Languaging – it’s not that simple

I’ve had a thing about the words we use. For years. When I was still working, one of the tasks I had was to write policies and procedures. Now there  was a sticky challenge. Just for fun try writing something to instruct people how to action a policy! I doubt I ever got it right so everyone was clear about what to do. I was, in my own mind. But getting it down on paper so everyone else was too  proved to be well nigh impossible. My challenge was that, and choosing the right words. Ones that convey respect. So I found my hobby horse – languaging. Choosing words that reflect attitudes, values and beliefs  …. all of which are just as important, if not more so,  in  self talk.

Have a look at this video. It makes my point exquisitely clear –


Lera Boroditsky has an interesting job. She studies language – specifically “Relationships between mind, world and language. How we create meaning, imagine, and use knowledge. How the languages we speak shape the ways we think.”

Here’s a thought provoking video about language. Did you know that different cultures and languages create different perceptions about life and events?

Raili Tanska

Say what you mean

4 thoughts on “Languaging – it’s not that simple

  1. That Dad is a genius! Anyone who is bi- or multilingual knows that there are certain things that can be expressed in one language but not in another, no matter how you try. As a professional translator, I’m constantly coming up against the challenges of mediating concepts unique to a way of thinking shaped by the author’s language. Charlemagne was right! A second language opens a window onto a parallel universe, a window that may even become a door and allow you through. That in itself is an argument for trying to prevent minority languages from becoming extinct. This feels like another blog post coming on …

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