Life TherapyTM
Psychotherapy & Coaching + Mindfulness & Meditation

Do People Across Cultures Think Similarly?

Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal: Lost in Translation
Here are some highlights on how different languages can affect thinking…

  • Russian speakers, who have more words for light and dark blues, are better able to visually discriminate shades of blue.
  • Some indigenous tribes say north, south, east and west, rather than left and right, and as a consequence have great spatial orientation.
  • The Piraha, whose language eschews number words in favor of terms like few and many, are not able to keep track of exact quantities.
  • In one study, Spanish and Japanese speakers couldn’t remember the agents of accidental events as adeptly as English speakers could. Why? In Spanish and Japanese, the agent of causality is dropped: “The vase broke itself,” rather than “John broke the vase.”

So how does this affect the way we interact with each other in a multicultural society?

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