The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Take a Right and then a Left, or go South and then East? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

landmark
View Profile
Inner circle
within a triangle
5022 Posts

Profile of landmark
Does Language Shape How You Think?

Fascinating article in the NY Times Magazine today, if you're interested in this sort of thing:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/magazi......magazine
MagicSanta
View Profile
Inner circle
Northern Nevada
5845 Posts

Profile of MagicSanta
Language....

'splain to me if I was wrong. I had to go to the real store today and my wife says "get me some pads". I said I would and got her two note pads, a small one and a medium one....she said I was an idiot!
stoneunhinged
View Profile
Inner circle
3079 Posts

Profile of stoneunhinged
Since I live, eat, work, breathe in two languages without being bilingual, that one thinks differently in different languages is obvious to me.

What is so interesting regarding the article is that they set out to actually explain why and how this is so. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Nice find!
EsnRedshirt
View Profile
Special user
Newark, CA
895 Posts

Profile of EsnRedshirt
Yes- very fascinating article. Makes me think. I wonder if there's any pecularities associated with the English language that people who speak other tongues would find odd (like the innate direction sense of speakers of Guugu Yimithirr?)

Stone- how can one speak two languages, yet not be bilingual? Does that mean you can't easily translate from one to the other? Would you consider yourself a coordinate bilingual (as defined here- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multilingua......speakers )?
Self-proclaimed Jack-of-all-trades and google expert*.

* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
stoneunhinged
View Profile
Inner circle
3079 Posts

Profile of stoneunhinged
Well, my German is fluent, but filled with grammatical errors and my American accent.

For example, the article talks about the grammatical gender of things. Now, I can remember the gender of hundreds, maybe even thousands of things, if you were to test me on it. But in everyday speech I just wander all over the place. One day the briefcase is masculine, and the next day it is feminine. Consider further that *even if* I get the gender right in one case, when I use another case I might get it wrong.

I would consider bilingualism to mean that one possesses the correct grammatical foundation of both languages. And I don't think anyone (unless gifted) can do that without growing up with both languages.

I speak bad German fluently.
Nosher
View Profile
Loyal user
261 Posts

Profile of Nosher
Interesting article, thanks.

I read something along these lines once about how the roots of words can colour the way you think about the world, depending on your language. My crusty brain can't remember any of the good examples which I think were mostly emotion based verbs and words. Amorous for (my crappy) example, has a 'stronger' meaning in some romance languages where amor±e is the word for love.
Escapemaster-in-chief from all sorts of houdingplaces - Finnegans Wake
S2000magician
View Profile
Inner circle
Yorba Linda, CA
3465 Posts

Profile of S2000magician
I found it somewhat interesting that the author confused the idea of masculine and feminine (gender, a property of nouns) with the idea of male and female (sex, a property of plants and animals).

I also found his discussion of whether or not a language required the speaker to identify the sex of the neighbor (via the gender of the noun used) to be particularly interesting in light of an experience I had two weeks ago. I was at a meeting of lead instructors for CFA and CPA review courses, and in one workshop was asked on 30 seconds' notice to give a 10-minute teaching session, to be critiqued by the others in the room. In the course of my talk I mentioned that when I'd given this talk for the first time several years ago, one of my audience members incorrectly analyzed a scenario I described, and that I was surprised because she was an expert on the subject matter. On this occasion one of the criticisms was that the listener didn't need to know the gender (he meant sex), nor the race, nor the religion of the errant audience member. I'm not sure how race and religion ended up in the discussion (though I can guess), but it all seemed quite over-the-top. I wish, now, that I'd given the talk in French or German or Spanish or Greek any of a host of languages which would have obligated me to disclose the sex of the individual, so that it wasn't perceived as an accusation on my part.

Sheesh!

Interesting article.
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2909 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
I thought the article was interesting, but I'd love to see a follow-up (maybe it's in the book the article came from?) on whether there's a difference in how males and females tend to use their specific languages. For instance, on the North-South-East-West thing (when giving directions), I've noticed a number of times that men seem to be more comfortable with that concept than women, who tend to use right-left.

MagicSanta's comment above (LOL!) is right on the button too. Do men tend to be more specific than women, or is it a cultural thing?

On the other hand, every time I think about stuff like this, I'm glad I decided to go into theater instead of psychology or something similar. Makes my brain hurt. Smile
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
landmark
View Profile
Inner circle
within a triangle
5022 Posts

Profile of landmark
Quote:
On 2010-08-31 13:12, George Ledo wrote:

MagicSanta's comment above (LOL!) is right on the button too. Do men tend to be more specific than women . . .

I think Santa provided the answer in his post (no offense Santa Smile)
MagicSanta
View Profile
Inner circle
Northern Nevada
5845 Posts

Profile of MagicSanta
None taken. I have to be far more specific with my wife though than she is with me. Here is a conversation we had today:

Evil wife: "My license expired! Why didn't you tell me?"
me: "How would I know? We are going into town Thursday we'll get it re newed then"
Evil wife: "I have to get a new license"
me: "We'll take care of it Thursday"
Evil wife: "My license is expired, I need to get a new one soon"
me: "Thurday, Carson City, DMV, New License, what the @%#@$# don't you get when you hear those words?"
Evil Wife: "you could have told me...."
stoneunhinged
View Profile
Inner circle
3079 Posts

Profile of stoneunhinged
Santa, as you well know, you're supposed to feel and intuit your wife's needs before she verbally expresses them. Once she has too say something, it's already too late.
landmark
View Profile
Inner circle
within a triangle
5022 Posts

Profile of landmark
Way too late.
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2909 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
Quote:
On 2010-09-01 04:00, stoneunhinged wrote:
Santa, as you well know, you're supposed to feel and intuit your wife's needs before she verbally expresses them. Once she has too say something, it's already too late.

Oh, man, ain't that true! Smile

Actually, Donna and I are always busting on each other about this. At least she has a sense of humor.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Micheal Leath
View Profile
Inner circle
1045 Posts

Profile of Micheal Leath
Quote:
On 2010-08-31 22:46, MagicSanta wrote:
None taken. I have to be far more specific with my wife though than she is with me. Here is a conversation we had today:

Evil wife: "My license expired! Why didn't you tell me?"
me: "How would I know? We are going into town Thursday we'll get it re newed then"
Evil wife: "I have to get a new license"
me: "We'll take care of it Thursday"
Evil wife: "My license is expired, I need to get a new one soon"
me: "Thurday, Carson City, DMV, New License, what the @%#@$# don't you get when you hear those words?"
Evil Wife: "you could have told me...."


That sounds exactly like my girlfriend and me. I can here our voices as I read it. Kinda funny and kinda scary.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Take a Right and then a Left, or go South and then East? (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.14 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL