A place about everything and nothing

Mind Your Language part 1


So, what language do you think in? What goes on in your head as you read this sentence? Do you think in Mandarin, English, Latin, Japanese?

See I believe that how you think is greatly affected by the language in which you process information. A clear concise mind produces clear concise sentences and internal monologue. Different language has different social, cultural and structural implications. What would make perfect sense in Mandarin will not make sense once translated directly to English or any other language for that matter.

A language has finite vocabulary and each vocabulary has different connotations and implications. When stringed together into a sentence, each word will have vastly different meaning and impact. When a person learns a language, he/she tags an associated word with an image/sound/purpose. I will not pretend to even begin to understand how a child is able to still identify a chair as a chair when two vastly different designs are presented. Perhaps both chairs have a unifying purpose of form that is the basis of observation? That is definitely something to think about but I digress.

Like Facebook pictures, we tag words with an image/sound/purpose instead of friends. What we create in our mind as child is a neural network of word association. This is in addition to mimicry of the sounds our parents produce when cajoling us. As we get older, our understanding of a language diminishes/increases. This allow more complex sentences to be formed and also form in my opinion the basis of thought. Language is the physical representation of thought.

Of course, we go on to independently consume more language and vocabulary, assimilating this new learned words. The more we consume, the more we are able to build a sentence with more variation and each word itself can contain more meaning then a whole sentence. Which comes back to the my case of language. It is my believe that each language helps mold a brain differently. As I mentioned earlier, each language has its own cultural and social connotations.

For example, there is a rural village cut of from the rest of the world. Their language mainly revolves around agricultural terms and references. There are words for religious use and thing you need to get by day to day but that is it. How is one to describe a computer to the tribe in their language? Impossible without the introduction of new words.

Language and society/culture is so intricately tied it is almost impossible to disentangle them, so if you think in a certain language that favors certain philosophical thought. You are more likely to be drawn towards that line of thought due to the limited exposure of other ideas when language becomes a barrier.

On another note, having good command of a language also helps structure your thoughts. Clear concise language is an indication of a clear concise mind. People who do not take language seriously will have a hard time expressing themselves without other form of language aka art if they are so inclined.

A person unable to form proper sentences are more likely to be idiots. Grammatical mistakes are forgivable as a general rule but how you speak, write or otherwise express yourself with a language shows how you think and your general attitude towards learning.

So bottom line, language plays an important part both in society and personality so go out there and learn more. You never know what you may think of next. Incidentally hear is a little article about language. http://englishsutff.blogspot.com/2010/05/language.html

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: Identity Crisis: A Gamer’s Epic Journey « The Elysian Plains

  2. Christina

    “So, what language do you think in? What goes on in your head as you read this sentence? Do you think in Mandarin, English, Latin, Japanese?”

    If I were to think in Japanese, for instance, I’d probably not understand much. They structure sentences differently.

    “Different language has different social, cultural and structural implications.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

    “What would make perfect sense in Mandarin will not make sense once translated directly to English or any other language for that matter.”

    Only if you let a random man do the translating, or a rookie. Or a child.

    “A language has finite vocabulary”

    Really? Mind reading this page, for starters? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_formation
    New words appear quite often. Vocabulary is anything but finite and never changing. Some words are no longer used, others are just beginning to be.

    “Language is the physical representation of thought.”

    And drawings are not? Anyways, some literature:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sign_%28linguistics%29

    “For example, there is a rural village cut of from the rest of the world. Their language mainly revolves around agricultural terms and references. There are words for religious use and thing you need to get by day to day but that is it. How is one to describe a computer to the tribe in their language? Impossible without the introduction of new words.”

    For one, this contradicts your “finite vocabulary” idea from earlier on. Second…read this and we can talk about these on msn.

    http://www.interproinc.com/articles.asp?id=0303

    February 13, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    • I hate you, you make me sound stupid =p.

      I jest, Thanks for the links will check them out.

      February 13, 2012 at 11:19 PM

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