Language's Influence on our Perception of The World

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Although there is no official language in the United States, the English language is the most widely spoken. Language helps to shape our identities, define and limit our expectations of the world around us and who we are. You might ask yourself, how does our language shape our identities and influence our perceptions of the world? Through language, we are able to make meaning, understand, and define ourselves. We are able to communicate what we feel with others. However, our choice of words cannot always capture what we are feeling to the full extent. Benjamin Lee Whorf believed that language had power over the mind however, this theory has crashed due to the lack of evidence to support his claims. Instead, Roman Jakobsen came up with the theory that “languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey.” Different languages influence our lives in different ways, this is not because of what our language allows us to think; like Benjamin Whorf had believed, but rather because of what it habitually obliges us to think about. With this being said, growing up learning our mother tongue at the earliest ages of life it is natural for us to settle with certain habits of specifying certain types of information and forcing us to be attentive to certain details in the world. These things may affect our experiences, perspectives, associations, feelings, and memories of the world around you (Deutscher). When reading on this subject, it really caught my attention due to the fact that I have never thought this way about language before. When given this idea on language’s influence over how we think and perceive the world around us, it has opened my mind to see things I wouldn’t have normally seen prio... ... middle of paper ... ...elings and thoughts with others; we are able to share experiences. Our word choice however, is not always capable of capturing feelings and putting them into words. When talking about experiences, we try to add a lot of detail and allow others to get the full picture. This isn’t always possible. No one could have the exact same experience as you or feel the same way you felt, so sometimes the detail isn’t enough to share the experience. These examples have shown different ways in which our language can shape who we are and how we perceive the world. There may be arguments against what I am trying to convey, but in my personal opinion I feel that language is apart of who we are; our identities. Our language alone cannot define who we are, but along with other internal and external factors language is associated with defining us and our perception of the world.
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