kirolak wrote: ↑
Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:37 pm
I wonder whether Japanese uses genders for nouns (Thai has no such genders, nor articles) whereas many European languages do .
No we don't. So "Highway Star" in Japanese for example doent make sense as much as in English. We agree that some cars and guitars also give us males different pleasures. Only that they are not feminine in Japanese.
I wonder how such differences inform one's world view.
I as a native Japanese speaker know only English well enough, so that there are more people and references out there to better answer your question.
However I can tell out of my experiences that the languages have two aspects: one is obviously our means to convey a concept of some sort, or communication tools, and the other one is the most abstract forms of our cultural backgrounds.
We can take advantage of the tool aspect of them, while being intrigued into what's behind the abstract cultural background as represented by them. I suppose our beings are born curious, and then the curiousity in us will eventually die out, or will be overwhelmed by different kinds of businesses occupying us, making us tired. I somehow remain extra-curious today.
Furthermore, while the languages are the most abstract forms of the respective cultures, obviously a language is a part of a culture encompassing all the other parts including religion, culinary, and most notably, music and other forms of arts.
So if someone says "You do not understand what we say, because of your attributions foreign to us", that is quite fairly objectionable if culture is the idea exclusive of the "tool" whereby we could "understand", while the members here all know a piece of music for example is not something we understand but feel, or whether like or dislike, and how.
To back this up, the matter of the fact is, we do not even understand our own cultural background, because it is simply there. We could merely set the coordinates of it when we encounter some different cultures, or we can only understand the differences, but not the cultures themselves, including our own.
Or, I could say I like Wayne Shorter or Bach or Prokofiev not because I grew up with that, or not as a result of any epic encounter or otherwise, but because I just simply like those musics over the others after all.
IMPO the cultures are there for us to respectfully embrace.
However, I have recently found a rare instance to encounter a disrespectful and absured culture, wherein everyone can freely cut in an ongoing conversation, wherein Catholicism has come into power that opposes refugee immigrants while quite a few of them are in fact immigrants elsewhere today, and once were refugees accepted by many other countries of different cultures, or wherein they are said to be "smartest only after the issues". However, that is a lone sample out of my 16 years experience outside of my own.
Do you find your personality changes depending on which language you are speaking? I find myself louder & more assertive in Spanish, but rather defensive in German.
Not so much lately. BTW what is your native tongue/nationality?
Nowadays, I agree that the simplest sentences are the clearest; I suspect they encourage one to think logically, too.
We all have a desire to be understood 100%. But it has long been proving to be a fantasy as far as I am concerned. Or, it is not only the languages that sends out the messages about who we are. In a sense we both are playing our musics for the sake of it, hopefully.
Thank you again, I'll be back on my job.