23 October 2009


A DEAD language called RAMMAYTUSH is a language which existed for more than 1,500 years in San Francisco bay area. Only 104 words have been discovered - with certainty. The above translated words are embedded on King Street, Embarcadero.... the above words bordered a bluff when I was overlooking Mission Bay on a drizzly December day. I assume they exist for pedestrians to consider as they step on them over and over again, strolling along and above knowledge long time gone. Perhaps a desperate attempt to materialise the ethereal nature of our existence.

For this blogpost I asked to few friends - from different walks of life and corners on earth to shortly describe what "LANGUAGE" means to them. Saludos, GUILLERMO

Milena Prajzlerova, Zdice, Czech Republic:

"Dorozumívání ~ neboli komunikace ~ je sdělování informace informaci,myšlenek,názorů a pocitů mezi živými bytostmi,lidmi i živočichy obvykle prostřednictvím společné soustavy symbolů. Zvířata se dorozumívají různými signály ~zvukovými,pachovými,tancem ap ~ tzv.první signální soustava,což platí i pro lidi. Hlavním dorozumívacím prostředkem člověka však je verbální komunikace ~ jazyk a řeč, tzv.druhá signální soustava. Kromě mluvené řeči a písma se používají i další systémy ~ notový záznam hudby,chemické a matematické značky, dopravní značky,vlajková a prstová abeceda, Morseova abeceda ap. Pro dálkové dorozumívání slouží média a telekomunikace. Pro dorozumívání v mezinárodním měřítku je překážkou různost jazyků ~ což se řeší pomocí světových jazyků ,překladů, tlumočení nebo strojovým překladem. Spřáním krasného dne, Milena.

John Hollinshead, London, England:

"My dry view of language: We make our own world and everything in it through language, so language makes me human (homo sapiens – the thinking animal), able to interact with other people, and the world around me, and to understand and conceive ideas. However, to badly paraphrase an Austrian philosopher: if one cannot speak about something, one can only be silent [and will never know what one missed!]. My romantic view of language: There can be a very beautiful and sensually exciting recognition of artistry in language. For example in haiku, or the poetry of a connoisseur of language such as Wallace Stephens, (emphasis added, as it captures what I struggle to convey:

“Ramon Fernandez, tell me, if you know,
Why, when the singing ended and we turned
Toward the town, tell why the glassy lights,
The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there,
As night descended, tilting in the air,
Mastered the night and portioned out the sea,
Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,
Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.

This linguistic phenomenon can also be found in the adept presentation of ideas, exemplified by Plato in his dialogues, by Camus in ‘The Myth of Sysphus’, or by Sartre in ‘No Exit’.
Sadly this response to the power and beauty of language can be manipulated by sophists and rhetoricians, and their modern day equivalents in media manipulation. Cheers, John."

Liyan and Alfonso: " 我冰封我的心很久了,在你的爱中...我融化。和你在一起,快乐来自心灵。"

Paulina Aranda-Mena, Guadalajára, México:

"Hola Fratello, ya ví tu blog, me encanta la idea. Justo hace un par de semanas leí en la BBC un artículo sobre la muerte de una mujer que hablaba una lengua llamada BO y con su muerte se extingue esta lengua.

"The death of an 85-year-old woman in the Andaman islands, part of India but physically closer to Indonesia, has marked the death of an entire language. 'Boa Sr' was the last speaker of the Bo language thought to have been spoken by the Bo tribe for up to 65,000 years. The story of her language is not an unusual one. Out of the roughly 6,000 languages spoken in the world, about half of them are in danger."

BBC broadcast 05 February 2010

Para mí la lengua es el alma de nuestra personalidad, lo que nos hace humanos, lo que nos mueve desde que somos pequeños a ser inquisitivos, a apropiarnos de los objetos mediante su nombre. La lengua es un instrumento mágico porque tiene infinitas posibilidades en el abra cadabra de sus letras que forman signos y significados. La lengua nos hace únicos.

Esta definición muy personal y nada académica, encierra mi sentir respecto a la Lengua. Por ejemplo, cuando hablo en inglés extraño muchas veces las palabras y expresiones que jamás tendrían una traducción exacta; claro que uno se las averigua, pero es en esos pequeños titubeos, en esas partículas de tiempo, que puede caber todo un universo. La Sorella."

Victor Ganes: "language" in Romanian - "limba".

Matthias Pfender, Biberach an der Riß, Baden-Württemberg, Deuschland:

"Sprachen ermöglichen uns Menschen uns zu artikuliern, mit anderen Menschen zu komunizieren und Gedanken auszutauschen. Sprachen bringen Kulturen und unterschiedliches Gedankengut zusammen und ermöglicht den Austausch. Einer fremden Sprache nicht mächtig zu sein, kann für Menschen aber auch eine gewisse Unsicherheit und das Gefühl der Ausgrezung vermitteln."

Reid Senescu from Stanford University said: "Language is a lens through which I comprehend the world. The world creates my lens through which I comprehend language."

Babette I. Ferrer from Barcelona, Catalunya said: "EL LENGUAGE ES EL MEDI DE COMUNICACIÓ MES SONOR", es medio en broma pero en realidad es el más real, no te parece?, tambien la musica es un medio de comunicación sonoro pero no todo el mundo lo interpreta a la primera. un fuerte abrazo. babette

Miss Phuong Pham from Sa Pa, Vietnám said:

"Trong tiến trình phát triển nhận thức của loài người, đầu tiên, các từ có nội dung nghèo nàn và mờ nhạt. Nhưng do ảnh hưởng của tiến trình văn hoá nhân loại mà các từ dần dần được cấp thêm những nét nghĩa tinh tế hơn cho phù hợp với tư duy của con người về sự vật mà từ phản ánh. Trong tiến trình này, từ chỉ còn là một cái vỏ – nơi để đổ đầy tư duy của chúng ta về một sự vật cụ thể.

Mối quan hệ giữa tư duy và ngôn ngữ thường được các nhà logic học hình dung theo 3 cấp độ sau đây:

Tư duy
(HT ý niệm)
Ngôn ngữ
(HT tín hiệu)
1Khái niệmTừ ngữ định danh (từ)
2Phán đoánNgữ, câu/ phát ngôn (câu)
3Suy líTập phát ngôn, đoạn (văn bản)

Forse perché sono appena stata in India, un paese con 18 lingue ufficiali e più di mille dialetti, forse perché vivo in una città in cui non si parla la mia lingua madre pur non avendo lasciato il mio paese – che pur essendo molto piccolo conta quattro lingue ufficiali – o forse perché i membri della mia famiglia parlano lingue diverse, ma non ho mai considerato il fatto che qualcuno parli una lingua diversa dalla mia un ostacolo che impedisse di comunicare e di conoscersi. Probabilmente anche perché ritengo che non ci si esprima solo o principalmente con il liguaggio, ma anche attraverso le proprie azioni, le proprie preferenze, i proprio gusti. Mi piace il fatto che nelle lingue latine "lingua" stia ad indicare sia il linguaggio sia l'organo del gusto. Non sono forse il cibo, ma anche le emozioni come possono essere quelle suscitate dalla musica o dall'arte in generale una lingua bellissima se non la più bella perché così immediata e accumunante al di là di possibili barriere linguistiche?
Carla, Zürich / Lugano, Svizzera

Copyright © Guillermo Aranda-Mena 1978
"... there was a slience; then, clearing his throat, once upon a time (the Director began) while our Ford was still on earth.... Ruben was the child of Polish-speaking parents... (the Director interrupted himself) You know what Polish is, I suppose? Yes, A DEAD LANGUAGE! Like French and German, added another student...." 632AF (After Ford-T)
[Aldous Huxley, Brave New World 1932]