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More on Whorf

A discussion of the peculiarities of languages and the differences between them.

More on Whorf

Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:46 am

This article in Nature has some interesting comments on the effect of language on preception.

Preception Colored by Language
It looks to me as if Kay is changing his mind.
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Postby brianamorgan » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:55 am

Too bad I cant view the full article... I think its interesting. :(
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Postby Slava » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:07 pm

More on language, colors, etc. As it starts off mentioning Whorf, I thought I'd put it here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/magaz ... f=homepage
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Postby Slava » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:45 am

Here's a review of the book the above article was taken from:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/books ... wanted=all
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Postby Stargzer » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:33 pm

Speaking of "Words Cannot Express," it's odd (Serendipitous? Fortuitous?) that on the same page as the article, there is a link to another story, The Saturday Profile: At First She Didn’t Succeed, but She Tried and Tried Again (960 Times), about a Korean woman, "Grandma Cha Sa-soon," who tried to pass her driving exam 960 times before passing it (at $5.00 per try!).

Ms. Cha tackled the first obstacle, which for years proved insurmountable: the 50-minute written test consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions on road regulations and car maintenance.

Early in the morning (she wakes up 4 a.m.) and before going to bed, she put on her reading glasses and pored over her well-worn test-preparation books. She first tried, unsuccessfully, an audio test for illiterate people where questions were read to test-takers. Later, she switched to the normal test.

“She could read and write words phonetically but she could not understand most of the terminology, such as ‘regulations’ and ‘emergency light,’ ” said Ms. Park, the teacher.

Choi Young-chul, an official at the regional driving license agency, said: “What she was essentially doing while studying alone was memorizing as many questions — with their answers — as possible without always knowing what they were all about. It’s not easy to pass the test that way.”

PRACTICE made perfect, but slowly. She failed the written test 949 times, but her scores steadily crept up. When she came to them early last year, teachers at Jeonbuk Driving School pitched in, giving her extra lessons, painstakingly explaining the terminology.

“It drove you crazy to teach her, but we could not get mad at her,” said Lee Chang-su, another teacher. “She was always cheerful. She still had the little girl in her.”

It was only last November, on her 950th try, that she achieved a passing grade of 60 out of 100. She then passed two driving skill and road tests, but only after failing each four times. For each of her 960 tests, she had to pay $5 in application fees.

“I didn’t mind,” said Ms. Cha. “To me, commuting every day to take the test was like going to school. I always missed school.”


For her, words could not express the concept!

It reminds me of:

Grammar
You have words - now what do you do with them?


Only in this case it's not about grammar but comprehension. It's the charming story of a determined woman who let nothing stand in her way, including failure.

Oh, yes; there's another reward besides her license at the end of it all.
Regards//Larry

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-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Perry » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:13 pm

Grammar
You have words - now what do you do with them?


That reminds me of me. Whenever my kids overuse "like", I always say, "English has verbs. Use them."
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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