167 – Language v3

This essay is the third about language. Before writing this one, I reviewed the previous two. Those walks focused on the written and spoken with various aspects of linguistics. I also touched on other languages, such as the visual arts, music, body language, math, DNA, and geology, as well as languages of the sea and wind. But the readers led me to expand those thoughts because language is more than the previous two beach walk essays! Thank you, readers, for initiating these thoughts.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

As I approach the waterline, I hear the waves and the passing wind. At the time of this writing, I recently posted volume 2 about language. Because of the wonderful comments, I knew volume 3 was in order. Not solely through reader comments, but also by expanding the topic through my words.

Thinking about the big picture, I see language as complex, all-encompassing, intimate, and a beautiful mystery.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Looking out to sea, I spot a few dolphins passing by. I know they communicate with each other in Dolphinese. While many animals communicate, there is no evidence of any organism communicating to the extent and depth of humans. I say this not to downplay their communication, but to promote what language does in our lives.

Language is a tool for communicating ideas, emotions, stories, and information – and we do this in many ways. After all, language is more than words and phrases.

Language is something that keeps us together and drives us apart. In that sense, language seems to be like a double-edged sword.

I think back to humans and the joy of ballroom dance. Dance uses the language of music to express a message through movements. Some are simple, but others display the music rhythm. Other dancers add a layer of appreciation for each other – even love.

Thinking about love leads me to the language of love. That language is difficult to describe and is different for everyone. Love as a language involves words, actions, presence, touch, thoughts, and probably more – yet it has a way of being felt through the entire body. No wonder a broken heart requires time to heal.

I think about the many languages of nature. The cyclic seasons from trumpeting to maintaining, to decline and slumber – the croaking of frogs, the rustling leaves, the many chirps of birds, and the relationship between the frequency of cricket chirps and temperature. All for a reason. All delivering a message. All are languages.

Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

I think about migrating birds, dogs marking a territory, flowers saying “look here” to insects through their color and scent, and many life forms using pheromones to attract mates. All for a reason. All delivering a message. All are languages.

I think about messages moving around my body – nerve messages go from the environment about the world around me to the brain and spinal cord, as well as the messages going to a specific location to initiate a response.

Similarly, I think about blood carrying chemical messengers called hormones from their production location to where they cause a detailed response. Nerve messages and hormones are for a reason. Suddenly I think of medicines acting similarly. All deliver a message. All are languages.

I think about ecology as the interaction between all living things with each other and the nonliving environment – and that involves communication. The environment expresses itself in a language. Life responds in its way. After all, life has a way of reacting to changes in temperature, light, and more. All for a reason. All delivering a message. All are languages.

I think about how our senses are initiators in translating languages in nature so we can apply meaning to that language. Our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch allow us to detect messages that nerves send to the brain so it can interpret the languages of nature – therefore connecting us to our surroundings.

I suddenly stop – look at the sea and the sky. I realize science is interpreting the language of nature through the physical laws and relationships we have learned through science. Nature is everywhere, and it constantly delivers a message through its language – from the babbling stream to the fierce thunderstorm – from a mountaintop to the green meadow to this beach – from the glorious colors of autumn through the other seasons to return to autumn. Nature must have countless languages!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The sky leads me to something bigger – the language of the universe. Our Earth, Sun, and Moon – the universe with its stars and galaxies – and we humans use satellites to capture deep space attempting to detect and learn the language so we can interpret its message.

I think about the universal languages of humanity – such as smiles, food, music, and art – I’ve already written about them, but the way they cross-cultural boundaries impresses me.

As I end this walk, I realize language is like the sea and outer space – much deeper than most of us realize. Yes, language has given me three essays – but there are only a few steps into a complex world. Language is another reason why I like to walk on this beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have posted about Language

Next Post: Gibberish – Wednesday 11th January @ 1 AM (Eastern US

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83 thoughts on “167 – Language v3”

  1. A wondrously superb article, Frank. Language is indeed a complex and fascinating subject … I write a poem every day and I am continuously amazed by the nature of language in my writings … yep … language’s influence on everything we do in our world is definitely difficult to detail and explain in words … haha … maybe this piece I wrote today might be about what I am trying to express …

    “Volume Without Sound”

    when I am swimming
    at the surf beach
    and dive deep down
    the eerie fullness
    of my silent surroundings
    enhances the volume
    of those submersed thoughts
    wafting within my mind

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Ivor,
      Thanks for the kind words. Language is indeed complex and fascinating. Also, thanks for your poem. It speaks to me very much because when I take my walks, and if I’m in a good thought process, I’m amazed how deep the mind can go when thinking about a topic. Well done, sir … and thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved this post….was particularly struck by what you said about how the language of love can be felt throughout the entire body and “no wonder a broken heart takes time to heal”. This is SO very true. Love is such a soul penetrating emotion when that love is “injured”, the healing time is in some cases endless. Moving on is hard, forgetting is impossible, but love waits around the corner for those who keep their hearts open.

    Pam

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pam,
      Thank you for the kind words and for sharing a bit about the section that struck you. To me, language is more than the spoken word, so with this walk I wanted to include other languages that either the other two essays didn’t covered or didn’t go deep enough. The language of love in itself seems to be another one of those endless topics. I love you comments about it … especially the last sentence starting with moving on. Perfect … and thanks for sharing it because I wish I would have found those words.

      Like

  3. A complex topic indeed, Frank!
    I was recently walking around the Lake, and heard a bird singing loudly from the treetop above me. I looked up, trying to see what type of bird was calling out (I never saw it!) when I noticed it had stopped singing and I became aware of another bird, on the other side of the water, singing the exact same song. Back and to the two went for a while. It was all very pleasant, as they chattered away in their own language! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tom,
      What a wonderful story. A good example is that birds aren’t chirping/singing for themselves. Like your words, there is a purpose. ,,,, and the conversation across the lake makes your encounter even more fascinating. Seems you were in the right place at the right time and in the right frame of mind to take it in and appreciate it. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Another post that sparks all sorts of thoughts and reactions. I agree with Pam above and you about the heart.

    Your mention of “Dolphinese” made me wonder if dolphins have dialects or accents. Apparently birds do. A robin in New York might sound different from one in LA.

    I think all creatures have some need to communicate, whether we label it language or not.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. All of it. How much Communication enriches our lives, whether spoken or not! I often talk with my hands, pick up different accents with ease (because as an empath I absorb others’ energies), and more! I studied Communication in college and now I know why! Ha!

        On the other side of the coin, here’s one of my husband’s older original songs:

        Liked by 1 person

          1. No kidding, I just experienced “no words” again while driving to the post office to mail 3 copies of my energy-charged and signed new books to my granddaughters!! I turned on Otter and gave it a moment and words started coming… I will post that on my blog next. WOW! You opened something UP!

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I felt very shivery behind the waterfall, Frank, but that’s just the way I am today. I need a warm hug and, as you point out, that’s a language in itself. Deep thoughts, Frank! Have yourself a relaxing weekend,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo,
      Good afternoon from my good morning time. Glad you enjoyed this thought-provoking stroll. I must say, when I initially started thinking about language in the first essay, I had no idea it would lead to three! Meanwhile, not only will hubby take care of those shivers, I think you may need a wonderful dessert to help lift your mood!

      Like

  6. This is definitely an essay that needs re-reading. You’ve given us so much to think about! We’re communicating by me reading your words and commenting. I never really thought about all the ways in which we humans communicate, or how the environment around us communicates with us.

    I hope you don’t run out of beaches to walk on Frank. Those beach walks really get your juices flowing and we benefit from those essays that follow.

    Hope you enjoy a relaxing weekend.

    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ginger,
      Your comment made me smile while touching my heart. Thank you for doing that. Because this is the third essay about languages, I invite you to read the other two because I tried to make each of them distinct with hopes of minimizing repetitive thoughts. The first two are linked below the video. Meanwhile, it has been a good and relaxing weekend

      Like

  7. Interesting post. Having hosted Ukrainians in my home for 8 months now, I am amazed by how much of our communication is non-verbal. Even though we do not share a common language, we make it work, learning, of course, from each other as we go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VJ,
      First of all, cheers to you for hosting a Ukrainian family. I applaud your goodness!

      Your comment about the nonverbal made me smile because the nonverbal is how we cross the barriers of verbal language. I imagine kindness, patience, and smiles go a long way! Thanks for sharing!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “Language is something that keeps us together and drives us apart. In that sense, language seems to be like a double-edged sword…” Truer words were never spoken…indeed-as exhibit A from this past week of trying to elect a speaker of the House proved. I’m still trying to distillate what those ‘Never Kevin’ folks’ goal was-their language was more than just harsh and suggests the upcoming months ahead bode ominously for the country as a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. With a topic as broad as “Language,” Frank, it’s no wonder you were led to three different posts! I guess I never contemplated just how vast this subject is — thanks for another lovely, thought-provoking beach walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debbie,
      Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. When I started drafting my first language post, I hoped to have one good one. I wasn’t too far into the process when I discovered I had enough for two essays. So I tried to make them different. This one (the third) came from comments that expanded my thoughts – so bingo – number 3 … but I don’t see more. Thanks for walking along.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa,
      Thanks for the kind words. Language is so big, I’ve written 3 essays on it …. but each of them introduces aspects that can go on and on. Meanwhile, yes – so many languages in nature to ponder. Hopefully humanity learns to listen to them. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the video!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lovely, thoughtful post, Frank! It occurred to me that understanding many languages, not just spoken ones, is an education in itself! Many of them add so much to the enjoyment of life. I particularly liked the waterfall video. ❤ My days of hiking to waterfalls are over, but I have many fond memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheryl,
      Glad you enjoyed this essay and thank you! Language is a deep subject – very deep – therefore why this is the third. The complex of human language is crazy in itself. Interesting how so many Europeans know multiple languages as part of life, yet many in our country fight it so much, some want to make a legal statement. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the video.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Well Frank, you would have no reason to know this but I was a language major in college and studied linguistics during the course of my degree. I found it absolutely fascinating. A favorite memory was the day we were challenged to translate a paper written in Swahili, which we’d never seen or heard before, based only on the linguistics we’d been studying. I’m proud to say I translated it easily, although I would have absolutely NO idea how to do so today. You are so right that language both unites and divides us, and also that we’ve come so far in deciphering the languages of animals, of nature in general, and most recently of the universe. What an amazing time we are living in – we’ve learned so much and yet there is so much more to know! Loved your post this week and wish you only the best in the new year and beyond my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tina,
      I appreciate information like this. You triggered a faint blinking light in my memory bank because I thinking you mentioned studying linguistics before – probably in one of the previous language essays. I’m amazed you what you were able to do with the Swahili. Impressive! I love this statement … “we’ve learned so much and yet there is so much more to know!” So true – I like to say the more I learn, the more I discover how little I know – this how much more there is to learn. Thanks for walking along and sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Frank, I had a laugh with myself because when I started reading this Language-themed post it popped into my head that I took three years of French to get credit for two. I had a bit of a struggle with that language in high school and had to take French 1 over again in order to get to French 2. Meanwhile, all of my buddies were like…”you took French? Spanish is so much easier.” Guess they weren’t real buddies after all lol. I would love to be able to tell what animals were saying to each other. Those would be languages worth learning no matter how many years it took to get a passing grade!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We are by far the most diverse as far as language is concerned, and yet sometimes it feels as if we are at the bottom of the intellectual chain. But seriously, this is a wonderful essay on how language moves and grows everything around us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie,
      Thanks for bring up a great point. Yep … the language is one thing, but interpretation is another. How often in human conversations does it get out of line because of a misinterpretation! …. let alone when translating! …. Seems we can also apply that thought when interpreting nature. Thanks for sharing and glad you enjoyed the closing video.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Each language assumes a sender and a receiver, a parser and a synthesizer.
    As usual, Frank, you make us discover the richness of language whatever its forms. It is the basis of communication between living beings
    Thank you
    Michel

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “. . . interpret the languages of nature . . .” That’s the tricky bit about communication isn’t it, the interpretation. And that takes it down a whole new rabbit hole. Excellent post! Language is an integral part of our existence and yet it is so often done so poorly. But when it is done well, it is brilliant. If only we did not use it maliciously. Oh well, such is the beast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      I agree – no matter the language involved, interpretation is an important part of the process. Misinterpretation is one thing – it happens – but the malicious nature of language and interpretation may be uniquely human. There’s our brain getting in the way again.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. An excellent Beach Walk, Frank.
    I can’t remember everything you covered in the other walks on language, but I’m sure to have read them.
    You must have covered signing… the language of the deaf.
    However, I’m mostly thinking about all nature communicating in languages we don’t speak. Nature’s speak.
    I was fascinated recently when I learned that mushrooms communicate through their mycelium.
    They apparently have a vocabulary of 50 words.
    I’ve discontinued eating mushrooms.
    🍷clink🍷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Resa,
      I didn’t know that about mushroom. Thank you … but oh my … not eating mushrooms? When I first started pondering language, I would have never guessed that it would lead to 3 posts. Never! … but I’m glad it did. It helped me realized the numerous languages of nature – so many!

      Like

  17. Sorry, my comment was rejected, so I was testing…
    Your essay today…well several days ago was well put. Yes indeed, language and all its nuances and connections to others in the vast world we live in, along with all the facets of nature, are fascinating and we can’t even begin to really fathom its complexity.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. My first thought was that language triggers learning. The more words we hear, the more we learn, and the better we understand. It’s complicated, yet simple. Excellent post, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jennie,
      Good link of language and learning. Especially with the age group in your class. I recall a discussion in my biology class. After making the point that it’s the young brain that takes in language, she asked. “Well why then do schools wait until freshman year to teach a concentrated foreign language?” A great point. I spent 6 months in Italy at age 5. Went there knowing very little Italian, returned fluent – and had to reacclamate to English. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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