminine Trava (grass) to Travka, a nice sweet word. When talking about some dignified male cat (Kot) we can call him that or if he's really fat we can call him Kotyara, a rather more comical and visual word. There's just nothing in English. Everything is just... words.

It's also been proven that word choice can change your perception of an event.
http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/0...fter-event.php
For those too lazy to read the whole article, psychologists had volunteers watch a video of a car crash. They then separated the volunteers into ten groups, one of which was asked, "How fast were the cars going when they hit each other?" The other groups were asked the same question but with different verbs: "when they crashed", "collided", or even just "contacted". Those asked with more violent words estimated that they were going about 10 mph faster than they actually were, while the others were somewhere in between. Then about a week later, the volunteers were asked if there was any broken glass when the cars smashed/hit/came in contact, and those with the more violent words said that there had been glass when in fact there hadn't.

ctiscoolers avatar ctiscooler Yeah You Are +6Reply
@ctiscooler It's also been proven that word choice can change your perception of an...

And the same people who know all that are the ones writing ip questions for political polls. It is frighteningly easy to manipulate results just with language choices.

Suzywaos avatar Suzywao Yeah You Are +7Reply
@ctiscooler It's also been proven that word choice can change your perception of an...

I remember reading about this study in my psychology class. It's quite fascinating.

Anonymous 0Reply

its the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis! :)

Anonymous +5Reply
@its the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis! :)

Linguistic relativity, but I'm nitpicking. Very good!

Suzywaos avatar Suzywao Yeah You Are +9Reply

It's also scientifically proven that people who are speak more than one language change their personalities depending on the language their spoken to. And I'm sure it's true cause when I speak Arabic I'm like a COMPLETELY different person with different opinions and stuff.
A friend told me that some kind of government is trying to remove the words "freedom" and "revolution" from their native languages to change the mentality of people. It's highly unlikely and probably false but it still brings things into perspective.
Sometimes I think of all the languages which disappeared throughout time, which leads to the disappearance of not only cultures and thoughts, but actual ideologies that we would never know about. Kinda sad if you think about it.

Anonymous +4Reply
@It's also scientifically proven that people who are speak more than one language change their personalities...

Isn't that like the language from 1984? Newspeak, I think it was called. There weren't any words for freedom, at least not in the sense we have now. By limiting vocabulary, you limit thought.

TOK... nuff' said.

Actually I'm from a culture that reads text from right to left. Our linear time scale is from left to right.

Someone's been reading cracked.com

Anonymous -6Reply

Why are these is the same post?

Anonymous -6Reply
@Suzywao Pardon? O.o

How do these two ideas (reading right to left and the gender of words) have anything to do with eachother?

Anonymous -5Reply
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