TED Conversations

Ayesha Sayed

Student, UAEU


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As a trilingual or bilingual, what role does language play in the creation of your identity? Which language do you think in?

I've grown up speaking 3 very diverse languages, I feel that they've created three distinct worlds in me. I find myself moving in and out of not only languages but cultures as well.
What role do languages play in your life? Do you find yourself thinking in more than one language?


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    Jan 9 2012: I think primarily in English, and my study of other languages has shown that languages frame the passing show is far different ways. So language does help create my cultural identity. This leads to two observations: 1. We must enter into the language world of another culture before we have any grounds for judging its worldview or values. 2. There are parts of human experience which no language can encompass, and it is perhaps here where we can find a common basis for unity--Karen Armstrong's "Charter for Compassion" is an attempt to move beyond the parameters of language to our common humanity. Language always divides, that is its function. Our humanity transcends our language and culture; that is our hope.
    • Jan 9 2012: I hope so too Bob. I so agree with you about worldview and values. Language learning is indispensable.

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