Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Speaking Your Language

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Speaking Your Language

Article excerpt

IT'S a part of our daily lives, it's a necessity, we all speak one and some speak several.

To talk to others and express your feelings, thoughts, ideas and experiences you use a system of communication called language that utilises voice sounds, gestures or written symbols.

Language is used for a wide variety of functions in society and is characteristic of a particular geographic region, social grouping, or historical era.

The language you know best and use most is your mother tongue.

The rules are learned as you master a language. These rules include: the sound system (phonology); the structure of words (morphology); the combination of words to form sentences (syntax); the meanings of words (semantics); and the vocabulary (lexicon).

There are between 6000 and 7000 known languages including dialects in the world.

A dialect is a regional variety of a language that has a different pronunciation, vocabulary, or meaning.

The language in which a government conducts business is the official language of that country.

English is an official language in 79 countries.

The world's most widely spoken languages by number of native speakers, according to figures from UNESCO, are Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, German and French.

At least half of the world's population are bilingual or multilingual, i.e. they speak two or more languages. …

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