InLinguistic Discussions

5 Reasons why Languages are Fascinating

Signs in different languages reflecting "5 Reasons why Languages are Fascinating".

So, here we go. My first blog entry. How exciting! Are you ready? 5 reasons why languages are fascinating!

#1 Reason: Why Languages are Excellent Storytellers

Languages always show what their speakers have mainly been concerned with. How? Well, did you notice that in England you have a million ways to say that it is raining? Moreover, In Serbian or Chilean, you have an unseen variety of offensive words. This fact might imply, e.g., that rather vulgar parts of the society have dominated everyday language.

In German, the use of the formal “you” (=Sie) is widespread, hinting that hierarchy has and still does play a significant role. People in the neighboring country, The Netherlands, use the informal “you” (=je/jij) instead. Dutch people are known for preferring a less formal approach, as you might expect.

Another interesting phenomenon can be observed when loanwords become so common that own original words fall out of use. They often even die out. Those loanwords often show that a language group has interacted a lot with another one. Just think about all of the Ottoman words in Balkan languages. We use words like “čaša” (=glass) or “bakšiš” (=tip) without second-guessing them. Does anybody know what the original words had been?

#2 Reason: Why Languages are a Source of Power

What, when, and how you say something can have a tremendous impact. Negative examples of skilled speakers like Adolf Hitler or Napoleon Bonaparte have shown what effects words can have. On the other hand, let’s not forget the positive examples of speakers such as Martin Luther King.

The mere building of words from letters and the combining of those into meaningful sentences can put a person into a position of power. From this place, manipulation of others and the achievement of personal goals become a lot easier. Scary, isn’t it?

#3 Reason: Why Languages are Slowly Growing, Ancient Babies

Latin is the mother of significant parts of the European and American continents. Nonetheless, a Spaniard can hardly understand Italian, although both languages come from Vulgar Latin. Vulgar Latin was also different from the Latin that was spoken in Ancient Rome by people like Cicero or Caesar.

Why are both versions of the same language so different from each other? What is the reason for the numerous children from the Latin mother? How come that French seems like the stepsister who has lost her connection to her siblings and her ancient mother?

Languages evolve, borrow new words, and get rid of complex grammar rules. In German, we say “Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod.” This is a half-humorous way of saying (literally) “The dative is the death of the genitive.” So, communication is becoming less complicated. Even German from only 500 years ago is hardly understandable for modern Germans.

#4 Reason: Why Languages are a Fascinating Cultural Heritage

Languages are formed over many years, making the loss of a tongue a tragedy. You can compare such event with the extinction of an animal species. Modern languages can survive in written form. But, once the number of native speakers diminishes drastically, language death can become a sad reality. Just consider Cochin Indo-Portuguese Creole. It has ceased to exist in 2010.

South America, for example, has several indigenous languages that are on the brink of extinction. The local people widely spoke Mapudungun in Argentina and Chile. Then, the Spanish colonialists arrived. Nowadays, you have only ca. 260,000 speakers left. You do, however, still find a bunch of Mapudungun words in the Chilean-Spanish dialect. Fascinating, when you think how an almost dead tongue will continue leaving its traces in another language. Here, you will find an interesting article in Spanish about Mapudungun words in Chilean. Ok, Let’s continue with the five reasons why languages are fascinating!

#5 Reason: Why Languages are Beauties of Perfection

I love to compare learning a language to passing a video game. You need to invest time. As time goes by, you get better and better until you pass the game. With language, this means that you speak, understand, write, and read to a T. Of course, you need to develop a motivation or (even better) a passion to be successful!

You learn bit by bit how to express yourself more accurately in both written and spoken form. The feeling of satisfaction from being able to hold a conversation with a native speaker is something that, ironically, cannot be described by words.

Add the ability to write and understand it to the mix, and you receive the key to truly dive into the culture of a language. You might even become part of it. In the process, you enhance your personality and become a richer version of yourself! Thinking of it, there are surely even more than just five reasons why languages are fascinating.

Why languages are fascinating – The Start of a Captivating Blog

In this blog, you will discover a bunch of proven tips on how to crack the language-learning game! Just give me a bit of time. Anyway, I hope you like my first blog entry!

There will be a loooooot more articles coming!

Are you asking yourself: “Who is this guy whose words I am reading right now?” You will find some information about me here.

Image of 1. quick language tip is shown.
#1 QuickTip: Study every day for at least 20 minutes.

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1 Comment

  • 2naturalist


    February 17, 2022 at 16:30
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