LISTEN-READ | Language & Reality: What are we really saying when we’re speaking?

What are we really saying when we’re speaking?

As mentioned in this You Tube video on language, while a Roman Emperor said once that knowing a second language gives you a second soul, Juliet in Shakespeare says that a rose by any other name would still be a rose and still smell as sweet.

Judgey, I always felt us folks who were enrolled in French Immersion in highschool were somehow ‘better’ than the English-only stream kids. Did you think that? Did that actually come from insecure French Canadian parents, though? Parents who maybe didn’t even actually speak good English?

Is it true that knowing more languages fleshes out your reality in a way that being unilingual cannot? My answer: yes. From the expression and structure to the underlying history of how the words came to be, how can one not be enriched by this capability?

And, in knowing the differences between any cultures you’re dealing with, a talent for deciphering their codification and contexts could very well be, in some cases, more helpful than therapy in comprehending major differences and resolving interpersonal issues.

Like, “that guy’s not an asshole for describing to his girlfriend that his sister has ‘a great rack’ three times! He’s just from Boucherville [a Montreal suburb] and treats his partner like his buddies is all.”

At what point will we be called racist or classist for attributing particular graces and sophistications, or deficiencies and blemishes, upon a particular language/culture and its expression?

Would the above situation with the guy complimenting his sister’s tits be different coming from the mouth of a Brit wit for whom we may endow a fast brand of sardonic style worthy of a Ricky Gervais?

Or, is the déclassé-ness of the guttural and inappropriate reflective of Quebec suburbs or village mentalities?

Might it simply be, as French is the language of the scientifique and exacte, accurate — just bastardized in translation from French delivery to English? Or might garbage uttered be garbage in any dialect?

In either case, what are really saying when we’re speaking?

You Tube video: How Language Shapes the Way We Think