3 years ago
nehapatel
in English · 3,975 Views
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Words Effect Our Identity Formation
In a 2013 TED talk, economist Keith Chen explained the ways that Chinese people think about saving money and spending money different because the language structure is "futureless" compared to English's "futured" language. This was really interesting to me, especially because this article brought up a really interesting example. A study was done in the 1980s of children in Israel, Michigan in the USA and in Finland about when they form their ideas of gender. Finnish speaking children formed it almost a year later than Israeli children because the Finnish language does not use distinct he/she pronouns. Interesting, right? American kids, who are somewhere between Israeli and Finnish kids on the scale, are the result of English also having more fluid words for people's gender identities than Hebrew, but less fluid than Finnish. The way we view ourselves and the world, from a very young age, has everything to do with the words that we hear. The stories that we are told along with the words, too, effect how we view the world. We have to be mindful of this: a child's mind really can be poisoned young.
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@onesmile Definitely! It's a mistake to think of any part of identity as a non-fluid entity. Its always changing, and always adapating. @hikaymm yes, but isn't it better to not shape them poorly to begin with?
3 years ago·Reply
I also read that some languages help kids become better at math just because of the way that they count! This is really cool, thanks for sharing!
3 years ago·Reply
Of course words effect how we think and feel! But I guess you're saying more it also affects our ideals, our worldview, our passions and more. I'm going to start getting too worried about everything I say, I think.
3 years ago·Reply
One of my professors was Finnish and she had the hardest time with pronouns that she finally resorted to calling everyone "it" haha
3 years ago·Reply
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@nehapatel Agreed! Always adapting, but not always adapting in the valuable ways.
3 years ago·Reply