Had a very interesting discussion today at the office.
The point of conjecture was "Is having a knowledge of a particular language or its words and their meanings actually detriment to the way we emotionally respond to the spoken words or sentences"
What it simply means that if I was cursed or insulated or praised in Russian, Polish or Telegu or any other language that I dont know, my reaction will be absolutly nonchalant.
But if the curse word or insult or praise by the same person, if meted out in a language I am cognizant with - then I will rile up and react to it - maybe start arguing or cursing back or feel happy at being praised.
Even though language is a means of communication and a myth to supplement it - as there are so many out there - even a sign language - it still has a lot of bearing as to how we behave if we are aware of its phonetic resonance.
This resonance can depress, exhilerate, frustrate or simply irritate. But if this language is a noise to you (means the one you really dont understand) then life goes on happily no matter what is said about or to you!!!!!


(¯`•._.•[Raaji]•._.•´¯) said...

umm... i don't know if i get the whole point, and I don't think that life would be very happy if you cant communicate with someone or are unable to understand them :-S

c e e d y said...

I am not against communicating. You are right, without life will be boring.
What I am simply trying to say is if someone tells you something in a language you dont understand, will you react to it?
So in a similar fashion can we sometimes ignore somethings said to us - in a language we understand - as if it was an alien language and then life will be happy.

Ashu said...

very well put :)

relations said...

u r absolutely right..
wat makes us react is the understanding of the meanings of the words, their signicance(either positive or negative)..
so language being a communication boon, is a bane at the same time..

melancholic optimist said...

I'm not entirely sure I agree with this, as only part of communication is in the actual meaning of the words that are said. Much is said with tone of voice, actions of the body, etc. I think if someone was extremely angry with me, for instance, I would know even if they were speaking a language I didn't understand. If you look at communication only through words (email or IM or whatever), you can see how often there may be misunderstandings because what the person intended to say isn't clear without their tone of voice or a facial expression or gesture. I think language itself is a rather limited tool for communication, there is a lot more that goes along with it to make communication effective.

c e e d y said...

@ meloncholic optimist
I do agree with you and you are right - there are many levels at which one communicates.
What I was trying to get at - my personal experience - is that if I dont understand the language the psycological impact and memory is not as strong as if it were, if I knew the language.