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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  • Patrick Watters

    No wonder we have so much trouble understanding each other!!!

  • James Smith

    The 10 ethical precepts of Buddhism has three speech training precepts!

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  • Learn more about how language affects our culture, the way we think, and the way we act without our being aware of it. 
  • Discover ways to improve your active vocabulary in any language. 
  • To discover the limits and expansion of language, look at the sky on a clear day and notice the many subtle shades of blue. Write what you see or describe it to a friend using as many different descriptions as you can without saying the color blue.

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