Language, I believe, is the driving force in interpersonal communication and life as most of us know it.
And, while just about every language is flawed in its incapacity to address falls short in addressing the breadth of human emotion, these languages are more than capable of guiding masses of people around the world as they go about their lives.
I have been fascinated with language since I was a young child. I grew up speaking Turkish and didn’t learn any English until I started daycare. I loved to read and kept lists of unfamiliar English words in notebooks to review later.
I started learning Spanish as soon as I could and, with it, the cultural and religious traditions of the Spanish-speaking world.
These three languages have opened new methods of thinking as I try to take expressions from one language and use them in others. Even the slightest difference in language, like assigning gender to objects, changes my worldview.
Now I can connect on a more fundamental level with families than if I had not known how to speak their native tongue. Speaking their language has shifted my understanding of the world around me.
The ever-expanding network of communication around the world demands more and more knowledge of the people around us, and yet more and more of us are insular and apathetic. I urge you all to learn a new language and culture.
The nuances of one language can be intriguing, but the addition of a new language will be all the more interesting, all the more encapsulating, and all the more rewarding.
I’m Melis Dik, and that’s my perspective.