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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thinking about time and space

A librarian's assistant telling a story to a group of Russian children in their native languageThe Wall Street Journal recently published a fascinating article, Lost in Translation, by Lera Boroditsky. A professor of psychology at Stanford University and editor in chief of Frontiers in Cultural Psychology, her article discusses recent research in how language influences our concepts of space of time.

Some research examines language's influence on its speakers' ability to perform "navigational feats scientists once thought were beyond human capabilities," and links between concepts of space and time.

Also of interest is how learning another language actually changes one's thinking: "If people learn another language, they inadvertently also learn a new way of looking at the world."


Barista Uno said...

Thought-provoking article by Ms Boroditsky. Thanks for the link.

Buck said...

I love this. Makes it easier to understand why it's sometimes difficult to understand my non-English-speaking relatives.

It also has a broader application when looking at historical materials written in languages other than my own.