The way you speak

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The way you speak

Messenger The human eye can physically perceive millions of colours. Besides our individual biological make up, colour perception is less about seeing what is actually out there and more about how our brain interprets colours to create something meaningful. The perception of colour mainly occurs inside our heads and so is subjective — and prone to personal experience.

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Take for instance people with synaesthesiawho are able to experience the perception of colour with letters and numbers. Synaesthesia is often described as a joining of the senses — where a person can see sounds or hear colours. But the colours they hear also differ from case to case.

Even though squares A and B are exactly the same colour, our brain interprets them as different. The culture of colour Since the day we were born we have learnt to categorise objects, colours, emotions, and pretty much everything meaningful using language.

The way you speak

And although our eyes can perceive thousands of colours, the way we communicate about colour — and the way we use colour in our everyday lives — means we have to carve this huge variety up into identifiable, meaningful categories.

Painters and fashion experts, for example, use colour terminology to refer to and discriminate hues and shades that to all intents and purposes may all be described with one term by a non expert. Different languages and cultural groups also carve up the colour spectrum differently.

Dark roughly translates as cool in those languages, and light as warm. So colours like black, blue, and green are glossed as cool colours, while lighter colours like white, red, orange and yellow are glossed as warm colours.

Cultures as diverse as the Himba in the Namibian plains and the Berinmo in the lush rainforests of Papua New Guinea employ such five term systems.

As well as dark, light, and red, these languages typically have a term for yellow, and a term that denotes both blue and green. People see colours differently according to the way their language categorises them.

The way you speak

Nowadays, in all these languages, the original grue term has been restricted to blue, and a separate green term is used. This is either developed from within the language — as is the case for Japanese — or through lexical borrowing, as is the case for Welsh.

RussianGreekTurkish and many other languages also have two separate terms for blue — one referring exclusively to darker shades, and one referring to lighter shades. Language and colour The way we perceive colours can also change during our lifetime. And in our lab at Lancaster University we are investigating how the use of and exposure to different languages changes the way we perceive everyday objects.

Ultimately, this happens because learning a new language is like giving our brain the ability to interpret the world differently — including the way we see and process colours.I can read your face better than you can. The same holds true for you.

Five key colours

While the role of mirror neurons is still not well understood (and sometimes disputed), the fact that we can tell what another person is feeling, often more quickly than they can, is a consequence of being a social animal.

However, you have to realise that studying a language has a very specific purpose and if you are not aware of this then you may end up stuck in the vicious circle of never speaking: Studying will never help you speak a language, but (as long as you do it right) studying will help you speak a language better.

The tip that I keep thinking about, however, is one that a friend with three kids mentioned over lunch one day. “Speak to your new baby the way you’d speak to Maggie,” she said.

Unfortunately, in the modern society, people don't actually speak in their way. they try to copy the styles they saw on their televisions or in a movie in cinema. this has a really bad impact. The surest way to get your child to speak nicely to you is to speak nicely to her.

And if you constantly criticize and speak harshly to her? Well, you can guess what you'll get from that. The human eye can physically perceive millions of colours. But we don’t all recognise these colours in the same way. Some people can’t see differences in colours – so called colour blindness.

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