Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Too much words

Eskimos have 43 words to describe SNOW
Brazilians have 8 words for COFFEE beans
Americans have a rich SEX related vocabulary
Indians have rich vocabulary for RELATIONSHIPS
  • (For eg. mamaa, chachaa, kaaka, taoo to describe UNCLE)
PAIN for Germans
  • Sehnsucht - Longing
  • Heimweh = "home ache" = homesickness
  • Fernweh = "far ache" = the yearning for somewhere far away
  • Nahweh = "near ache" = the feeling of sadness that comes when you return home to find it is not as you remember it
RICE for South Indians

RIVER in Chinese

This all and more support a theory saying that the importance of a concept in a culture is determined by the number of words used to describe it (in its various forms). I first came to know about it from my friend Venkat (an NCSTian).

For more:
1. Read the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis which is composed of two basic principles: linguistic determinism and linguistic relativity.
2. "Centrality of Snow in Inuit(Eskimo) culture is an exaggeration"