Professor Mackenzie Crouse
May 2, 2018
Language is an important aspect in people's cultures and societies. There are over 6,000 different languages in the world today. Language is the key to understanding others. Without languages we would not have an efficient way of communicating with others. Lera Boroditsky discusses the problem of how language changes the way we see the world and the way we think.
There are many languages that can be discussed, although Boroditsky talks about the American, Kuuk Thaayorre, Spanish, and Japanese languages. The native language of the America is English. Although, in certain areas of the country there are other languages used due to the population living there. The United States is slowly becoming a bilingual country. An American Community survey found that in 2007 about 18 percent of the population spoke a language other than English at home (Hyon and Kominski, 2010). Languages that are mostly used other than English include Native American languages, American Sign Language, Spanish etc. Although some others that are used at a lesser extent include French, Chinese, German etc.
Spanish is spoken in many countries, some countries include Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Columbia etc. A lot of these countries are bilingual as well. Spanish is a widely spoken language all around the world. Although, there is a difference between Latin American Spanish and Spanish in Spain. Alex Hammond talks about the differences in the Spanish that is spoken. He compares it to English by saying, “It’s like an American speaking English with a Brit and an Australian… normally no problem at all” (Hammond A. 2012). He is basically saying how even though we are in different countries and talk slightly different, we still understand what others are saying.
Japanese is not as widespread as other languages. Japanese tends to by exclusively spoken in only Japan. Although, Japanese is spoken as a second language by a small population of people in countries such as American Samoa, America, Singapore etc. Just like English and Spanish, Japanese is spoken in different ways. Irene Thompson explained, “Although Japan is a relatively small county, it has a surprisingly large number of dialects differing from each other in pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary” (Thompson I. 2014). The two forms of language spoken are called Hyojungo (standard Japanese) and Kyotsugo (common language). Thompson explains how Hyojungo is taught to people in schools and is the language that is used in official communications.
The last language talked about by Lera Boroditsky is Kuuk Thaayorre. This is a language that is spoken by a small population and is not worldwide. The people that speak this language are in the community of Pormpuraaw. It is in an area in Australia on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula. Alice Gaby talks about how, “Kuuk Thaayorre is a Paman language spoken by more than 200 people” (Gaby A. 2012). Pormpuraawans talk in the sense...