Importance of Language in Understanding the World Around Us

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Vanderbilt University
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Communication is essential. Everything revolves around communication. Every profession under the sky relies heavily on communication. It facilitates understanding between one another and enhances connection. It is through communication that one can make their thought known and wishes understood. Communication takes different forms, and the sole purpose of communication is to relay a message from one person to another. Without communication, the world would be a chaotic place and a lot of guesswork would be incorporated in establishing the thoughts of others. Similarly, it would be impossible to express one's feelings. Communication can be divided into two broad categories, verbal and non-verbal. The most common used form of communication is verbal. However, we cannot afford to ignore non-verbal communication. It is usually a more serious and deeper form of communication as compared to oral. People may lie about how they feel, but they always show; it is for that reason one should always be careful about the messages they send using body language. This paper is going to focus on verbal communication and expound on the various ways in which language works CITATION MAK07 \l 1033 (Halliday and Webster).

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Language is of ultimate importance in the society. It is the primary medium through which people connect and socialize. Therefore, it is very crucial to be aware of the ways in which language works. Language can be used to enhance the sense of belonging. People speaking the same language usually have a higher chance of understanding each other and even building meaningful relationships from that. Language can be used as an indicator of the various parts of the world you are from. In overseas countries, one can use language to find their fellow citizens from home country. In worldwide events such as World Cup and Olympics, people use their national language to symbolize the unity and togetherness. Using your mother tongue in some cultures shows that you are proud of your ethnicity and portrays a sense of belonging CITATION Jan12 \l 1033 (Jackson).

Language works to allow the connection of various people. In his book The Banking Concept of Education, Paulo Freire says that,

Reading the written word involves understanding a text in its very particular social and historical context.

In this statement, Freire is emphasizing the importance of language in understanding the world around us. Most people are not conversant with body language and therefore have to use verbal communication to express themselves. Language is used to set the mood and tone of a conversation. You can tell the direction a conversation will take by the terms employed by the people conversing. The tone in which a language is spoken is critical in determining the current mood. For instance, using language in a high pitch is suggestive of arguments and misunderstanding. Similarly, a person talking in a smooth low tone is relaxed and composed. The nature of the language used can also tell us more about the character of the speaker. It is easy to tell a polite person by the way he/she expresses themselves. They are likely to use the five magic words namely: sorry, excuse me, thank you, pardon me and welcome. The manner in which language is used will determine how people take you. If you want to be taken seriously, you ought to use simple but formal language.

Finally, language works to pass information over communication devices. Before the discovery of video calls, language was the only way you could pass information to a person who is not in your vicinity. In such a case, language is the only medium which can be used and the information received by the other party is entirely dependent on your choice of words.

Works Cited

BIBLIOGRAPHY Halliday, M A K and Jonathan Webster. Language and society. London: Continuum, 2007.

Jackson, Jane. The Routledge handbook of language and intercultural communication. New York : Routledge, 2012.

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