Language problems

Language is a means of communication for everyone and can also be an expression of culture and feelings. It came to light that in some words and expressions in certain languages there simply is no english equivalent but only when you speak the language do you fully know what it means. Mr Saha asked whether there should be one universal language in which we could all communicate. This would be beneficial in the spread of globalisation etc. Esparanto was an unsuccessful attempt at this by certain individuals but why didnt it take off? The answer to that is simple; language you could say is personal to every individual and to merge many languages into one you’d have to merge many different cultures which is simply impossible. I was thinking how youth seem to come up with an almost different language where sick means great and peak means bad. Now the meanings of these words are completely flipped and many may frown on this slang but it is incredibly interesting to see how new terms are created while others are abandoned. Not only are new words created but the slang continues to change and the slang teenagers use today may seem completely stupid to the next generation of teenagers.
In english we only have one word for love while in other languages you can have as many as twenty what does this say about english? Are we any less cultured- no of course not as we have our own way of differentiating. Furthermore when I went to the mosque I found out that when the Qu’ran was translated into english it is no longer the qu’ran just a mere less powerful interpretation. Many things are lost in translation and many people could translate one poem and end with different emphasises and an angle different to that which was intended. Many have commented that when something is translated it begins to loose meaning. To us in English it sounds absurd when told that escimos had hundreds of words for snow but who are we to really judge?

In the workplace nowadays it is now a disadvantage if you do not know English -Is this really fair? It makes sense but just because the most developed countries speak english why does english prevail while others die out? Mr Saha asked whether I think everyone should be taught a second language and I think defenitely and why not start as young as you can as the younger you start out the easier it is to learn. It would broaden everyone’s culture along with a wider scope of opportunities.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. chtok
    Dec 11, 2012 @ 09:19:28

    I agree with nearly everything you have said here, Chanel. Except ‘language you could say is personal to every individual and to merge many languages into one you’d have to merge many different cultures which is simply impossible.’ Surely merging different cultures is what happens when different peoples come to live together- for example in world cities like London? So, in food, we get something like chicken tikka masala or even more marked chicken tikka masala pizza! Perhaps the reason Esperanto failed was that it was artificial and did not arise organically- unlike the slang young people speak which you talk about.

    Reply

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