Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is language necessary?
    • Language helps people to create culture traits and bonds that are unique to them only. Many cultures and civilizations are based on the fact that they are bonded together by one distinct language. Kurdish is an example of this, the Kurdish people share many cultural traits with their neighbors, but their one unique personal trait is their language.
  • What makes a language “official”?
    • The “official” status of languages are highly debated, a country can mandate a language and make it official, but the people determine what is truly used. Therefore, the people are what makes languages official.
  • What are languages used for?
    • Languages are used for every aspect of daily life. Prayer, commerce, friendly interaction, education, and politics are all example of language usage.
  • Why did languages diverge and become numerous different kinds?
    • Geographic barriers, interactions between other languages, Sound shifts, and remoteness either helped or hindered the formation and creation. Every language belongs to one of the 20 major language families, from then each language changed and developed creating the modern languages we now know.
  • Does language have power?
    Different written languages and their art
    • Language is one of the greatest powers in world. Many basic functions of society are based on the ability of people to speak a certain language. Jews speak Hebrew, Muslims pray in Arabic, and much of the technological and business worlds speak English. Those who speak those respective languages have an advantage over those who don’t, giving them power over the less fortunate.
  • What are the official rights of people to speak their language?
    • Language is one of the basic human rights, each person has the right to with dignity, and to live with dignity people entitled to speak whichever language they chose.
  • Is language imperative to culture?
    • Language is a great defining factor in culture, communication is imperative, and therefore without a common or shared way of communicating- which is what language is- and without a proper way to communicate they cannot be excepted to survive and thrive.
  • What exactly is language?
    • Language is judged based on whether or not two speakers can achieve “mutual intelligibility”, that is if they can understand each other or not. However, the concept of mutual intelligibility is almost impossible to determine.
  • How many languages are there?
    • There are about, 20 major language families, Indo-european, Afro-Asiatic, Niger-Congo, Saharan, Sudanic, Khoisan, Uralic, Altaic, Sino-Tibetan, Japanese and Korean, Dravidian, Austro-asiatic, Austronesian, Trans-New Guinea and Australian, Amerindian with a few others. Those then divert to many others, there are estimated to be 1700 languages in Africa alone and between 5000-6000 worldwide!

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Key Questions:
  1. What are languages, and what role do languages play in cultures?
  2. Why are languages distributed the way they are?
  3. How do languages diffuse?
  4. What role does language play in making places?

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