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  • That was a really good clap.

  • Good job, Amy.

  • Dès que j'ai deux ou trois ans, ma mere m'a parlée en français.

  • Dann im universitet, ich habe fur drei Jahren Deutsche gelerntaber Ich benutze es nicht

  • In researching bilingual brains, that is, how brains work when someone speaks more than

  • one language fluently, scientists have found there are differences.

  • Bilingual brains activate in different ways depending on the language they're speaking,

  • and and also demonstrate incredible cognitively flexibility, switching back and forth between

  • languages in a phenomenon called code-switching.

  • And a new study has found an interesting link between language and time: the language you

  • think in can impact the way you perceive time.

  • Every language has its specific vocabulary for organizing the world around us, but when

  • it comes to time, there are two general categories this is done: distance, as in crossing an

  • area, and volume as in a space being filled.

  • Swedish and English both use physical distances to express a measure of time.

  • In English we'd say “a short breakor “a long wedding.”

  • We use these descriptive terms as though the passage of time is a measurable distance.

  • In Greek and Spanish on the other hand, time is marked with terms that refer to volume.

  • In Spanish you'd say "a small break" or "a big wedding."

  • So the question the researchers had was whether people who think about time with distance

  • or volume measurements have a better sense of how much time has passed.

  • To measure this, they had Swedish-Spanish bilinguals watch a line grow across a screen

  • or watch a container being filled, the first a measure of time as distance and the second

  • a measure of time as volume.

  • And in each instance the subject was given a prompt in one of the two languages — 'duración'

  • in Spanish or 'tid' in Swedish.

  • The results showed that subjects perceived time as it's measured in the language of

  • their prompt.

  • When given the Spanish prompt, participants estimated time based on volume, in this case

  • how full the containers were.

  • When they were given the Swedish prompt they could better estimate time as distance, using

  • the line's travel as a marker.

  • So this might not matter to any of us on a day to day basis, but it's interesting to

  • have some scientific evidence pointing to how much language impacts the way we perceive

  • something universal, the passage of time.

  • And we even found this in our office!

  • Maybe it's because I've been exposed to multiple languages.

  • When I think of a big wedding I think of a lot of people and a long night.

  • But other people in our office only think about the number of attendees.

  • Language, it seems, can creep in and affect our most basic senses, from emotions to perception

  • and, apparently, time.

  • Which means it's possible that learning a new language could change the way you experience

  • the worldwhich in itself is wild to think about.

  • This episode is brought to you by Squarespace.

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  • Squarespace is used by a wide range of creatives and peoplemusicians, designers, artists,

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  • your first purchase.

  • So this is our human brain, but would the same thing happen to artificial intelligence?

  • We talk about giving computers consciousness in this episode right here.

  • So who out there speaks multiple languages and is aware of these different cues for understanding

  • time?

  • Let us know in the comments, be sure to like this video, and subscribe so you never miss

  • an episode of Seeker.

That was a really good clap.

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How Bilingual Brains Perceive Time Differently

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    Samuel posted on 2018/05/25
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