Language is the tool of expression and communication in every society. Whether it be speaking, writing, or listening, language is the key to understanding ourselves and others. In our world today, there are roughly “6900 distinct languages” (Anderson). Language expresses culture. It is through language that values, laws, and beliefs are formed, which then in turn forms our own individual identities. Learning foreign languages is key to becoming a global citizen. It is only through learning a culture unlike our own that one can truly understand a foreign group.
In today’s society, there is only a small group of people who are bilingual, and even less that are multilingual. Especially in modern society, “…we need global citizens with a broad general knowledge of the world and who possess the requisite critical and analytical skills to separate fact from fiction” (Datta). Because very few are bilingual, people tend to become narrow minded and lack certain analytical skills that come with knowing more than one culture. This narrow mindedness is detrimental to a society and to ourselves. Individuals must come to know foreign cultures as “…it is through the influence of culture that individuals learn to communicate” (Dzenowagis). Understanding another culture opens the door to communication and understanding between two groups. It is through this understanding that we become more well rounded individuals with a greater knowledge of our own world and self.
Anderson, Stephen R. “How Many Languages Are There in the World?” Linguistic Society of
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Datta, Venita. “The Power of History, Language & Culture.” Albright Institute, 3 Mar. 2017,
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Dzenowagis, Anastasia. “Who am I? Analyze and understand your own culture first.” PMI®
Global Congress, 2009, https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/analyze-understand-culture
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