Is Language a Tool to Reach Out the World

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From spoken word to written text, language has always been used as a potential tool to reach out to the world and connect various individuals, cultures, and communities. Primarily, language serves as a means of communication as it fills the linguistic gaps and allows people to express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions to others. Language allows us to convey complicated concepts and engage in meaningful conversations. It allows people and businesses to build relations that can go beyond continents and generations. 

 

Have you ever thought about the influence of a language? Did you ever think that the language you speak can define numerous factors of your life? How does language allow us to discuss a scientific breakthrough, share a personal story, negotiate a business deal, or simply chat with a friend? We have posed six crucial questions about languages and the benefit a language can bring into a human’s life to negotiate how a language serves as a tool to reach out to the world. 

What does a language do? 



The language we speak is such an inseparable part of our everyday life that we rarely think about it in an arduous way. We think that we control and shape the language and don’t realize that in fact, it shapes us, too. Recent studies have shown that our language influences the way we make decisions and choices. It determines the way we see the world around us and the way we interpret everything that happens. It enables us to form our ideas and convey them to other people. So, in one way or another, language is a tool to reach out to the world. 


Do people see the world differently because of the language they speak? 

Even after thorough research, we have concluded that this is a complicated question. Part of the problem is that there is more involved than just language and thought; there is also culture. Your culture — the traditions, lifestyle, habits, and so on that,  you pick up from the people you live and interact with — shapes the way you think, and also shapes the way you talk. Language is intertwined deeply with cultural norms and values, therefore, sometimes it acts as a lens through which people view reality, influencing their cognition and perception. 

What is linguistic relativity? 

Linguistic relativity is a subject that people will always be interested in because it strikes right in the way we process the world and communicate with each other. The principle of linguistic relativity involves the phenomena of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis or Whorfianism. Actually, on this hypothesis, the question arose as to whether language is a tool to reach out to the world.  

 

A linguist named Benjamin Lee Whorf studied Hopi, a Native American language spoken in Northeastern Arizona. Based on his studies, Whorf claimed that speakers of Hopi and speakers of English see the world differently because of differences in their language. His research appeared to show that speakers of different kinds of language were, as a result of those language differences, cognitively different from one another.

Has our language affected our way of thinking? Or has a difference in cultural habits affected both our thoughts and our language? Most likely, the culture, the thought habits, and the language have all grown together. 


There is a great debate within the field of psycholinguistics and psychology as to whether different languages affect thinking. 

 

But people think in language, don’t they? 

Much of the time, yes. But not always. You can easily conjure up mental images and sensations that would be hard to describe in words. You can think about the sound of a symphony, the shape of a pear, or the smell of garlic bread. None of these thoughts require language. However, various common examples might prove that language does affect individuals’ thinking patterns. Various color terms that are represented in a certain language influence the way people perceive and categorize those colors. E.g. languages can differ in defining the different shades of blue, pink, or any other color. 


Language also affects people’s spatial cognitive skills and sense of orientation. It happens because some languages use spatial directions (north, south, east, west) while others use relative directions (right, left, in front, behind).  

 

Can a language enrich my life? 

Charlemagne once said, “To have another language is to possess a second soul.” Knowledge of languages makes human life richer and more interesting — it is like living two lives in one, like existing in two different worlds at once. 

 

There is another famous quotation which is a Czech proverb that says “You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.”


Language is a tool to reach out to the world. So, the more languages we know, the easier it gets for us to conquer this world. 

 

What good does the knowledge of languages do to me? 

Broaden your understanding of the world and different cultures. Every culture has something unique that you cannot find anywhere else. And you can understand this uniqueness only through that culture’s mother tongue. Knowledge of language;

 

  •  Helps you to understand better your own culture. When we live in a sheltered world we take everything for granted and do not realize that somewhere things might work in a completely different way. What is considered normal or good in your culture could be outrageous and unacceptable in another one, and the other way around. But learning a foreign language will open that door to another world for you. And by comparing these two worlds you will be able to see your own culture in a completely new light. 

 

  • Allows you to be more creative. It is hard to deny that learning another language will provide you with a whole new baggage of knowledge. This knowledge will help you to come up with new ideas more easily. Plus, your brain gets a lot of exercise when you study a language, and the associated phenomenon. Certainly, a strong brain encloses a creative mind.

 

  •  Gives you a new cultural experience. Language and culture are deeply rooted in each other. While learning the mother tongue of another country you automatically absorb its culture. You open up for yourself a whole new cuisine, history, a way of life. You learn to understand their humor, which makes this experience even more fun. 

 

  • Strengthens your memory and sends off the onset of dementia. When you learn a language, you must memorize thousands of new words, phrases, idioms, and grammar rules. It inevitably exercises your memory muscles and keeps them in good shape. And recent studies have shown that it can save you from dementia when you get old. 

 

  • Makes you more tolerant and understanding of other people. When you get to know closely another culture you realize how different all people are. How their thoughts differ from ours. The norms and standards vary from culture to culture and there are no universal rules that everyone must follow, except for love and kindness. Understanding these principles makes it easier for you to accept the differences of other people and be more tolerant of those who are unlike you. 

 

  • Broadens your worldview and makes you more intelligent. Understanding a foreign language will significantly add value to your existing linguistic knowledge. You can watch foreign movies, and news, read their newspapers and magazines. You will be able to meet and talk to foreigners and learn things from them firsthand. All this will make you much smarter and more interesting as a person. You will also be able to see the world as if through another pair of eyes, with another perspective on the events around the world. 

 

Conclusion

 

So, answering that question in a title – yes, language is a tool to reach out to the world. It is the most powerful tool we have for reaching out to others. We can use it to express our feelings, to spread our ideas, and even to establish peace. It shapes human perception and thoughts. However, we can say that humans are not passive recipients of their language’s influence as they can think cognitively and mold the language as per the changing needs and experiences. Beyond the debate of how language affects human perception and how humans influence language, we can certainly say that language is a powerful communication tool that allows people and businesses to connect across the globe and share ideas, emotions, and thoughts. It allows you to understand various other cultures and understand the world from multiple perspectives. 

 

We hope that this article will serve you as an inspiration for taking up learning languages. Take up the risk of broadening the world for yourself and we bet you won’t regret it. 

 


Also, read Taste Your Language