Front or back, up or down?


“Language alters our experience of time”

(from The Conversation)

About how different languages view and express the abstract concept of time, and about how bilingual people are, in general, more flexible thinkers.


One interesting idea from the article:

Front or back, up or down?

The Swedish word for “future” is framtid (literally: “front time”), which makes sense to English speakers because we visually the future as being in front of us (and I think Japanese is the same).

But in one Peruvian language, the word for future translates as “behind time”.

And in Chinese, xià (“down” — maybe 下?) is used to refer to the future (so next week is “down week”) and sshàng (“up” — so it must be 上 like in 上海). Let’s see what google translate tells us: I see two translations. Maybe a Chinese major can tell me the difference in nuance/usage. That’s my LQ (language usage question) for today. Let me know on Thursday or Friday!

 

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