Guest Author - Linda Heywood
There are nearly seven thousand languages spoken in the world. Some are spoken by many people and others are spoken by a few. Animals communicate but not with language as they do not have the same vocal mechanism that human beings have such as facial muscles, larynx or vocal cords and the language portion of the brain. The brain processes thoughts and then translates them into words for others to hear. The eyes read words and the brain translates them into language.
Chapter 23, verse 78
He is the One who granted you the hearing, the eyesight and the brains. Rarely are you appreciative.
Language gives us the opportunity to communicate with others about the past, the present and the future. Through language we pass on our thoughts and ideas, our memories and desires, our experiences and feelings.
We learn to speak as young children by listening to those around us. We learn how to put together complex sentences. We learn phonetics and how to use grammar, metaphors and verbs, adjectives and nouns. We are capable of learning more than one language. Human beings have been able to speak since the time of Adam who was also taught the names of everything that would exist on the planet (2:30-39).
Chapter 2, verse 37
Then, Adam received from his Lord words, whereby He redeemed him. He is the Redeemer, Most Merciful.
Some people are unable to speak with vocal sounds because they are deaf and never learned how to use their mouths to vocalise their desires. Sign language, using the hands to communicate, has developed over the generations until there are more than 200 variations of sign language. Sign language has all the syntax and principles of verbal language, including the alphabet. Oddly a person who signs one language does not necessarily understand someone signing in another language. Like any language if it is not the mother tongue it has to be learned.
Language is what makes us human and not animal. Without language we could probably survive together but we would not be the same species. Language is constantly evolving with colloquialism and slang words being added daily to the universal language. Language is beautiful, every single language has its own way of expressing what the people who speak it say. Maybe the world would be a more peaceful place if we all understood each other?
Every language has its own accents and dialects depending on where it is spoken. Language gives us theatre, music, poetry and literature. Language is masculine or feminine. Language does not necessarily depend on words as the tongue is used to make clicks and sounds that cannot be put into words. Every single one of us has our own unique voice and particular way of using language to shape the way we speak.
Languages.co.uk claims there are 6809 languages spoken in the world today. Here are a few of the least well known languages:
Acholi, Amharic, Bajuni, Berber, Chamorro, Chuukese, Dinka, Dari, Ewe, Fukienese, Falani, Gaddang, Hmong, Ilocano, Karen, Kirghiz, Lingala, Maay, Nuer, Oromo, Occitan, Pahari, Shona, Sylhetti, Tagalog, Twi, Wolof, Yorba, Yupik.
Fifteen hundred years ago the Persians used whistling as a language. It was used as a code to warn each other of intruders. In a town named Antia in Greece this extraordinary language is still used, as a way of communicating with each other, by the forty residents left living on the hill side. The last generation to use it before it dies out.
Chapter 30, verse 22
Among His proof are the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours. In these, there are signs for the knowledgeable.