We're taking about the way language we learn,our first language usually seem to effect the intelligence of the person. Driving it in different ways, as such the chinese, korean and japanese have similar language and their intelligence is mostly logical. People who learn english tend to be more abstract and see things on a wider scope but not as thorough as the logical people.
Most people thing it's because of the race, culture and up-bringing, the question here is that does the language play a role in this? Because as the structure of the language are all different and it is one of the basic thing we learn when we are young.
Also please, don't give me the, we are all the same, despite our religion, language and skin crap here. This is a logical debate,not a racist fight. So no racism, no hate, just pure logic please.
There's studies that show language does inhibit ways of expressing ourselves and sometimes learning.
Say you want to describe the color red, you can't because of language, and your description (if you manage it) would be different from the other person's preconceived view of red.
Also, there's many meanings, nouns, verbs, expressions, etc. that don't have words.
I read Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers a while back. He explained why chinese people are typically better at math. Their language has a much more logical number system. First of all, all the words for numbers are really short, so they can say a series of numbers really fast. There have been studies that say if you can say the series of numbers in the span of like 2 seconds, then you can memorize that series of numbers. In english, it is much harder to say the numbers really fast, so it is much harder to memorize them.
Also when you get past ten in mandarin, eleven is said like this: shi-yi. A direct translation of this is ten-one, which is much easier to learn than learning a whole new word, eleven. Twenty-three would be er-shi-san, in english, two-tens-three. this way of saying numbers makes adding much easier. If I asked you to add forty-three + thirty-five, versus asking you to add four-tens-three + three-tens-five, the second one would be easier, even though it is mathematically the same.
Math makes much more sense in mandarin.
That's actually really awesome. I really want to learn Mandarin, I was listening to a linguist on NPR and she was talking about how grammar in Chinese doesn't have complicated tenses or many articles, that it's a very literal language. I know the symbols are murder, but I think it'd be great to learn such a complicated writing system and have such a great spoken language.
I DON'T KNOW, IT SOUNDS NICE.
I was reading an article about languages in Discover magazine with Noam Chomsky(a linguist) and it talked about how all languages are related, and it all comes down to a couple basic forms. I think that language isn't as much of a role for us as much as our upbringing, how fluent we are with other languages, and how we make ourselves think. I'm not trying to say that somebody who speaks Russian has a different mindset than somebody who speaks Korean because of the language, but that it's mostly for where you grew up, how proper you are with the language you speak, and how many languages you speak. That's just my thoughts on it, though. I think multilingual people probably think more than monolingual people, but what happens when we come to languages like FSL and ASL(sign languages)? Do people who sign think differently than speaking people? Maybe. But how to we know? We may think in different orders, but there are things that bind us all together that may have yet to be discovered.
WHOA LONG POST.
That is very interesting. I never considered the sign language! I'll try to find a study about it!
Not really sure about the language directly affecting the intelligence, but certain languages may affects a person's way of thought.
For example, if you were to directly translate the phrase, "I climbed the mountain" from Italian to english, it would be "I climed with the mountain," thus the stereotypical reason for Italians to be know as romantic.
While if that phrase were to be translated into Arabic, then it would be something along the lines of, "I straddled the mountain."
So yeah, I think it's all about the perspective.