As humans, we are drawn together and then we notice we must be apart.

Language bridges the ideas stuck inside two minds. Communication is the difference between a human and society. We must have communication to have what we have. We must never forget the flaws inherent in attempting to communicate with another mind.

We feel communication is fairly simple as we do it on a near constant basis, everyday for multiple hours. It is easy and comes naturally. Remember that time you tried to speak to someone and they didn't understand your words? That is where verbal language fails. The other must have the decoder ring or you are simply making patterned sound.

There are also many other concerns related to attention. I won't speak to them here as it is a large tangent.

Understanding is incredibly difficult if both speakers talk past each other. We must find a consensus before we move forward. We must find balance to properly initiate change. If the whole consensus is, "I am Me and I speak English." Then at least you both understand each other. Now a conversation can accelerate.

I have spent my whole life trying to be understood and recently discovered reviewing the basics of X with whomever you speak with is more important than arguing. When I am not understood quickly, I beg the other mind to allow me a second to justify myself. When they refuse, I tell them this topic of conversation is basically over until I can explain myself so they change the topic and we move on.

It is fairly obvious, fairly simple, but has been a boon to my communication ability. Remember to review and understand your basics everyday. Knowing the basics makes everything else possible.

Just a simple rant on Language. Any disagreements?

Views: 84

Comment by Pope Beanie on February 12, 2017 at 1:21pm
I would only add that the most natural communication of all is via body language, facial expression, vocal inflections, and other means requiring physical proximitry. Vocabularies are artificial, vary by culture and sub-culture, and vary much more widely in scope and possible content, pertinence and quality.
Comment by Simon Paynton on February 13, 2017 at 1:21am

Sometimes we can be too abstract for people to understand (I find a lot fo Buddhism is like that) so it's good to concretise it, flesh it out with actual examples in everyday life. 

Comment by TJ on February 13, 2017 at 7:09am

Body language can be cultural too, for example nodding yes in some cultures means you are nodding no in others, and proximity/personal space issues come into play as well, changing even the appropriate distances to be recognized as being in conversation, and so forth.

I'm not sure "I am me" is not an assumed "given" in face to face conversations, but agree that settling upon a common language is a great start in any conversation.

I find that in diverse areas, it is overall best to assume the speaker speaks the local language...say, in NYC, assume they speak English, especially if you do.

The reason is more related to how they interpret the perception you had of them that precluded English as their native tongue...IE: "Just because I look Chinese doesn't mean I talk like Jackie Chan/don't speak English"

So, many are insulted if their perceived ethnicity makes you think they are less "American".

On the flip side, if you are an American in Paris, and not NYC, the local language is French, and, its better to assume the other party speaks French...and so forth.

As the language you offer for that common communication is part of the message itself about who you are and who you think they are...and you have to start SOMEWHERE...the local language rule of thumb is at least logical...

...and, if you assume someone speaks YOUR local language, it recognizes them as a peer, and if you assume the Parisian speaks French, you are showing respect for the locality.

For example, a Frenchmen may be amused by your ridiculous attempt to speak French, but, appreciate your not expecting HIM to speak English, and respect that. 

On the flip side, many French feel insulted by Americans who expect THEM to speak English, especially when they speak English loudly and slowly, because as you know, if you speak YOUR language loudly and slowly, it can magically be understood by people who do not speak your language....

And so forth.


Comment by _Robert_ on February 13, 2017 at 7:35am

On the contrary shitty people use poor communication as an excuse for doing shitty things. If I have an extra hard time communicating I am wary that foul play will follow.

Comment by Davis Goodman on February 13, 2017 at 1:38pm

Language is the ultimate problem people face in Philosophy. There is a sort of hierarchy of questions that leads to other ones:

Is language a completely human construction?

How much accuracy of the real world is losed through the filtering of ideas through the mind so they can be recorded and communicated?

Does the imperfect construction of language fatally prohibit us from having certainty on a subject (logical certainty...not existential certainty)?

Do the words we use properly represent the outside world?

Is there an inner language that happens in the human mind that is communicated with a separate oral language?

When is greater precision in worlds necesary and warranted?

How has communication changed in the modern world where even colloquial conversation is now text based?

To what extent are non-verbal cues more important than words used?

Just how much information is lost in translation?

and so on


There are very expensive courses you can take (based on empirical research) that will help you pick up on non-verbal clues and interpret the kind of language others use...and how to effectively communicate what you want to say and how you want it to be taken/understood/interpreted. Expensive...but obviously worth the money for some.

Comment by Andrew Brown on February 13, 2017 at 1:51pm


Thank you for listing so many problems. Totally agree with the list.

There are a few YouTube channels with great body language tips and analysis. Finding a teacher to sit with you and show you those differences will help more, but the YT videos give you enough to understand basics.


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