Economy -- September 10, 2013 at 6:36 PM ET
Speak Finnish to Save Money?
Could the language you speak affect your inclination to plan for the future? In English, we often speak of our plans in the future tense.
But consider Finnish.
Instead of saying, "It will be cold tomorrow," Finnish-speakers say, "It is cold tomorrow."
The Atlantic picked up on surprising findings from Yale economist Keith Chen that speakers of weak-future-tense languages are better forward-planners: they save and exercise more and smoke less. His research suggests that speaking of the future in the present tense makes the future seem like, or at least, take on equal importance as, the present.