Importance of Language Essay

The Importance of Language The language is very important in any culture. A language does far more than just enable people to communicate with each other. The language of one country is different from the other country and it tells the features of the country which distinguish it from one company to another. Languages shape the way people perceive the world and it also provides help to define culture of any society. There are countries in which more than one language is spoken; you will find more than one culture in that society. For example Canada has the English-speaking and French-speaking culture.

Due to the dominance of English-speaking culture there are some conflict between English-speaking cultures and French-speaking culture. In Belgium there are two types of speakers one is Flemish-speakers and second is French-speakers. Similarly in Spain there are two cultures one is Basque-speaking and the second is Spanish-speaking. The most widely spoken language in the world is English and it is followed by French, Spanish, Chinese and Indian. English is becoming the international language of the business. When businessman from different culture gets together for some business deal they use to communicate in English.

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Sometimes it happens that one word when translated in two languages have different meanings. So the language is very important for the international business. Language is obviously a vital tool. Not only is it a means of communicating thoughts and ideas, but it forges friendships, cultural ties, and economic relationships. Throughout history, many have reflected on the importance of language. For instance, the scholar Benjamin Whorf has noted that language shapes thoughts and emotions, determining one’s perception of reality. John Stuart Mill said that “Language is the light of the mind. Lionel Groulx, a Quebec historian, put it this way: “Chacun retient toutefois que la supreme revelation du genie national, la clef magique qui donne acces aux plus hautes richesses de la culture, c’est la langue. ” For the linguist Edward Sapir, language is not only a vehicle for the expression of thoughts, perceptions, sentiments, and values characteristic of a community; it also represents a fundamental expression of social identity. Sapir said: “the mere fact of a common speech serves as a peculiar potent symbol of the social solidarity of those who speak the language. In short, language retention helps maintain feelings of cultural kinship. Here in Canada, we are blessed with two official languages flourishing in a multicultural and “forgiving society” as our new Governor General put it this week. Not only do we all have the opportunity to learn about other cultures; we instill the values of tolerance and respect in our children. The Austrian ambassador to Canada, Walther Lichem, speaks about the unique “plural identity capacity” of Canadians compared to most peoples who cannot be other than the culture they were born in.

Since the adoption of official bilingualism, we have been better able to provide to the younger generations the tools and knowledge for them to excel not only here at home, but beyond our national borders. This has allowed them to reach for the dreams and succeed in areas they may not have otherwise. For example, three of my four children have studied, or are studying, Spanish, which comes more easily after learning French. (I wish it worked so well for me. ) Language, of course, is knowledge, and in our world today knowledge is one of the key factors in competitiveness.

Brains and knowledge are what create the prosperity and growth we tend to take for granted. In an advanced industrial society in an increasingly interdependent world, the knowledge of other languages becomes indispensable. Just think of how the advent of the Internet has changed our lives. For the last few years, millions of people across the world, who share common interests, are able to communicate with each other and exchange ideas. Not only are they able to do this due to the various technological advances, but also because they share a common language.

There is, of course, no denying that the knowledge of the English language is one of the most important tools available to our children. It is one of the international languages, a tool of communication between countries, cultural groups, various companies and organizations, communities and friends. English is but one of our official languages; the other being French. As you are undoubtedly aware, we are in the midst of celebrating the Year of la Francophonie. This year-long event is an opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate the French culture in our country.

Whether it be the Acadians, Quebecois or the Franco-Albertan community, various Franco-cultural groups across our country enrich our lives through their cultures and traditions. Although much is said about the importance of the English language, one cannot overlook the important economic and diplomatic relationships that our country has forged with other French-speaking countries. The recent Sommet de la Francophonie in Moncton, New Brunswick, reflects the importance of this language. On a personal note, I have been learning Spanish to aid in the various meetings I attend as part of my duties as Secretary of State for Latin America.

I have been studying the language for just over two years and by now must have had a lot of lessons. My teacher has been promising for about two years that after just one more lesson I will be fluent. Seriously, there are rapidly growing trade links in the Americas, and learning Spanish or Portuguese is an important tool for business people and officials seeking to build on those ties. As we move toward hemispheric economic integration, the knowledge of other languages of the hemisphere is becoming a highly marketable skill.

We Canadians, have given our children tools to succeed in a growing world economy. With French, Spanish and English, three international languages, being taught in schools across the country, we are giving the next generation skills needed to compete in the international market. But should we stop at those languages? The knowledge of languages is an advantage that many first-generation Canadians hold. One can argue that it permits them to have a broader outlook on their surroundings, as they are able to look at issues with a broader perspective.


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