How The Language You Speak Alters Your World View

Language You Speak Alters Your World ViewBilingualism has become more of a reality in recent years and there is a lot of evidence that points to the benefits of being fluent in more than a single language. Switching between different languages appears to train the brain to be more flexible.

This sort of activity is similar to exercising your body which reportedly has key biological benefits. Fluency in 2 or more languages provides cognitive benefits to the brain.  Research has revealed that degenerative disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s appear to be delayed by 5 years or more in bilinguals.

Experiments with those who speak the German language

Experiments published in Psychological Science follow studies of monolinguals in German and English and have found how different language patterns affect how they respond in certain experiments. Those who speak the German language often describe both the action plus its goal, while English monolinguals would just mention the action without referring to a possible goal. It seems this is the case because the German speaker tends to see a situation more holistically while an English speaker focuses on the action in an event.

The linguistic reason for these differences appears to be how different grammatical tools in different languages position actions in time. English wants its speakers to mark grammatically events that are likely to continue, by applying –ing while the German language doesn’t possess this feature.

Research conducted on 2nd language users reveals a relationship that exists between linguistic ability in specific grammatical constructions and how frequently speakers make a mention of the goals in events.

These sorts of differences make it difficult for German translators as their world view is different from that of an English speaker thus complicating the translating of text between the 2 languages.