Summary of “How Language Shapes Our Perception of Reality”

Does an English speaker perceive reality differently from say, a Swahili speaker? Does language shape our thoughts and change the way we think? Maybe.
Some studies say that people don’t actually see color unless there is a word for it, but other studies have found that speakers of the Dani language can see the difference between yellow and red despite only having one word for them.
Because of the vocabulary, English speakers might organize things left to right, whereas a speaker of Guugu Yimithirr might orient them in a mirrored position.
The Hopi language doesn’t require past or present tense, but has validity markers, which requires speakers to think about how they came to know a piece of information.
One study conducted by Stanford researchers found that Spanish and Japanese speakers didn’t remember who is to blame for accidental events as much as those who speak English do.
English speakers get to the point in speech quicker than say, a Chinese speaker would, says Birner.
Tsedal Neeley, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, studied the company for five consecutive years after the mandate and discovered that employees who weren’t native Japanese speakers or English speakers proved to be the most effective workers in the end, even though they had it the roughest in the beginning.
If we believe that language shapes how we think, will learning a new language change the way you think? Probably not, says Birner, but if the newly acquired language is very different than the one you already speak, it might reveal a new way of looking at another culture.

The orginal article.