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The inherent ethnicty of language

onesteptwostep

logos, life, love, longsuffering
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I've been thinking... the English language is considered to be a universal language, but there seems to be some sort of a bias towards white people that the language itself exhibits. What I mean by is this: let's say there is a Japanese man holding up a sign that reads, in English: "I am a man." Now, let's say there's a white person standing next to him, and he holds the same act sign; "I am a man".

Which individual is more in his natural state of things? Or conversely, which individual exhibits the most uncanny?

Now you might say both individuals are factually correct, in that, yes, they are both men, yes, that they are both human.

But now let's reverse scenario and let the sign read ”私わ人だ〝 or romanised, 'watashiwa hitoda', meaning roughly, "I am a man" or "I am a person". The white person would hold the sign as well, as with the Japanese person.

Would the white person now exhibit a level of uncanny?

Or let's say neither of these people are using their native language to express their humanity, but actually using Arabic; "أنا إنسان" or romanised, "'ana 'iinsan"

Would this situation be uncanny if they were to be expressing boldly their humanity, via sign?

So my question is, what is a universal language? If it doesn't exist, would it be possible to create one? And fundamentally, what is universal?

/armchair
 

Pizzabeak

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I don't get what you're trying to say. Also, that's the wrong wa in the Japanese example, it should be は. The sentence is more I am a person than man. English is the universal language because it's easy to learn supposedly, and for business reasons, but if America topples something like Chinese could easily take its place, in the business world at least. That's probably part myth anyway.

Nonetheless there are different words you can use to more precisely illustrate a point. Other languages may more easily demonstrate that than English, which is kind of a weird language if you think about it. But I do know that many foreign people tend to prefer English than their own native tongue because it can be more descriptive.
 

Nebulous

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The idea I've always had of a universal language isn't one of words.
Or if words are used, it's not so much the word itself as the way it is spoken and actions/ body language that go along with it.
For example if someone shouts "No!", shoves you away, and looks clearly angry /upset, people will get the message, even if they didn't know what 'no' meant in that language.

There are happy sounds, faces that show genuine happiness/joy.
You can tell when someone is hurting even if they don't use any words. Or if they're speaking in a language you don't understand, you can still tell when someone feels broken.

When we get into communicating less basic things or things that are less emotional, then it gets more difficult, I guess.
I mean you can go ahead and draw pictures or show photos of things, but eh that only works to a certain point.
 

Pyropyro

Magos Biologis
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Well there is an attempt on making an international and universal language: Esperanto. The language's success is modest at best IMO. I think it's really hard to make a uniform international language due to the nuances on how people on different regions think. Heck, I think differently when I write/speak in English when compared to when I write/speak in Tagalog.
 

Hadoblado

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I don't get what you're trying to say. Also, that's the wrong wa in the Japanese example, it should be は. The sentence is more I am a person than man. English is the universal language because it's easy to learn supposedly, and for business reasons, but if America topples something like Chinese could easily take its place, in the business world at least. That's probably part myth anyway.

English is rated as one of the more difficult languages to learn.

I thought it was the universal language because it was spread the farthest, and it's the language of the internet?

@onestep
English is rubbish. There are all sorts of reasons other languages are better. But it's near impossible for a population to be told that they're now using a better language. You'd need a benevolent dictatorship. English is just too entrenched.
 

Nebulous

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Animekitty

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I misspelled the word intelligence once but the way I spelled it sounds cool.

new spelling / pronouncement:

in - tel - lin - ce

English has little inflection of words like other languages.

Culturally and Ethnically inflection is what most languages are.

Austrians inflects their English and so do the Brits, Americans don't.
 

Lazy Vulpes

Useless clutter beneath my name.
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Universal... One meaning, to understand it the same way. For one subjective to make the same pattern recognition from the same source of information as another subjective.

There is no universal language, and there can never be. Even when talking the same language, we can always mis-understand each other. That is because of different experience to language.

English is the most universal language because many people of different cultures are able to learn and related to each other through that language relatively easily. This doesn't mean that it's superior as a language though. It only means that it's easier to learn as a common universal nominator.
 
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