MAY 23, 2017 10:22 AM PDT

Can the Languages You Speak Influence Your Perception of Time?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


Bilingual people can speak multiple languages fluently, and according to some experts, they may visualize time differently as well.

Certain languages perceive time in measures of distance, while others perceive time in measures of volume. For example, in English, one might say "I need to go on a short break," while in Spanish one might say: "I need to go on a small break."

Whether or not one way of saying things is more correct than another, different languages seem to use different units of measure to perceive time, and scientists wanted to figure out which perception was better at keeping track of time.

Testing showed that when participants were shown visual prompts relating to distance and volume, and were then shown words of their bilingual languages, they perceived time based on the word prompts they were shown, which suggests that the language we speak has an impact on how we visualize time in our brains.

Language may actually impact several other things, including our understanding of social behavior and emotions.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 23, 2020
Health & Medicine
Study Reveals Racial Disparities in Children's Postsurgical Outcomes
JUL 23, 2020
Study Reveals Racial Disparities in Children's Postsurgical Outcomes
A study published this week in Pediatrics revealed racial disparities in postsurgical mortality and complicati ...
AUG 04, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Develop Interstellar Sunscreen to Block Deadly Rays
AUG 04, 2020
Scientists Develop Interstellar Sunscreen to Block Deadly Rays
Outside of the Earth's magnetic field exist many kinds of dangerous radiation. These include ultraviolet, X-rays, an ...
AUG 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Are There More Rogue Planets than Stars?
AUG 22, 2020
Are There More Rogue Planets than Stars?
Researchers from Ohio State University have theorized that there may be more rogue planets (planets that don't orbit ...
SEP 01, 2020
Plants & Animals
Warsaw Zoo Testing CBD to Manage Elephants' Stress
SEP 01, 2020
Warsaw Zoo Testing CBD to Manage Elephants' Stress
Humans use cannabidiol (CBD) for its array of health benefits, and household pets even benefit from CBD treatments in sp ...
OCT 02, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
A New Way of Building Houses: 3-D Printing with Clay
OCT 02, 2020
A New Way of Building Houses: 3-D Printing with Clay
Our ancestors had a long history of building dwelling structures using clay and plant-based fibrous materials. Even thes ...
NOV 18, 2020
Plants & Animals
This Bat Species Uses Masks for Mating
NOV 18, 2020
This Bat Species Uses Masks for Mating
From pandemic precautions to televised talent shows, masks are having a moment. Even this bizarre bat species has a buil ...
Loading Comments...