Using a language is a must. We use it almost every day. We talk to people, we write out our thoughts, and listen to others talking too. I have noticed a few things about languages. Here they are :
1. Language is Culturally, Societally & Regionally Influenced
Language is, to a certain extent, shaped by culture, society and community. Think about it. Some words in our language seem to originate from our culture. Traditional foods, drinks, dances and customs have blended into our language and they have their own singular words for themselves. This is true for most cultures. As for communities or societies, linguistic evolution does take place within them. You would realize that some groups of people tend to speak with slangs that common folks wouldn’t quite understand.
Sometimes, young people speak using slangs that even the adults don’t understand. Accents of a language may also differ according to regions. I’m from the West Coast of Malaysia, and frankly, I find it hard to comprehend what the folks in the East Coast are saying, what with their distinct accent and slangs that they use. Gosh.
2. Lost in Translation
A translated book of a language into another language will have some linguistic loss. It is unavoidable. The main messages, structures and themes may be there, but the essence of the language is very much lost. Some words in a language can’t be substituted for another. Some linguistic ambiguities that enrich meaning may also be lost after translation.
Try reading a book in its original language and then read the translated version. You will notice some marked differences. There’s a reason why the book is written in that particular language. It’s not just the language that matters here, it’s also the context, culture, setting and society that amalgamate into the wholeness of a book.
3. Language Connects Us All
You get this uniquely pleasant feeling when you meet and talk to people of other nationalities or races who speak the same language as you do. I remember going to English classes weekly and there was a Japanese student in our class. It was interesting to be able to converse with other people from another country using a common language. I’d say, it’s an instant people-connector.
However, this isn’t the only scenario of language importance. Even in everyday life, we use languages. And the manner in which we speak often depends on the person with whom we are speaking with. It’s natural. We have some friends with whom we speak a particular language, and some with whom we use another one. It’s intuitive, and it’s connective.
That wraps up today’s post. Hope you enjoyed this entry.