The Language of Being Human

Tue Feb 7, 2023

Today's blog was inspired by a TED talk - see the actual video at the bottom of this blog.

What does it mean to "speak" a language? Usually, we think about known languages like English or French, or Spanish, but there are many "languages" beyond these.

Think about how many ways we can communicate beyond language - like body language, music, even shared experiences. I don't need to even put it into words when I am sad or happy or listening to music in a language I don't know - I feel the emotions that go beyond words.

Have you ever spoken to a friend who is experiencing heartache or sickness? It's not easy sometimes to know what to say, but if you have gone through the same experience yourself, you can empathize with that person through a look or a hug or a "I know what you feel, I've been there too."

The same goes for someone who just got engaged or got a new job - the euphoria they feel is familiar to you too if you have had the same experience.

Words are just a way to communicate these feelings, and they are not always the only way. Laughter and smiles are universal and are even better than any words we can create.

Language can create bonds, but it can also exclude. If you speak in a language that some understand, but some don't, then they don't feel connected but left out. That's why learning a language to connect to the people around you is so important.

So is it worth it?? YES! :) In the beginning, smiles and embarrassed laughter are often seen and heard, but progress is made when we make mistakes and learn from them and keep trying.

It's all part of being human :) 

See video below - I still love listening to him speak :)

Laurel Archer
A North Carolina-based teacher and lover of language and reading. She loves to find fun ways to teach English and connect with people all over the world.

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