You should always watch what you say, because you could actually make an impact. It was a Saturday afternoon and I remember feeling exhausted, eyes weary, at any moment If I am presented with a bed I would with no regret lay myself down. Her lips moved with so much passion and conviction, she went on and on about her near death experience driving her car on a icy highway. But later after careful questioning it was determined that she had really bad tires & her front brake pads were done, i guess the road wasn't as Icy after all, just no common sense.Then she proceeded to talk about how she went home to cook her potato casserole.Then started reasoning with herself as to what should should wear at a private party the following weekend.She would go on for what seemed like hours in a matter of 35 minutes. Its amazing how a girl rambling can make one concern himself with the power of words and language.
The whole time i was intrigue by not only her words and form of expression but her language and the meaning she brought to it. What does language mean to you? Well, to me I understand language as something that either unifies or barricades people. It can benefit you or it can show you no favor.
Language the unique thing that is used by the human species as a whole. What is language? Well, language can be one of many various things, it could be the way you speak, the way you use your body, writing or even simply your facial expressions can convey some form of language that communicates with anybody. However to be more precise a language is "the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of words in a structured and conventional way." What is great about language is that we all have one in some way shape or form, we all use it. Living in america it is almost inevitable to not come across some type of culture that possesses their own special language. Stay with me i'm going somewhere with this, because a lot of times we cannot relate to certain people we do not understand there language, in the literal sense and figurative.
I can recall my first time being invited into an Asian home, specifically Chinese, immediately I felt like I was in a another world. My friend at the time whom was Chinese invited me into her home and there I was able to witness various portraits, sculptures, really submerged in her culture within a small 2 bedroom apartment. Her family was very respectful and hospitable. I recall her parents not knowing much english and when I greeted them I had to stand still and bow as a form of communication but come to find out what I had done was not necessary. It was explained to me that I could have just shaken their hands and that would have served as an acceptable greeting. But where did that come from? I realized that I never understood there language (figuratively and literally), I've never built or had enough personal connections with their culture so much so to the point where the basis of my greet came from what I've seen on Television, I was a victim to the stereotype. However my visit to this home became more interesting, there was an awkward moment where the mother started touching my skin and rubbing it and as innocently funny the whole moment was my friend explained that i might have been the first black man she ever touched. We sat at the table where they spoke mandarin the whole time and my friend did her best translating to keep me involved and engaged, by far one of my most memorable experiences.
I couldn't help but to think how could this situation be perceived by someone looking from a far, a black man interacting with a Chinese family. I even wondered how would people react to a Chinese elderly woman rubbing a black mans skin, an act that can easily be seen as offensive. But so many of us are out of touch with each other, not really informed or involved with one another. This short experience I just shared would be considered an ethno-linguistic experience. In ethno linguistics you study language and culture to see how similar they are, how different and the perception certain groups have of the world. Can language be separated from culture? There is no easy answer because they are both necessary and more vital to humankind then most think. Our history has shown us that when the slaves were being extracted from Africa during the 1600s to the Caribbean islands, many of these slaves did not come from the same tribes, hence created a language barrier. During the voyage many of these slaves could not speak to one another but there was a common denominator, MUSIC. They communicated with the beat of a drum, the music help them understand each other and through this music they were able to form words that could be interpreted. So can language be separated? It's very possible but it would be for a very short time.
Can Language limit how a person thinks? Only if the person chooses it to be so, but honestly it shouldn't. The ability that we have to speak and interpret different languages is not limiting how we think, it actually expands it. Now if you have read all of this up until this point what is the purpose of all this. In our present world there are so much turmoil and clashes of culture and one of the ways we can remedy these conflicts is by choosing to learn each others music, traveling to other environments outside of our norm. and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in each others culture and there is not doubt in my mind that many achieve or attempt to do this but it is reasonable to assume that the number of the willing is much lower in contrast to those that do not concern themselves with other races. I'm hoping your the reader that doesn't concern themselves and my message to you is do not be the problem be the Solution.