By Felicia Nunez
Special to CSMS MagazineBeing able to master both English and Spanish, I can easily understand why the concept of different languages sets many people apart while at the same time unites them. Language allows people to communicate with one another, to share thoughts, dreams in our lives. Language can connect those who speak the same language and are of the same culture. On the other hand language can separate people, providing them an escape from others and giving them the opportunity to spend time and communicate with those they share something in common with. Knowing one or more languages allows you to unite with a single culture or several ones. It can also allow people to stick to what they know or unite their lives with those of a different culture or society. The phrase “language influences our perceptions and our view of the universe” can be interpreted in several ways. However, the way I see it, language plays a substantial role in the way we see and interpret the world. It can allow us to connect with others or set ourselves apart. Communication through language gives us the chance to explore the world in which we live, and knowing more than one language makes the world a little larger. We can reach outside our bubble and experience other cultures or societies associated with different languages. Each language has a view of the world. Certain languages vocalize thoughts in a more positive way or create a more vivid picture than others. Each language has a way of isolating itself from others by the way in which the language is vocalized. Often times, translating phrases or words to another language does not give the original language justice. Clumsy translations often force phrases to lose their entire meaning.Let’s take English, for example. It has a set of commonly used terms or phrases that when said in another language mean something absolutely different. I’ve learned that certain cultures, within the same language, such as Cubans and Puerto Ricans, use the same words for different things. You can actually offend someone with what you say within the same language. Truly, language influences every aspect of our lives and it also influences the way in which we view our world. For some people, language can be a way of holding onto a culture in a foreign country. Many individuals use one language at home and another when they are out in the workplace. I am a prime example, and I learned that from my parents. The use of language around the world allows people to understand and view everything around them differently. Language gives us many opportunities to expand or isolate ourselves. We can use it to further our understanding and our connection with the rest of the world.Also, see Role of alternative languages in our societyNote: Felicia Nunez is a teacher, who lives in Miami-Dade County, Florida. She wrote this piece exclusively for CSMS Magazine.