Posted by: lyonenglishnetwork | July 2, 2013

Modelling the world

Becoming bilingual doesn’t just mean you learn a few foreign words.

It’s means you learn to model the world with different words and labels.

That includes all the vocabulary for each object, but it also includes learning all the verbs – the actions. Retourner la feuille = turn over the paper, for example in English. 

The world might be modelled in a different way in each language, especially when it comes to certain concepts. This is when comparing languages becomes interesting and merits much more than a small blog post.

It’s also obvious that modelling the world with new labels is going to take time.



  1. Hi Paul, here’s a question:

    I believe that one of the strengths of the English language is it’s grammatical simplicity. This is brought home to me through my partner who is currently learning Polish, which is full of complex conjugations and declinations. I understand the same is true for Russion, Italian and several other major languages. I presume proto-languages in pre-history were relatively simple too, so how come they then became so complex. Not through necessity in expressing complex issues. Just a question on my mind.

    Hope all’s well, Phil

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