Friday, January 21, 2011

Words Can Change The World

I heard this RadioLab presentation on Wednesday night and it really impacted me, and made me think more deeply about language and the effect our words can have on one another and the world around us. It's well worth your time this weekend. Check it out:



Krista and I spoke for a while about how learning a new language, especially when immersed in another culture, really expands your way of thinking and even feeling. There are words we know in Chinese that we don't have equivalents for in English... and no matter how much I try to explain "guanxi" or what exactly I meant when I told you that you were being a little "lihai" I know you don't really get it if you haven't learned/experienced the word yet.  In fact... if you look at the definition of lihai in English, it's a little confusing in the absence of having learned and used the word in Mandarin.

So... in the comments... what do you think of the RadioLab show?  And what words do you know in another language that you wish we had an English equivalent for?