How language shapes the way we think | Lera Boroditsky

  • Published on:  5/2/2018
  • There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world -- and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language -- from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian -- that suggest the answer is a resounding yes. "The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is," Boroditsky says. "Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000."

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  • Yusuf (May 2, 2018)

    This is so damn interesting, love learning languages!

  • Niki Su (Jan 16, 2019)

    Me too. Language is a very interesting subject

  • Nakishaa John Williams (Dec 17, 2018)

    I know right

  • Thiago Melo Idiomas (Dec 22, 2018)

    In other words: The more languages you speak, the broader are the experiences you can feel and notice.

  • Evelyn Medrano (Mar 11, 2019)

    Thiago Melo Idiomas yeah, every language is beautiful

  • Alexandrous (Mar 11, 2019)

    edward quigley that’s really sad to hear...

  • B CC (Nov 8, 2018)

    8:12 it's funny that in our mother tongue - Vietnamese, both the sun and the moon are masculine.

  • +Trang Son Tiếng Việt có 4 giống là giống đực, giống cái, trung tính và vô tính nhé, nhiều người nói tiếng Việt là tiếng mẹ đẻ nhưng không học hành theo hướng nghiên cứu thì mù mờ về mấy chuyện này lắm.

  • B CC (5 days ago)

    @Trang Son By the way, if you want to learn more about this matter, I highly recommend you read 2 books: Nhap mon ngon ngu hoc by Prof Mai Ngoc Chu and Dan luan ngon ngu hoc by Dr Bui Minh Toan.

  • Luis Cantero (Jan 15, 2019)

    "The limits of my language mean the limits of my world" - Ludwig Wittgenstein.

  • Keith Howard (Mar 2, 2019)

    30 million words theory between rich and poor . More words more laughs

  • minhaj ali (Mar 1, 2019)

    Luis Cantero Wow!

  • Carina Mantovani (Nov 28, 2018)

    I absolutely loved her speech. So professionaly, accurately, meaningfully, interestingly and sweetly constructed and delivered. Simply brilliant!

  • A (4 days ago)

    You really like ly' words...

  • Evelyn Medrano (Mar 11, 2019)

    Carina Mantovani ikr

  • Hanane Ben belaid (Sep 12, 2018)

    "Speaking another language is having another soul"I so relate to that I speak 4 languages and I feel like another person when I speak another language !

  • Harris T (Mar 8, 2019)

    Could you send me some tips about how I get to learn English faster??Thanks

  • Matteo Prezioso (Mar 7, 2019)

    And you just had to say that, didn't you...

  • Johnny Daller (Jan 16, 2019)

    My mother tongue is Persian and I speak English fluently. I learned driving on the right side of the road in Iran. When I moved to South Africa I had to drive on the left side of the road. No problem so far. When I had passengers and we spoke English in the car all went well. When some of my friends switch to speaking in Persian in the car, I subconsciously moved to the left side of the road scaring everyone in the car and on the road! Then I moved to Australia and the same thing happens every now ...

  • Shinobi Theyamasohei (Mar 4, 2019)


  • Aniela Reis (Mar 4, 2019)

    +Sergio Guzman This happens with me with my mother language, Portuguese. Because I don't speak Portuguese daily for about 4 years, when I have to I need to turn the language on in my brain and sometimes I totally forget some words and my friends don't understand how it could happen.

  • Veronique Castel (Dec 30, 2018)

    I’m an interpreter (and multilingual anyway) and the content from this video blew my mind and made my day. You speak well and I want to research this topic more. Thank you 😊

  • Sam lil (Jan 24, 2019)

    I wish you all the best. Being multilingual is a bless. If I may ask which lancuages do you speak??

  • mV Castel nice. Being multilingual is a big talent. I wish you all the best with your research! #LifePodcast

  • kelly Johnson (Dec 26, 2018)

    I speak both English and sign language. A sign language uses 3D space so it causes the brain to think in pictures and story boards. Therefore I've noticed that signers who even use huge varieties of completely unrelated sign languages tend to communicate in stories. If you ask someone a question about what happened it has become a sort of joke that they often start with "when I got up this morning" or "when I was born".... when they were just asked something like: could you describ...

  • Erin Namovicz (Mar 10, 2019)

    I've been learning ASL recently and it's amazing how so much is communicated through stories and just a completely different visual structure. I've often wondered to what extent Deaf people think in that non-linear signed method; my friend who now has a cochlear implant and speaks fluent English but grew up signing says that it really does change the way your thoughts are structured, because when we think we speak to ourselves with linear words instead of thinking in visual-spatial concepts.

  • edward quigley (Jan 4, 2019)

    +kelly Johnson Could please explain how signing "fender bender" shapes the way you understand fend bender differently than saying "fender bender"?

  • Renegade the Rapper (Dec 31, 2018)

    She's smart but she could have gone into much more detail. I learned very little at all, and most of it was common sense. Sorry, not impressed. Although I'm less and less impressed with Ted talks over the years.

  • wim lammens (Jan 30, 2019)

    but did you like her dress and hair and shoe's, because that is where her real power was. I would have listened if her appearance wouldn't be distracting me. I think she has more experience how to present the message .

  • Tsa Szymborska (Jan 10, 2019)

    15 minutes is far too short for a talk like this. Have you googled her? There might be longer speeches for different audiences byher to be found.