on respecting a language

“I have a language, therefore I am”

In my teenage days, I was of the opinion that language is just a means of communication, nothing else. At that time, the “SMS lingo” used to be all the rage. People communicated mostly over SMS text, and in order to be the “fastest typer” trade-offs were made. There was no limit to shortening of words. Even if the word sounded like its corresponding full counterpart, it was used for communication. The digital age drastically changed the means, and value of, at least the written form of communication.

As time progressed, I learned how in a country as diverse as India, where there are many official languages(and countless other unofficial languages) that are used by people who share the same culture, I witnessed a sense of pride for a language. Since language causes a feeling of oneness among people, or in other words, a feeling of a person being an outsider if he does not speaks the language of the landlanguage has not become more important that ever.

Somewhere in my heart, I believed that there is more about a language that it meets the eye, which is why I have always made it a point to both speak and write properly and respectfully any language that I know.

But I wanted to know more…

It was when I read the intro of a book by Osho named “शून्य की किताब” that my perspective of a language as a concept changed completely. He talks about how the means of communication have changed in the fast moving life of today, and how we must never forget that we are able to form a meaningful relation with others, like the parent, child, sibling, even our life-partner, only because we have a language. This in effect goes to prove that our very existence can be related to how our ancestors in the past had communicated with each other.

Thus meaningful conversation makes a lot of difference in the world, and that can only happen if we respect the language that we use in our day-to-day communication. This communication separates us from other animals, who although can communicate with each other orally, but not as logically as we do. Paying respect to a language not only safeguards its integrity but also has the capability to spawn completely different cultures!

Feel free to add your ideas or opinions to this post. Hope you enjoyed reading this post 🙂

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