If in the beginning there was the Word then language is truly a formidable tool of creation. It encapsulates the entire body of human knowledge, builds new worlds in our minds and possibly shapes the way we experience reality.

It turns out languages don’t just make our decision-making more rational but also can profoundly influence our decision making processes and the way we perceive future events.

 Check out: How Your Language Affects Your Wealth and Health





  • marshmallow a sweetened paste or confection made from the mucilaginous root of the marsh mallow
  • dazzle – to shine or reflect brilliantly
  • resist – to refrain or abstain from, especially with difficulty or reluctance
  • disposition – naturalmental and emotional outlook or mood; characteristic attitude
  • innate – existing in one from birth; inborn; native
  • curb – to control as with a curb; restrain; check
  • emulate – follow, copy
  • mindset – an attitude, disposition, or mood


 Think about it

Based on the text answer the questions below.

  • What did the marshmallow studies show?
  • What differences between languages does Chen focus on?
  • In what way does the lack of future markers in languages affect the perception of future events?
  • What are some conventional ways of explaining people’s consumption-saving decisions?
  • What issue is referred to in the sentence: “The issue is hotly debated.” (Paragraph 10)


Practice makes perfect

Put the phrases in bold back where they belong.

conceptualize the future, future interests, better prepared, recent findings, maintain their health, unlikely factor, weakly distinguish

Chen’s ______ suggest that an ______, language, strongly affects our future-oriented behavior. Some languages strongly distinguish the present and the future. Other languages only weakly distinguish the present and the future. Chen’s recent research suggests that people who speak languages that ______ the present and the future are ______ for the future. They accumulate more wealth and they are better able to ______. The way these people ______ is similar to the way they conceptualize the present. As a result, the future does not feel very distant and it is easier for them to act in accordance with their ______.


The expressions and words in bold are jumbled. Put them back where they belong to come up with the right collocations. Check your answers with the original article and take a good look at the sentences in which they appear.

  • individual-level consequences
  • decision pleasure
  • cultural vacation
  • long-term countries
  • dramatic data
  • developing factors
  • dream influences 
  • immediate making

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