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PSYCHE: How to learn a language (and stick with it)

Forget about fluency and how languages are taught at school: as an adult learner you can take a whole new approach

by John Gallagher


AEON: Words as feelings

A special class of vivid, textural words defies linguistic theory: could ‘ideophones’ unlock the secrets of humans’ first utterances?

by David Robson

is a science writer. His first book is The Intelligence Trap: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things and How to Make Wiser Decisions (2019). He lives in London.


TED: How language shapes the way we think 

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."


TED: Does grammar matter?

It can be hard sometimes, when speaking, to remember all of the grammatical rules that guide us when we're writing. When is it right to say "the dog and me" and when should it be "the dog and I"? Does it even matter?



Mia Nacamulli details the three types of bilingual brains and shows how knowing more than one language keeps your brain healthy, complex and actively engaged.

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TED: How  languages give name to colors ans space?

Er worden wereldwijd ongeveer 7000 talen gesproken -- en die hebben verschillende geluiden, woordenschatten en opbouwen, maar vormen ze de manier waarop we denken? Cognitief wetenschapper Lera Boroditsky laat ons voorbeelden zien  en dat suggereert dat het antwoord daarop volmondig 'ja' is. "Het mooie van de taalkundige diversiteit is dat je ziet hoe ingenieus en flexibel de menselijke geest is", zegt Boroditsky. "De menselijke geest heeft niet slechts een universum uitgevonden, maar 7000."


TED: How is this possible?

Each of us can come up with an infinite number of sentences in our native language, and we're able to do so from an early age— almost as soon as we start to communicate in sentences. How is this possible?

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