The Student Room Group

language shape our perception

How does language shape our perception of reality and influence our understanding of the world?
i define language as individual words and sentence types (for example, exclamations and questions) that i learn in school. when i walk outside and verbalise my thoughts on what i see, i might fall back on proper English sentences to describe my perception. i might use metaphors or idioms that don't exist in another language or culture.

if a school teacher tells a class of children to accept people with different skin colours, a child might infer that people with a different skin colour can be rejected. it is a thought about division or separation. if the teacher hadn't said what they did, then the students might not think it's possible for people with different skin colours to be rejected. the students would naturally cooperate with people around the world without thinking of rejecting them.

if a person doesn't go to school and i ask them to describe what they see, they might use words different from example sentences a teacher gives to a student, such as "this is a tree". the person might describe the "tree" as "a source of oxygen and shade for plants".

if a person knows many words for sad experiences, then their understanding of the world might be more depressing than a person who is aware of only positive words, such as "love", "joy", and "fulfillment".
(edited 1 year ago)

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