Hi! I’m going to have a presentation about language. This task is so big, and I could probably talk about it for hours, however I have chosen a few things that I would like to go more in depth with and among them are, English as a global language, language and culture, difficulties and mistakes in the English language and the importance of learning English at school. Before I walk you trough all these, I want to take a look at the word language.
I looked it up in the dictionary and it described it like this: the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured way. What this is saying is that language is our way of talking to each other, to express what we feel, what we want and what we do not want. You can do that in several different ways. You can write a letter, or e-mail or you could simply talk to someone in person or over the phone. The last part there, is saying that the words have a particular order that they have to be in to make sense. You can’t just shuffle them around wherever you want them to be. We have another challenge as well. The thing is that many people around the world have different languages. How do we communicate with each other then?
Global language.A global language is a language that is known worldwide, and as of now this is English. That has to do with the great British Empire, who had the theory that if they had colonies all around the globe, they would “take over the world,” they didn’t succeed with that. However, the partly took over the language because of this. Almost 50% of the human population is able to talk or partly talk English. That is a lot. Now everything that is meant for the whole world too see is in English. TV-shows, movies and games are examples of things that are meant for more than just English speaking countries. Media is helping English become more and more used across the globe.
Language and culture is a part of our identity. It’s a part of our self. So if English is becoming more and more used in our everyday life, it might not only be a threat to our language, but to our identity and culture. There are a lot of different dialects and ways to talk English, and some of them are harder to understand than others. Dialects change a lot. If someone from around here moves to Bergen, they are likely to change dialect to a more Bergen dialect. Dialect as well as languages is very inconstant, and what I mean about that is that they change very frequently and adopt words from other languages.
The English language has a lot of words. And many words have the same meaning, however you cannot use it in the same way. In some cultures they have traditions and things that don’t have an English name, so if they were talking to an English-speaking man he wouldn’t understand. That could be a challenge. Another problem is mixing to languages together. Sometimes if you don’t know the word, you just say something that you think it is, or throw on an English accent on the Norwegian word. This can lead to many different and funny outcomes. This following sentence was said by a Norwegian speaker at an international conference in Denmark; I am sorry, this microphone smells each time I speak. What’s funny about this one is that it could actually be true. Nevertheless, what he was trying to say was that, everytime he spoke in the microphone he got feedback or crackling-noises, but the outcome was funnier than expected.
The rally driver Petter Solberg is an excellent example of mixing languages. Petter have said many many ridiculously funny things. Such as “I had bad pigs in my dekk” which won’t make any sense at all in English, but what he’s trying to say is that his wheels had bad spikes in them. This is a classic thing that people without English as their first language do, especially if they are bad at speaking English.
The thing about similarities in words can be quite hard to figure out. I have chosen these six words and two of them have similar meanings, so when do we use them? Borrow or lend?Borrow is used when you GET something from SOMEONE and then give it back later, while lend is used when you GIVE something to SOMEONE and later get it backBring or take?Bring is used when you move something closer and take is when you move something away.Say or tell? Say is to focus on the words in a sentence like thisYou said: “I love you like the stars above” Tell is to focus on the content like thisShe told Romeo how much she loved him. There are a lot of these confusing verbs and words in the English language.
The language in advertising has changed a lot these last years. Before there was much focus on the background of the product and it’s purpose, and less about looks and body language. But, now it’s hardly any text at all in the ads. And the small amount of text that are in them, is mostly a company slogan or the words; new, limited edition, big, easy, and that is supposed to make the buyer more interested in the sellers product in addition to their slogan.
We are now looking at four different companies with a different slogan each. Probably the most known one of them is Nike’s JUST DO IT. You could probably go anywhere in the world and they would know what company the slogan are from. The slogans use short sentences and small words that are easy to remember. McDonalds’ slogan I’m loving it, is very easy to remember, just three small words. In addition to the slogan, they can add a catchy tune in the background to help people remember the slogan. The slogan has another trick. They lead our thoughts to how they want us to feel. I’m lovin’ it or open happiness are examples of that, they say it how they want me too feel, and it kinda works.
Now I’m going to state my own opinion on the importance of learning English at school and I have chosen some keywords here that I think is very important. Probably the most important one is the first on: communication.We need to communicate with other countries than our own, and then we need to use a lingua franca, which is a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. If you’re doing business or studying abroad, communication is crucial to get something out of the trip. To get information from an other perspective than your own country is good, because then you could share and learn from each other. Imagine living in North Korea where you’re only getting information from your own county, and most of the information you get is false. When you’re travelling on holiday you’ll need to order food and ask for directions and so on, you’ll have to talk with them, or they can’t be helping you at all. In the future I think that the entire world will eventually all talk English, or at least just one language, because the world is getting smaller, not physically but smaller because the people around the world is more and more connected to each other through internet and other medias, everything would be much easier, but on the other hand we might not want to lose our own language, because it’s such a big part of our identity. We will have to wait and see what time will bring.
“The method of human
communication, either spoken or
written, consisting of the use of
words in a structured way.”
The British Empire
Language and culture
Difficulties and mistakes
I am sorry,
time I speak
Importance of the English language
Thanks for your time!
”Voices in time” by Lisbeth M Breivik