Can Language affect perception - Assignment Example

Language in itself does not affect perception, but the use of language is able to affect perception. Language is an essential tool to people. Like lungs are for breathing, language is for expressing thought and communicating. Without breathing life would be impossible for people. Without language even in its most basic of forms, such as pictures, development and evolution would be unfeasible. As Nobel Prize winner William Butler Yeats said, “Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. ” Intelligence is not a question of high society language or vocabulary, but is merely a question of usage of brain.

This emphasizes the fact that language does not affect the perception to the world. It is quite likely that an uneducated or illiterate be highly intelligent. Language may affect ones perception towards others. This idea is well presented in the novel by James W. Ellison, Finding Forrester, where an African-American, whose stereotype is often not smart or intelligent, is an intelligent and educated young basketball player. The character personality is what is related to the question of language: Despite his use of colloquialism, the character still has his own perception to the world and his surrounding.

Which contradicts the fact that colloquial Language places a bias to ones perception of the world. Someone using slang is presented in a stereotype as cheap, uneducated or even unintelligent. Whereas hearing a person speak with high-leveled language with a large vocabulary shows the opposite. Slang cannot affect ones own thoughts and feelings, but can affect ones perception of someone using slang. As we read in class, when groups of people discuss issues, expression of thought and feelings are hindered by the use of colloquialism. Language, at high levels, is a tool, which allows easy and more precise description.

However, Language is merely a tool, and does not affect, in the literal form, ones thoughts. In the example we received in class, two people using similar language are likely not to believe in the same things, or share common feeling about the same issue (i. e. , one may believe in God whereas the other may not). However, a cause, which may affect ones perception, is ones surroundings. Quality and use of language is associated with surrounding. It is likely that people using the same language have contradicting feelings about something.

The relationship of this to the essential question of whether language does or does not affect perception is that people in those classes have a shared language. For example, before the French Revolution of 1789, French people of different classes opposed each other in their political views. The poor rejected the demand of the king for increased taxation, whereas the higher class demanded the king to tax the poor instead of themselves. Although both groups of people share the same language, it had no affect on their perception of the issue. The major cause to the difference in thought is the surroundings and conditions.

The rich nobles, being in a “better of” state than the poor, regarded themselves as better and therefor did not deserve to be taxed. “Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain. ” Lily Tomlin. Language affects nothing but expression. Language is only a tool, which helps or hinders expression and thought. The use of colloquial language hinders the capability to express oneself to the fullest. Knowing many languages and being able to communicate in many different ways helps you to be understood and to organize your thoughts and feelings.