Language is a very important part of everyday life. It is used to communicate in every aspect. Emails, conversations, signs and symbols, are just a few examples of our way of communicating with others, and without language this would not be possible. By definition language is, “a body of words, symbols, signs, sounds, gestures, and the systems for their use common to people who are of the same community, nation or same cultural tradition” (dictionary.com). Language is not just the way a person talks, there is a lot more to it than that. A person who is deaf does not use the oral aspect of language; they use signs and gestures that were developed for such purpose, called sign language. Other known gestures that are not always verbally expressed and are part of a more vulgar and offensive language that most people nationwide recognize such as the use of the middle finger. Written language, another form of non verbal communication, has been used for centuries. Some of the earliest uses of the written language were hieroglyphics, scrolls, engravings in stone, and many others. Throughout history the written language has enhanced and became our second most used way of communication. Another form of language that many do not think of is using our sense of hearing. People have been trained in their minds to know what people in different situations are communicating, whether it a cry of pain, sobs from someone in tears, or the ‘honk!’ from the road ragers. Each sense plays its own role in language which will be explained further at a later time. Symbols are a part of our everyday life and also another part of language. Language is a very broad and not fully understood word that is necessary in everyday life. How? In this reading language will be broken down so that one may understand what language is, how is used in this nation, and furthermore how it is used universally.
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“Language is more than just a means of communication” (O’Neil). Language is used all over the world every day. “Language derives its meaning from culture, every culture is embodied in the language it speaks. Every language is rooted in the culture that speaks it” (Universal Language). Language is used in every culture, and enrooted in the regions where someone lives, but that does not change how language is used. Language can be taken back to the beginning of time. Symbols in caves, which have been found, photographed and interpreted; scrolls found from the earliest teachings, to the stone engravings, the use of language began way before those who are living now. Without language, learning would not be possible. As we get older we use every source of language there is. When we learn to talk, read, write, drive, basically everything we learn to do is learning another form of language. “As a student you explore the cultures, communities, people and languages of the world” (Ziegler). In school children are introduced to multilanguages. “Every culture, nation, and community has its own language. They may write differently, speak differently, and have different means of learning; however the use of language still remains unchanged” (Ziegler). Language is used in the workplace, to communicate sales, used in every aspect of customer services, by contractors and construction workers, janitors, politics; basically every corner of a person’s job has language involved. Language is also used in life’s rituals. In the car ride to work, one must use language skills to read signs, to drive a car, those using a GPS, and to communicate with other passengers. And also used when having a phone conversation, when reading a book or recipes, when talking to family and friends, and when using our senses to know what is going on around us. Our senses play a very important role in knowing language. Our sense of sight allows us to read the written language. Our sense of hearing allows us to hear the words one is trying to communicate and to hear the sounds around us that are also communicating what is going on in our surroundings. Our sense of touch allows us to communicate when something is hot or cold, sharp or dull; our sense of touch communicates with our brain even during the most intimate touches. Our sense of taste is another form of language our body communicates with our brain. Lastly is our sense of smell. Smell is very important, one example is when there is a fire; the smell communicates with our brain, which causes a chain reaction, once our brain gets the signal from the smell, we then call emergency services, and so on. Every aspect of our lives is a form of language. And furthermore it is a very important part of the function of this nation.
In the United States, language plays a big role in government. We are given the rights to free speech, which is our right to communicate verbally. We are given freedom of press, which gives us the freedom to the written language. We have relied on these freedoms based on the written words that have given us these rights which are exercising the written language. Along with the written language, during the birth of the USA, government set language guidelines for the immigrants who wished to live in this country in hopes to develop a national language. When one wished to move to this country they were first registered at Ellis Island, and then they were required to learn to speak English in order to become a citizen. The national language was in full swing, until the amount of immigrants coming in became hard to track. There is no national language currently set. Although English is technically the main language, Spanish is our secondary and so on. The USA has become such a diverse nation; there are several languages that are becoming more and more used. Telemarketers, billing centers, government agencies, etc. all have the Spanish option when beginning your phone call. This is where multi-languages come in, and the attempt at universal language.
A universal language by definition is, “any kind of expression that is used and understood everywhere” (Dictionary.com). A universal language is essential in today’s world. “Modern communication and transport accelerate mass migrations from one continent to another” (Schlesinger). Due to the high amount of travelling that is done worldwide, a universal language is a must. Many companies have already developed a universal language using logos that will be recognized everywhere. “Universal language is a visual and picture language, which will fill the need” (Universal Language). That is exactly what companies like McDonald’s have done. When travelling to China, France, Israel, wherever one travels they will always recognize the ‘golden arches’. Pepsi, Coke, Nike, Lincoln, the Olympic Rings, all are symbols (pictures) that are recognized in every culture and nation. According Pei, the universal language is intended to bring people of different linguistic backgrounds together and form communication among them to reduce the amount of misunderstandings (Pei). This however is yet to be developed though many have tried it is yet to come about.
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