There are over 7000 languages in the world, and it’s truly a miracle to see how making sounds using our mouths can help communicate very complex ideas. However, a very important concept discussed in this ted talk is how the language we speak affects the way we think and how it affects our perception? Personally, I always found it very interesting how languages affect our personalities. For example, Germans are known to be very hard workers and people are amazed at how they were able to always push back and turn around their economy after every single setback such as the second world war. However, it is greatly accredited to the fact that the German language lacks the specific identification of the future tense. Therefore, the future tense is said in the same way as the present tense which is very important in shaping their mindsets. This is an important reason as to why they don’t delay or postpone their work; for instance, it is not normal for them to say “I’ll just finish this task later” like English speakers, instead German speakers would phrase it like “I’m finishing this task”. This shows how the language one speaks greatly affects their mindset.
As an Arabic speaker, one thing that I found really applicable to my language is how our perception of things changes depending on their masculinity and femininity. Arabic is a language that has a two gender system which means that every noun is either classified as masculine or feminine. I really took notice of that during the Ted Talk when the speaker said that we tend to give more feminine adjectives to the feminine words and more masculine adjectives to the masculine words. However, this is not the case for all languages as a masculine noun in Arabic might be a feminine noun in another language. For example, an Arabic speaker, like me, would describe a bridge or “الكوبري” as strong and big since it is an Arabic masculine noun. However, German speakers would describe a bridge as beautiful, and pretty and that’s because in the german language, the word “Bridge” or “Die Brucke” is a feminine noun. Therefore, the language we speak molds our perception.
One question on my mind after watching this Ted Talk was “How do languages affect they way bilingual people think?”, and by bilingual, I mean people who have two native languages such as people born to parents of different nationalities. For example how differently languages would affect a German-Arabic speaker. Will they have attain personality traits from both languages? This is truly an intersting topic to discuss and research.