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Random Queries > Does language shape how you think?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/mag...

What do you think (using language, I guess, here:)


message 2: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments too many words. i think not.


message 3: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) I agree. Too many words for a Monday morning. The first page was interesting, though.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Lets not let language get in the way of a good discussion :-)


message 5: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Okay well you read it all and give us a synopsis.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

What a terrible day to have left my reading glasses at home :-)


message 7: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) I can't think right now.


message 8: by Barb (new)

Barb I think in English ... just so you know.


message 9: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Yeah, Canadian English. Hey, I thought it was a law that you had to be bilingual up there, eh?


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Barb wrote: "I think in English ... just so you know."

I try not to think, it hurts to much.


message 11: by Barb (new)

Barb Larry wrote: "Yeah, Canadian English. Hey, I thought it was a law that you had to be bilingual up there, eh?"

I'd be fucked if that were the case.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Or,

Je serais baisé si cela était le cas.


message 13: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments A very graphic translation, Jim!

Less literally:

Ça m'emmerderait que ce soit ça.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't speak french, I went with a translation program. I hope that I didn't say something that Barb will slap me for.


message 15: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments Barb seems pretty even-tempered.


message 16: by Barb (new)

Barb Jonathan wrote: "Barb seems pretty even-tempered."

... only because I'm too lazy to go and paste whatever Jim said into a translator. ;)


message 17: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i struggled with that article the first time through. i am going to burn one and then try again


message 18: by Félix (last edited Aug 30, 2010 10:48AM) (new)

Félix (habitseven) BunWat wrote: "I think language does shape how you think."

You think it does, huh?


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Barb wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "Barb seems pretty even-tempered."

... only because I'm too lazy to go and paste whatever Jim said into a translator. ;)"


I just pasted your line into a translator Barb, just not sure how literal a translation came out.


message 20: by Barb (new)

Barb oh - lol ... duh


message 21: by Lobstergirl, el principe (last edited Aug 30, 2010 05:57PM) (new)

Lobstergirl | 24075 comments Mod
Do English speakers who have never heard the German word Schadenfreude find it difficult to understand the concept of relishing someone else’s misfortune?

Of course not. Relishing someone else's misfortune is a universal human experience....every language and culture probably takes equal delight in it even if they lack a concise term for it.

But it is interesting that the Germans came up with a word for it.


message 22: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments Those are all excellent and thought-provoking points, Matt. But I think that you (and BunWat, above) are making the argument better than the author of the article did. It was really a strange piece--went 'round and 'round without saying much. Of course, maybe I'd think differently about it in another language...


message 23: by Arielle (new)

Arielle (ariquelle) | 4 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "Do English speakers who have never heard the German word Schadenfreude find it difficult to understand the concept of relishing someone else’s misfortune?

Of course not. Relishing someone else's..."


There is however the German word 'Gestalt', which means "A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts." Can a non German speaker understand this? Perhaps, although it takes more effort. In German, the idea can be summed up in a single word, in English, it takes multiple words and comparisons to put forth the idea. For anyone who hasn't read it, 1984 - George Orwell is a very interesting book which puts a lot into this subject.


message 24: by Arielle (new)

Arielle (ariquelle) | 4 comments BunWat wrote: "Except that English has borrowed the German word Gestalt, and it is now also an English word. So we no longer need many words to put forth the idea. And in fact the word Gestalt in Middle German m..."

Just because it is used in English does not make it an English word, per se... Although I do agree with you, the concept of languages adopting words from others is really interesting.


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