Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Common Language?

Here's a quick thought that's been on my mind lately:

I find it really interesting that we can translate languages. As far as I know, we can translate every language. There isn't a human language on the planet that can't be translated by skillful people. For the most part, with practice you can even understand the connotations and emotions that words in each language bring about. What this says to me is that there is a "bottom line," if you will, to mankind. We all experience the world in some common way. I'm not saying that we don't have differences. We most certainly do. I just think it's interesting that humanity has some common themes, no matter where we're from, no matter what language we speak. There is a certain way of being human that we can all understand on some levels.

Dr. Panza (if you're reading this) didn't Chompsky try to do some work on this idea to show that there is a common human epistemology and language is an artifact of that commonality? Interesting idea....


Robin said...

roman tried to have a common language, greek tried that too..

common language = superior language? = wars? = suffering?

variety and diversity, the practice of the 84000 buddhas...

Mark said...

Excellent point.

It reminds me of what I learned in my Sociology class when we were talking about racial differences. The point for a while used to be "colorblind," and in that way we were combating racial inequality. What that actually turned out to mean, however, was, "see everyone as white."

I guess it's hard to try and create sameness without identifying difference and having the urge to subjugate it.

Perhaps the goal isn't just sameness, but it's realizing a common point from which we can learn to appreciate and celebrate the diversity that stems from it? Anyway, great food for thought.