Applied Linguistics and Communication

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Does learning other languages make you more tolerant of others? Learning other languages make you tolerant of others? Is it so? Nature created humans and gave them the ability to speak and learn. These inborn characteristics paired with a socialising nature, urge him to communicate with others. Thus, the need for communication leads to the creation of newer languages. Language is an essential part of one’s life and its importance cannot be ignored. Remaining mono-lingual limits thinking abilities and restrict the opportunities to learn more about the world and people residing in it. A different language is a different vision of life. Learning languages helps one to grow spiritually, allows him to understand other’s thoughts and helps him to promote peace. Thus, he develops an antagonistic felling against social and moral evils like racism, terrorism and discrimination. With the emergence of globalisation, importance of learning and understanding other languages has increased significantly. It provides a comparative analysis, through which one can compare the variations in different cultures, broadens vision and helps to understand the true motive of life. It also prevents misunderstandings which are evident because of linguistic barriers. Newer languages are a treat for the human mind because it increases the tendency to communicate and socialise. People who learn foreign languages demonstrate greater cognitive development in particular areas such as mental flexibility, creativity, and higher order thinking. Each region has a multiple, self- defined set of languages which not only reflects the prevalent culture but also represents the traditions and in some places, the norms. By not understanding the language of a particular region, one is deprived of the knowledge and culture of that region which makes him intolerant and bias towards that region. In order to comprehend the mental approach of different people, it is essential to learn their language. Knowing their language will allow you to go deep into their ideology and learn about the fundamentals of their societal setup. By knowing their language, you can easily mingle yourself practically in their cultural and traditional ceremonies. Learning about others teaches you to respect the similarities as well as the differences. It makes one liberal and one refrains from imposing his beliefs on others. Learning different languages enable you to have an insight on the norms and values of that particular region, to where the language belongs. It helps in judging their point of view and to get acquainted with their psychology and behaviour. Therefore, one can understand others better. Increased ability to understand has proved improved level of tolerance and patience. William S. Gilbert, said. ‘When you’re lying awake with a dismal headache and repose is tabooed by anxiety. I convince you may use any language you choose to indulge in, without impropriety.’ (Gilbert, 1882) This actually means that a human body knows no language other than the postures. Therefore, human beings are a unique creation of God who shares same body elements but different styles for communication. God’s message is of tolerance and love which can spread if and only if we (humans) can accept and appreciate each other’s existence. It is not only about learning another language, but it’s about learning other humans. their beliefs and persuasion. In addition, learning languages are a very good source of entertainment. It soothes the mind and enables one to enjoy and appreciate the literary works of the languages. Learning enlightens and sharpens human mind and this enlightenment helps in understanding the human behaviour which makes one tolerant of others, sharing the same globe. Reference Gilbert, William. (1882), Ballad: A Nightmare, Reely Redd [online]