Learning a new language changes your perspective

Working with both Japanese and English speakers, he looked at their language use and proficiency, along with the length of their stay in the country, and matched this against how they perceived the colour blue.  In Japanese, for example, there are additional basic terms for light blue (mizuiro) and dark blue (ao), which are not found in English, according to a Newcastle statement.

Previous research has shown that people are more likely to rate two colours to be more similar if they belong to the same linguistic category.

"We found that people who only speak Japanese distinguished more between light and dark blue than English speakers," said Athanasopoulos.  Most people tend to focus on how to do things such as order food or use public transport when they learn another language to help them get by, but this research has shown that there is a much deeper connection going on.

"As well as learning vocabulary and grammar you're also unconsciously learning a whole new way of seeing the world," said Athanasopoulos. "There's an inextricable link between language, culture and cognition."

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