I don’t know about you, but one of the quickest ways I have found to shine a light on perspective is through learning another language.


Because a common language is often what unites a culture’s people together.


Our language reveals what we mean by the choice of our words. But quite often, the words we choose were blindly taught to us as a small child.


Unless we question the light meaning of our words, we might continue speaking a language that defines us instead of us defining it.


Allow me to give you an example.


What does “bringing to the light” mean to you?


Recently, I was looking for a direct English translation of the Chinese word, 发明 (pronounced faming).


The word 发明 is made up of two characters, 发 (fa) and 明 (ming).


The symbol 发 means to create, build, construct, fabricate, develop, make happen.


The symbol 明 is a drawing of the sun and the moon together, representing the concept of light or brightness.


When we combine 发and 明 together, we get something like, ‘making something happen by bringing it to the light’.


Now, which English word resonates with you for that definition? You do not know? Hold on a moment because …


In my Chinese-English dictionary, besides the word 发明, we can read the following inscription: bringing to the light; invent.



In Chinese Mandarin, bringing to the light means, to invent.


Having said that … in English, the word ‘invent’ comes from French, Latin and the Middle English word, ‘inventen’.



In English, to invent means,  to come upon, discovering.



Do you see how an everyday word resonates differently in different cultures?


发明 means to bring something to the light. It’s the process of shining a light onto where there was only darkness before.


However, the English language focuses on the discovery process, that ability to keep digging for answers by going to them instead of allowing them to naturally come to us.


Which now brings me to the French language.


In French, the word ‘inventer’ comes from the Latin ‘invenire’, meaning ‘to find’.


In ‘invenire’, there is another verb, ‘venir’; ‘venir’ literally means ‘to come to us’.


Therefore …


In French, to invent is the action of finding by allowing something to come to us.



Let’s recap this one-on-one perspective.


Depending on the language we use, to invent might mean:

  • bringing to the light

  • coming upon, discovering through digging for answers

  • finding by allowing something to come to us



With that in mind, let me ask you …


When you invent something, how do you go about it?


Do you shine a light onto the darkness?


Do you go digging for answers?


Or do you allow the answers to naturally come to you?


Your chosen process for invention might have a lot more to do with the language you were taught as a child (and its cultural ramifications) than you might think.


Therefore, this is why we must question the light meaning of our words. Otherwise, we might continue speaking a language that defines us instead of us defining it.


My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am a financial emotional intelligence coach who helps her clients broaden their perspective on money by shining a light of enthusiasm and fun.


To book a chat where we will discuss what I can do for you and your organization, go to https://walkinginside.com/contact-us


Your financial EQ coach,




Photo by Rohan Makhecha on Unsplash