Home Forums Discussion Board Discussion 1.1 – The word “Language”

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    • #1770

      Like the example of Spanish, Romanian is another language in which there are a few words for “language” with different conceptualizations: ‘limba’, ‘limbaj’ and ‘vorbire’/’grai’. These are, in fact, equivalents of the Spanish words. This is probably because both languages are of Latin origin, as I’ve found that with German, for instance, this is not the case (the only word being Sprache). Can anyone confirm? I think the different conceptualizations tend to be more plurilithic, as they recognize the uses of language by different groups.

      I like the verbification of the noun “language” (just like many many other nouns) because it conveys that language is always in motion, transforming, being dynamic, and not passive, as some might erroneously think. We can see this use in the word “translanguaging’, for instance.

      To view past replies go to: https://changingenglishes.proboards.com/thread/5/discussion-pt-1-word-language

      • This topic was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by adminadmin.
    • #3262

      It is good to learn that the words for “language” can be expressed in different ways in Spanish. The word “language” in my mother tongue, Chinese, is commonly expressed with one term “yuˇyenˊ” .

    • #3316
      Joshua TanJoshua Tan

      I have limited understanding in linguistics so do call me out if I have erred. What I do understand, however, is that the word “language” in Malay language is “bahasa”. It refers to the totality of the language which we have spoken. If we were to refer to a body of system, we simply add the word “sistem” before “bahasa” to mean the system of a language. If we were to talk about the writing system, we would have used the term “sistem tulisan” (writing system). In other words, there is a clear demarcation between the spoken language and the written language in Malay language.

    • #3345

      It is interesting, there are other words using in different contexts in the process of learning a language.

    • #3348

      Yes, different words which refer to language carry different conceptualizations of language. However, when it comes to the Sinhala language there are no such different words to refer to language. Although there are regional differences in the way Sinhala is spoken, they are all included within the umbrella term of Sinhala.

      Using the word language in verb form could also mean that language is not a static system which is there for people to acquire or learn. On the other hand a language comes into being through active interaction among the speakers. Language being an act in itself it is more of a verb than it is a noun.

    • #3385

      That’s interesting. In my native language. The word ” language ” has to means. 1-Idioma
      (Like idiom) and 2-Língua (like tongue)

    • #3392

      Interestingly, in (Brazilian) Portuguese we will also find a number of different words related to language — língua, idioma, linguagem, fala, linguajar… The last one can function as a verb (chatter, blab, talk away) or as a noun (the specific way someone or a group speaks), which signals the very same idea of verbalizing the word language.

      Just like paintbrushes or pairs of scissors, I believe that languages are tools which might tell mere users from distinct artists. It seems to me it is a matter of being able to communicate (well enough) with the world by using the system(s) you have access to.

      Languages do not belong to their speakers; they are not restricted to geographic boundaries, either. Instead, they are independent living entities which, however, can only survive when constant changes and contributions are made to them.

    • #3497

      As I am a Burmese, there are two different ways to express the word”Language”. They are “Bartharsakar” and “sakar”. Like English, those words are used as nouns in our language.

    • #3517

      Yes, I agree with thoughts of that Learning English Languages is like a Galaxy.
      Language is way of transferring one’s idea into another . It is up to you how much and How to transfer it to in society. The sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, or Multilinguistic perspective is equally important along with its requirement of time ,place and need of communication. As per it English is been accepted. Globalization has remarkable impact on it. It not only moved the English Speaker to teach from Native to another country but also Enriched English language. It was the tradition from years and years that is still going on . So I feel that if Language is open it grows fast . Addition of the world views makes it richer and richer so as English.

    • #3539

      In Farsi language the case is a kind of weird since we have only one word for language. Thus if you mean “language” or “tongue” only you must focus on the context to realize which meaning the speaker or writer intends! So it is difficult for non-native of Farsi to understand which one the speaker means, for example when he points out to a kind of dish made with ship’s tongue! In Arabic they have 2 words, 1 means “tongue” the other means “language”. So in my opinion in Farsi it’s more of a monolithic concept rather than plurilithic one.
      Using the world “language” as a verb implies the plurilithic concept since it shows words are dynamic, hybrid and are coined on daily basis. So there is not clear definition or grammar label as ‘noun” for it. Generally speaking it is OK in my pinon if people use it as a verb but since we have taught by more or less monolithic concept underling our teaching and learning system, it sounds weird when you hear it for the first time as a verb.

    • #3622

      Greek has different words for ‘love’ which expresses the love experienced in different contexts. For example, eros: sexual passion; philia: deep friendship; ludus: playful love; agape: love for everyone; pragma: longstanding love and philautia: love of the self. I think these words correspond to more monolithic senses because they are clear cut and used in certain contexts. They are not as fluid as the word ‘love’ in English. But on the other hand, there are other words in English that could describe different situations/nuances, for example, ‘I’m infatuated with him’ compared to ‘I love him’.

      I haven’t heard the word language used as a verb and I think it would annoy me to hear it especially if there is a perfectly suitable alternative. If it were used more and became a common term, I would probably start using it myself. A contemporary example is ‘friend’ as in ‘I friended her yesterday’.

    • #3627

      Hi Friends,
      Language evolves day by day depending on the context we use. ‘Bhasha’, is the word that we use for language in totality, the spoken language differs from written language as ‘vyakaranam’ (grammar) is important for written language but we have many dialects and slangs in spoken language. Sanskrit is the source for all our languages and hence one can find common words in some of the languages. ‘chikistha’ is one such word which means treatment which is used in majority of languages in India.

    • #3670

      Thank you for sharing this interesting information about various words referring to “language”. In my native language – Polish – we basically have one word which is an equivalent to English “language” in common use. However, more technically we can also use the word “mowa” (close to the English “speech” like in “reported speech”), which refers to the system consisting of words and grammar rules used for communication. This second word is usually used when we study our own language at school.

    • #3729

      It is great, there are other words using in different contexts in the process of learning a language.

    • #3854

      In Italian, we distinguish between lingua (which in English is language ) referring to the Italian language or the idiom we write and speak, and then there is linguaggio which refers to the ability of men to communicate

    • #3906

      Sinhala and Tamil languages which are the first languages of many Sri Lankans are mutually intelligible though they have a rich diversity based on geographical location of the speaker different registers and many more factors.
      It’s so interesting to know that ‘language’ is not only a noun, but can be used as a verb too.

    • #4017

      There can be language differences according to the geographical distribution within the country or the world wide.
      It is also interesting to know that the “language” can be considered as a verb rather than a noun.

    • #4042

      I am always fascinated to know and even witness that a word may transcend from the way it is usually perceived by different language users. We cannot say that their usage of the language is incorrect. Rather, we must learn why they use it in such way.

    • #4066

      The shift of word function like the “verbification” of the noun “language” shows how languages evolve.It shows the dynamism of language. From the time “verbification” was used in Early Modern English until today, the change of grammatical functions of words make languages grow and expand its vocabulary. These days, technology usually does this as words/nouns like “Facebook”, “Instagram”, “Google” are used as verbs or nouns depending on their function in the sentences or in discourse. Some languages may not have this linguistic practice, but in English, this is normal.

    • #4184
      Julio TorresJulio Torres

      In Spanish we do have different words to refer to language. Spanish seems to be as flexible when it comes to nominalising a verb or verbalising a noun as we can see in the English language in its different varieties. We would not always use language as a verb.For example, we can change habla (noun) to hablar (verb) but we would never say “lenguajear or idiomar. I think we need to get familiar with the usage of each language to avoid awkward use of words or expressions.

    • #4207
      Dauda PikawiDauda Pikawi

      It is great reading through the comments, languages come with their world views as to concepts. In my Gure language in Nigeria, language is called ‘pilem’ another word for tongue. It is the word for both the organ and language, usage and reference is best dictated by the context.

    • #4261

      Variation in the representation of the word “language” in some world languages is a prove that language is universal. It also proves the uniqueness that lies in each languages.

      “Verbification” of the word language further proves the dynamism of English language. As the world changes, languages change with it. New concept are brought up just as new grammatical functions are been assigned to old concept.

    • #4586

      “Language” is not a single aspect but it has a relation towards plurilithic concept where language considers with psycholinguists and sociolinguists aspects. For an example, In Sri Lanka, Sinhala or Tamil is the mother tongue language, English language is considered as an official language which is needed in every professional matter. Consequently, a new variety of English language has been existed in Sri Lanka, which is called as “Standard Sri Lankan English” It is needed to mention, “Standard Sri Lankan English” is made out of the borrowing words from Sinhala and Tamil. On the contrary, It serves as a interlanguage in the Sri Lankan context where students are hoping to improve themselves as Standard British English users.

    • #4597

      In my native country, Myanmar, there are two words to describe the word, “Language”. They are “Sagar” and “Bartharsagar” which are used as nouns.

    • #4604

      To ‘language’ seems accurate from a theoretical standpoint. For the layperson, however, it probably sounds like nonsense. From my experience using English as a plural (Englishes) is considered a grammatical error. This most likely relates to the idea that English is monolithic.

    • #4621

      In Myanmar, the word “language” is called “Bartharsagar” and “sagar”.

    • #4623

      I have learned different words for language in different places. In our country,Myanmar, we describe language as “Bartharsakar” or “Sakar”.

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