Language Reflection (Section A)

20 Jan

Part One:
Read the following articles: http://bit.ly/shapewhatyouthink  and http://nyti.ms/videogamelanguage. Summarize, criticize, and explain your own opinion about the article. What questions do you have about language + thought? Respond to both articles in 2-paragraphs. Leave your response in the c omment section of this post.

Part Two:
Is it possible to understand a culture whose language you do not speak? Do words allow us to have new thoughts, or do they inhibit new thoughts? Respond to both of these questions in 1-paragraph based on the class discussion and your understanding of the readings.

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9 Responses to “Language Reflection (Section A)”

  1. Kirk Pressley January 20, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    I think it is possible to understand a culture whose language you do not speak because you can understand their ways by studying their every day actions. I think words allow us to have new thoughts because new meanings of words, bring new thoughts and ideas about things. I do not think words can inhibit new thoughts because when people are introduced to new things it is most common that they have new thoughts.

    • Kirk Pressley January 20, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      This is Part 2

  2. Sammy K-L January 20, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Part One:
    Language and what we think
    I found it interesting how the author’s seventh grade teacher said that the more words you have the more thoughts you can have. In languages besides English there are not always huge numbers of words for similar-ish things. The Eskimo’s for example don’t have different words for snow as opposed to water. If you ask me, individual cultures have enough knowledge about everything; they just appear “off” in our western eyes.
    Game of thrones:
    This show created its own language that not just alien “gibberish.” The producer actually took the time to develop a complex language with over 3,000 words in it. This is giving respect to real languages and how developed they really are.

    Part Two:
    While it is possible to be introduced to a culture that we cannot communicate with; this communication makes true understanding impossible. We need to communicate with a culture to learn and fully understand it. Knowledge of the language can help us understand it.
    Words allow us to have a way to explain something, but this almost limits us. We might use words as a template to understanding things, and this could lead to us wanting words for everything. Not everything can be explained in words, so I feel that it would be a good idea to not limit ourselves to just things we can explain in words.

    –Love Sami

  3. raymond frias January 20, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Part 1: Its interesting how many languages there are out in the world and some of them were just made up just so they can use it in the movies. I don’t think making up languages should be a job and people should not get paid for it because i think anyone can make up a new language. Anyone can make up words and say they have a specific meaning so its not really a “skill”.

    Part 2: I don’t think it is possible to understand a culture fully if we do not understand the language because we won’t understand what they’re saying. You will not know why they are doing specific things because you can’t communicate with them. I think words allow us to have new thoughts because new meanings of words, bring new thoughts and ideas about things.

  4. dylan zimmer January 20, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    The first article (the shape what you think one) made a lot of sense to me and, in my opinion, was relatively straight forward. It’s logical to say that you can’t remember a specific number without knowing the name of the number, which is essentially what the article said. The only part that surprised me at all was the brief paragraph on eskimos and the word snow, and I didn’t understand why he brought it up again and said “Oh, and Eskimos don’t have all that many words for snow” at a later point in the article.

  5. Kirk Pressley January 20, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Part 1: I found that in article one when the teacher tells the students that the more words they learn the more thoughts they can have was interesting. I think that in other cultures it is most similar to the english language because they most likely have the same meaning. For example, the Eskimo has a different way for saying snow but it means the same thing in English. I found the article Game of Thrones interesting because this man came up with a language with 3,250 different words.

  6. sdf2651 January 20, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    I think that it is possible to understand a culture whose language you do not speak, but only to an extent. I feel that words allow us to have new thoughts, allowing us to think in a very unique way. If a culture has specific words for specific things, that allows us to see things in a very specific manner about certain things. In contrast, looking at the culture talked about in the second article, the Pirahã, they have general words for counting, which means they have general thoughts about certain topics.

  7. Shuruq Moftah January 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Part One:
    I found it interesting how the teacher told her seventh grade class that the more words you know, the more thoughts you can have. I feel like people gave meaning to the word “Whorfianism” rather than it starting off as an actual word. I also found it interesting how Eskimos have many different words to say snow and how we just call it snow. The article said, “Try calling dry snow ‘dax’ and wet snow ‘blicket,’ and see if you notice a change in how you think about snow.” I found that interesting how even when I thought of it, I didn’t really think about snow in a different way. We look at things in a certain way and just give it that name that helps us remember it we don’t look at things depending on their names.
    I found in interesting how David J. Peterson in a sense created his own language. He made up words and people caught on with his words and they use his words. I found it very interesting how they came up with a whole language with 3,250 other words. I feel like although they may have made their own languages and used different words to explain things we already know that, that doesn’t really give them a different look on the words.

    Part Two:
    I think that we can be introduced to a new language and understand the language but not look at it in a different way. I feel like words are just a way of expression not the way we see things. We might not know the word to describe everything and in other languages there may be a word for it. Not everything can be explained in words, but that doesn’t limit us to explaining it in a different way then using one word that explains it.

  8. Chanel Mowatt January 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Part One:
    Does Language Shape What We Think?:

    The first thing I noticed was how the author’s seventh grade teacher said that the more words you have the more thoughts you can have. In many languages there are not many words to share similar thoughts. For example, the Eskimos don’t have different words for snow versus water. Other cultures have enough knowledge about things, but it appears that they just don’t in our western eyes.

    Game of Thrones:

    This show created its own language and a new form of “gibberish.” Producers sat down and developed a complex language with over 3,000 words in it. It respects real languages and how developed they actually are.

    Part Two:

    It’s possible to be introduced to a culture that we cannot communicate with, but the communication makes really understanding the culture impossible. We have to communicate with a culture inorder to fully understand it. Understanding language can help with that.

    Words give us a platform to express ourselves, but limits us as well. We rely on words because we sometimes use them as a template to help with our understanding of things. We can’t always explain things with word, so we shouldn’t limit ourselves to things that we can explain with them.

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