Past and present

Yesterday’s topic was about how our language affects our view of past and future. Today, here’s a video of the past and present of New York City. This won’t give you English input, but it might inpsire you to go in search of past/present photos or videos of Tokyo, your hometown, or another city you’re interested in.

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!


Old dog, new tricks: Part 2

This dog has learned more than 1000 words in 3 years.

More about Chaser (both of these articles are a bit old, but still interesting):

Chaser has her own Facebook page, if you want to see how she’s doing now.

And here’s a website with all the background, research, a photo gallery, and more.

For another topic about “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” see “Dogs, tricks, and trees that bend” from last year.