I’m a Chinese and can’t understand a classic text from The Status Of Linguistics As A Science (1929) by Edward Sapir.
We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation.
A commonly seen Chinese translation for “otherwise” here is “using other methods”, so the Chinese translation for the sentence says: Everything we see, hear or experience using other methods is very largely because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation.
I don’t quite agree with the translation. My understanding is, “otherwise” here mean “differently”; “see and hear” are the senses, while “experience” is a comprehensive feeling obtained through seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and any other sense. My understanding can be expressed like this: We see and hear, but we have very largely different experience as we see and hear, because…
Please help me analyze the sentence and tell me whether my understanding is correct. Many thanks.