Is There Any Relationship Between the Language We Speak and the Way We View the World?

Topics: Language, Mind, Linguistics Pages: 2 (738 words) Published: August 8, 2008
There is a very intimate relationship between the language we speak and how we view our world. The language we speak imbibes in us thoughts about how the world is. Language is a collection of words which is used to communicate our thoughts and messages. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis tells us about the relation between language and the way we view the world. The hypothesis states that “a particular language's nature influences the habitual thought of its speakers. Different languages develop different patterns of thought. It acknowledges that the mechanisms of any language condition the thoughts of its speaker community”. We perceive our surroundings according to the native language we speak. All observers are not led by the same physical evidence to the same picture of the universe, unless their linguistic backgrounds are similar, or can in some way be calibrated. The way we think structures our understanding of how we think about our surroundings which in turn constructs our view about the world. Without a common language we can’t possibly converse with those people who don’t speak our native language. I have my own way of doing things and I have learnt from my native language about my ways, my culture and my society. Now these people who don’t speak my language have their own ways of doing things. The language they learn teaches them their ways, their religion, their perception. Language also teaches us diversities present in the world. We may perceive a word differently from another person. A French coming to live in china will be tortured if he doesn’t know Mandarin. He won’t be able to contact, converse and communicate with people who don’t know his native language. He will have problems as he doesn’t know Chinese culture. He may offend a Chinese by saying something which is offensive for Chinese people but a normal word for him. The French guy will consider Chinese people are weird and vice versa. Therefore language affects. A word may have different...
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