How Do Languages Work?


Thousands of languages exist, some are used some aren't. Languages are constantly evolving and changing. Some languages are no longer actively used and are called 'dead' languages. There are several theories about how most languages have evolved from certain parent languages and this explains why certain words are so similar in such distinct languages.

A spoken language is an enormously powerful tool. Simply speaking the same language can bring people closer and bridge differences. My sister even with her rudimentary knowledge of German words like drucker , geburstag and verstehen managed to make several friends and had a generally fantastic time on her visit to Austria!

Similarities between words from certain languages are remarkable. For example, mother is 'madre' in Spanish and 'matru' in Sanskrit. There are several theories about how all known languages have evolved from parent languages and certain languages belong to certain families.

Similarly, there are many theories also about how and when language as a tool must have evolved in human history. Research shows that many animals have advanced forms of communication. Sophisticated use of spoken language however, is an attribute of humans alone.

It is ironic that something that language is something that both divides as well as binds people together. Languages may sound different but they all represent the same thing; human experience in its entirety.


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