Andrew Martin's Reviews > Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages

Through the Language Glass by Guy Deutscher
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Nov 20, 2011

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Read from November 19 to 20, 2011

This was Strand basement table bait - some nuggets of interest but frankly not enough here to merit 240 pages and however many hours of your time. Basic argument (language influences how we conceptualize and categorize continuous variation, especially color) would make an excellent times magazine article, butbecomes somewhat ponderous here. Act two explores the strong form of the argument (do language systems for gender, space, and color influence *thinking*?) but is short on bang/long on wimper. You can find differences in undergrad psych labs; meaning for the real world is totally unclear.

Mind diamonds worth a drunken retell:
-the Russians have two different color names for navy blue and light blue and find it absurd that we do not.
-Many ancient languages lack color words for anything beyond black, white and red.
-Some languages that consider all light hues (light red, green, etc) the same 'color'
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