“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,’ Broditsky says. Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000.”
Sense of direction, numerical concepts, gendered traits, even the colors that we perceive with our own eyes…all these are shaped by the language(s) we speak. If language shapes how an individual shapes their own worldview, a cultural group’s worldview is also powerfully impacted by the language that frames how they think.