Languages around the World

Février 9, 2017

Pourquoi on apprend des langues différents? Peut-être on veut expériencer des cultures diverses ou “expand one’s horizons.” Je ne sais pas.

We touched upon this issue in one of my classes: why is English the standard language? Why not have a language like Chinese (I can answer that: the characters), or French, or even Arabic be a standard? How does region play a role in determining the language spoken in different places? Or for example, how do certain languages get preserved across different countries/continents/ time zones? Case in point: Slavic, Dravidian languages.

Having lived in Abu Dhabi, and now in New York, has exposed me to the different ethnic groups and the languages they speak. I find myself constantly in awe of people who are well-versed in their native language, also termed bilingual or even multi-lingual. My role model in this regard is Timothy Doner, a polyglot who speaks over 20 languages mA.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”– Nelson Mandela

I think language is an important tool in bridging gaps between different people of different cultures, backgrounds, or even between people of the same nationalities who speak different languages. It helps when you travel to connect better to the local culture, and it becomes even more valuable in countries with their own lingua franca, such as China, Germany, and Czech Republic –places that I’ve gotten to visit in the past, and tremendously enjoyed.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Languages around the World

    1. Yes I think that’s a very important point about power. As I was writing this, I was thinking along the terms of languages that were also influenced by colonial powers, such as French and Portuguese in parts of North and West Africa, and the English language. I’ve studied both Arabic and French during my school years, and I mostly picked up Arabic from my friends in AD. 🙂 How do you find Arabic so far?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find Arabic difficult but i enjoy studying it very much. I’ve learned French in the past, and originally set out to learn Arabic as a challenge to myself, and it is indeed way harder than French! It’s getting better though!

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