What learning a new language can teach us about our own culture

Shiretoko National Park, Hokkaido, Japan

Building bold, beautiful bridges

In the early 70s, psychologist Albert Mehrabian famously stated that 55% of communication is nonverbal, 38% is tone, and only 7% is what we say. Yet that 7% can do tremendous things: make and break relationships, start and stop wars, move hearts and minds.

Learning about ourselves through others

I’m confident that I’ll never be able to notice the vast majority of biases that exist in my native language. They’ve been thoroughly engrained into the fabric of my reality.

Swimming upstream

Over tens of thousands of years, humankind left its cradle and populated the entire planet, diverging into a broad spectrum of ethnicities with unique cultures and histories. This spatial divergence, coupled with the need for communication specific to certain environments and a healthy dose of random, is what gave birth to the diversity of language. While globalization is slowly bringing our species back together, language remains one of the greatest obstacles to our unity.

Travel | Humor | Language | Society. Writing out of passion. Tokyo-based polyglot with a degree in human rights. Find me on Twitter and Instagram @alexstwrites.

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