What is the meaning of this sentence? " Language determines Thought "

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This statement seems to capture the central role of language often in how we think, perceive and view the world in which we live. The importance of this can never be understated. Language is crucial to our "world vision" - how we make meaning of what we see and the world we live in. All of us grow up learning and speaking at least 1 main language, and this marks us indelibly in terms of how we relate with our environment and other people in it. Therefore, to a very real extent, our language does determine how we think - we are not left free to make decisions by ourselves or to respond to situations in a "free" manner, because our response is going to be predetermined by the language we speak. Just consider how culture and language are interlinked - in some languages it is impossible to talk about the individual as the culture is so community-focussed. This therefore is an excellent example of how language and the way we think are inter-related.