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. »
This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by the editors on the ted.com home page.