The miracle of languages


#1

Does anyone else find it strange and amazing that there are so many different languages? It doesn’t really make sense, because here we are, speaking fluent English, and if we had grown up in, for example, Russia, we would speak fluent Russian instead! :hypno: Yet the fact is…we do not…but some people do, and they learned when they were infants, because babies just-learn to talk- by listening to people around them… And some of them learn Russian, some learn English, & all the other languages…But we all exist…and again, here we speak fluent english and don’t have to think about it, and we don’t understand Russian at all, but also without thinking about it…It’s crazy. Sometimes I think about it for hours on end, & it makes me feel…strange…But God allows all these languages, and he understands them all, & he makes it so that everyone learns their own language…and…it’s crazy…Yes, I know about the tower of Babel, but still…Does anyone understand??


#2

The variety of languages and cultures certainly can be dizzying, but God created each individual as a completely unique person with their own unique soul, so a few hundred languages seems like nothing compared to that! :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

By the way, welcome to CAF. :slight_smile:


#3

What I find even more fascinating is tracing the etymology of words back to, in some cases, a single root word so far back in the fog of human history it’s all but lost. Layers upon layers of history.

Take, for example, the lexicon of most swear words in the English language. If you trace them back far enough, a majority of them stem from the Norman conquest of England. French became the language of those in power, and Saxon was reserved for the common folk. So, while the French word “perspire” became the more “genteel” word, “sweat”, with Saxon roots, was the more coarse term. Same with “pss" vs. “urinate”, "sht” vs. “defecate”, and the ultimate in course words vs. “fornicate”.

I find it endlessly interesting how a conquerer can alter so much about the defeated group’s culture- including the nuances of its very language.

(p.s., for those of you who are documentation junkies, I refer you to Dianne Ackerman’s “A Natural History of the Senses” for a full account of the above discussion)


#4

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