Our Word – or our language – explains our minds to others. Words are what we use to define ourselves and describe our feelings, and language allows us to label and consequently discover the world and other people around us.
In the beginning, when we start being, there is the Word. Language is the basis of what we call conscience: this insider companion we all have, who translates every experience to words and then digest them as good, bad, important or negligible to our evolution and the construction of ourselves. The Word, or “Logos” as in Plato’s philosophy, is the beginning of all things and determines in some way our development.
That’s why I think, from my experience with words, that language is much more than a group of symbols and structures used to say the same things. Language is a way of translating the world into our minds and nothing convinces me that French people should do it the same way as American or Arabic people do. In the beginning was the Word. In the beginning of each culture was their language.
That’s why translation is so difficult and translated texts almost never have the same exact meaning as the original ones. That’s why, when we learn a foreign language as a group of symbols and structures used to translate our thoughts we can only approach native speakers by trying to talk to their hearts in their language, but there’ll always be a part of misunderstanding for the way we think our experiences is not the same as theirs.
Sure it helps sharing, which is already enormous, but going further and deeper we can still do better. We can use language to really change our world. It takes time and a fully open mind, but what a great travel it is to come back to the beginning and, as a child, accept to use a brand new Word to describe our experiences. Repassing our lives through another processor may be, as in psychanalysis, a way of making a new beginning, because…
In the beginning was the Word.
*Inspired by the book Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi http://www.amazon.com/Flow-Harper-Perennial-Modern-Classics-ebook/dp/B000W94FE6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl1&tag=leganoma-20&linkId=36ec74afb4ec1e934b1792e5136cbbd8
and the blog Legal Nomads, by Jodi Ettenberg www.legalnomads.com