One language, many varieties
Even if we only speak one language, we speak many languages. For no language is a self-contained system. Every language shows many different dimensions. Language is a living system. Speakers always orient themselves towards their conversation partners. Therefore, people vary the language they speak. These varieties appear in various forms. For example, every language has a history. It has changed and will continue to change. This can be recognized in the fact that old people speak differently than young people. There are also various dialects in most languages. However, many dialect speakers can adapt to their environment. In certain situations they speak the standard language. Different social groups have different languages. Youth language or hunter's jargon are examples of this. Most people speak differently at work than they do at home. Many also use a professional jargon at work. Differences also appear in spoken and written language. Spoken language is typically much simpler than written. The difference can be quite large. This is the case when written languages don't change for a long time. Speakers then must learn to use the language in written form first. The language of women and men is often different as well. This difference isn't that great in western societies. But there are countries in which women speak much more differently than men. In some cultures, politeness has its own linguistic form. Speaking is therefore not at all so easy! We have to pay attention to many different things at the same time…
Guess the language!
______ is spoken by approximately 75 million people.
These people mainly live in North and South *****.
However, there are also ______ minorities in China and Japan.
It is still debated as to which language family ______ belongs.
The fact that ***** is divided is also noticeable in the language of the two countries.
South *****, for example, adopts many words from English.
North ______s often do not understand these words.
The standard languages of both countries are based on the dialects of their respective capital cities.
Another feature of the ______ language is its preciseness.
For example, the language indicates which relationship speakers have to one another.
That means there are a great deal of polite forms of address and many different terms for relatives.
The ______ writing system is a letter system.
Individual letters are combined as syllables in imaginary squares.
Especially interesting are the consonants that function as pictures through their shape.
They show which position mouth, tongue, palate and throat have in the pronunciation.