Bilinguals are of two minds, says Psychological Science

My buddy emails me this report. It's a Dutch news article: "Tweetalige heeft dubbel wereldbeeld".  The gist is that we bilinguals take a more complicated view of the world. Or at least that's how I read it. It's based on this Psychological Science report.

Where an English person sees a man walking a German sees a man walking into a store. Is that language related or is that just the German culture of thoroughness? After all their modus operandi seems to collectively be if you're going to do something, do it well, why bother otherwise? 

On the other hand English has "...was sailing to...when I saw Elvis" and "I sailed to...when I saw Elvis". Elvis? Really? That's the best example you can think of? And we wonder why young people don't care. Poor things would be trying to relate with "Was he like the Justin Bieber from back in the day?"

I do concur with the report's conclusions though. My own challenges with languages meant I was always looking for non-verbal clues. The way people walk, move, smile, twitch. Anything that would offer additional insights.

That's not always a good thing. Why? Sometimes those clues are wrong. And in those instances you might come over as distrustful. To counter, I often try to explain why I'm asking the question in the first place. It helps to clarify my point of view and intentions. 

It just goes to show though, communication is hard! Additional languages means you have more arrows in your quiver. (Fun fact: Real archers didn't actually use a quiver. That's a hollywood invention. Turns out it would not be practical at all in the woods...)