Journal Entry 6: “Limits of My Language”

I write these journals in the first 10 minutes of my Writing I class at NYU. I thought the readings/articles were very intriguing and the journal prompts were also really interesting, so I thought why not post my thoughts on the blog while I’m at it? And these are written in 10 minutes so they might sound very first-draft-esque, my apologies.

Prompt: “The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” -Miles Davis

“Language” is an ambiguous term. We know that it is comprised of different sets of regulations that govern the spoke and written words of cultures all around the world. But why did we start using it and do we really need language to survive or to thrive?

Ever since we are born, parents try to embed the simplest of words into our developing brains. From this moment on, I believe, we are given certain identities to accept or reject. Language is a form of expression and identification that is driven by the setting and location as well as the people who use it. It gives sets of rules to follow, and it also gives a sense of time/chronology. For example, if you use the phrase “good morning”, you know that the conversation is set sometime before 12PM. Language also defines generations. Take the word “bae”, for example; the younger generation in America use it to signify someone special in their lives, such as a boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, a celebrity crush, food, and more.

Language is a classification of who one is and will become. Currently, I speak three languages. I identify myself as a South Korean because it is the first language I spoke as I was introduced to this world. Although I speak more English than I do Korean, I don’t tell people that I am American because I know English was not my first language. But it certainly shapes who I am now.


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