How languages bring people together

How languages bring people together

It is easy to think of languages as “barriers” to communication with people from other countries. And that would be a natural statement to make. So it's natural you ask yourself how languages bring people together.

Being human is all about communicating and sharing ideas, emotions and the beauty of our minds. Our different languages can be a hindrance to understanding each other.

I propose a different viewpoint, though: acquiring foreign languages as a way to connect with people of other nationalities.

It is actually very easy to think that a person from another culture is so drastically different that all their thoughts, feelings and perceptions are different from our own. Imagine this for a second; when you see a foreigner simply speak to a friend, you perceive as almost an alien.

This is due to the different intonations and expressive tools different languages have. Take English and Russian for example – English can sound dramatic, with pauses and various types of emphasis. It is also a very “closed” language phonetically. Russian, on the other hand, has a very dynamic intonation, with numerous intonation structures, with emotional stress playing a big role. And it is an “open” language. Speaker of these languages can initially seem from different planets.

But that is totally not the case. When you study languages and actually manage to strike conversations with foreigners, you understand that most differences are actually stereotypes and misconceptions. Acquisition can actually be a window to the world and an amazing array of cultures just waiting to be discovered.

This is exactly what I meant by “different viewpoint”. Accept languages as a tool, not a border. And the more tools you have, the more connected you will be to the world.

No one can learn all the languages in the world. But it definitely doesn’t hurt to try. As I have said it before: it is worth it. 

Why don't you start by choosing the easiest language to learn for YOU? Then go out there and use it!

How to break the ice between people?

You can find mutual interests, such as learning a foreign language.

How does the English language sound?

English has dramatic intonations, with pauses and emphasis.

What is the difference between open and closed languages?

Languages can be phonetically open and closed, which means they have different intonation structures.

How to overcome the stereotypes about the foreigners?

Learning a foreign language is the best way to overcome stereotypes and misconceptions.

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