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A controversial theory from a Yale University behavioural economist, Keith Chen, claims that the language we speak affects our financial decision-making. [1]

The differences in the use of the notion of “time” can be important, even between languages which are similar (e.g. between European languages):

  • “If I wanted to explain to an English-speaking colleague why I can’t attend a meeting later today, I could not say ‘I go to a seminar’, English grammar would oblige me to say ‘I will go, am going, or have to go to a seminar’.
  • “If, on the other hand, I were speaking Mandarin, it would be quite natural for me to omit any marker of future time and say ‘I go listen seminar’ since the context leaves little room for misunderstanding,” says Prof Chen.
  • “In English you have to say ‘it will rain tomorrow’ while in German you can say ‘morgen regnet es’ – it rains tomorrow”.

According to the research, speakers of languages which only use the present tense when dealing with the future are likely to save more money than those who speak languages which require the use a future tense.

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Language conveys ideas.

Ideas which subconsciously affect us without us knowing it.

Deciphering these effects is key to a good life.

A true life, beyond the messages thousands of years of civilization have imprinted on the words we use everyday…

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