What if language barriers broke down overnight?

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    Apr 28, 2012 4:48 AM GMT
    What if one day the world wakes up and everyone understands everyone, clearly and precisely? This includes all forms of communication, even sign language.
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    Apr 28, 2012 4:55 AM GMT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel
    According to the biblical account, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, came to the land of Shinar, where they resolved to build a city with a tower "with its top in the heavens...lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the Earth." God came down to see what they did and said: "They are one people and have one language, and nothing will be withholden from them which they purpose to do." So God said, "Come, let us go down and confound their speech." And so God scattered them upon the face of the Earth, and confused their languages, and they left off building the city, which was called Babel "because God there confounded the language of all the Earth."(Genesis 11:5-8 ).

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    Apr 28, 2012 4:57 AM GMT
    Movies like this wouldn't exist:
    Let%2Bme%2Bin_03.jpg

    the_girl_with_the_dragon_tattoo_movie_po
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    Apr 28, 2012 6:13 AM GMT
    Y U think there language barrier long time shizznit thug life no likey?
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    Apr 28, 2012 6:19 AM GMT
    ¡Ahora se habla castellano!
  • Guycicle

    Posts: 228

    Apr 28, 2012 6:22 AM GMT
    Scöe aav ern hieøv! =)
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    Apr 28, 2012 11:56 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidWhat if one day the world wakes up and everyone understands everyone, clearly and precisely? This includes all forms of communication, even sign language.


    Then the world would only have one person upon it.

    3418251569_f2645d7fb7.jpg
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    Apr 28, 2012 12:00 PM GMT
    I think it would be a double edged sword. There would be good outcomes because the language gaps would be diminished.

    However, I don't think it would eliminate communication gaps based on varied cultures' moral and value systems.

    Consider the difference between a typed message and spoken message. Sometimes in a typed message - someone may be joking or sarcastic, but their intent may come across a bit different to the one reading it.

    You might be able to open the lines of understanding the language of the basic message, but you wouldn't be able to open the lines of intent and perception.
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    Apr 28, 2012 12:03 PM GMT
    Hawesian said
    paulflexes saidWhat if one day the world wakes up and everyone understands everyone, clearly and precisely? This includes all forms of communication, even sign language.


    Then the world would only have one person upon it.

    3418251569_f2645d7fb7.jpg


    +1
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    Apr 28, 2012 12:44 PM GMT
    Language protects culture. I think if you suddenly made only one language, you'd have a huge cultural fusion in many areas -- maybe bad, maybe good.

  • Bunjamon

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    Apr 28, 2012 12:50 PM GMT
    My job would become obsolete.

    And I don't want that! icon_eek.gif
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    Apr 28, 2012 12:54 PM GMT
    The cultural nuances that come with different languages would be lost. That's part of the fun of learning and speaking other languages.

    I like the flip side of this scenario: everyone speaking 2 or 3 languages fluently.
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    Apr 28, 2012 8:25 PM GMT
    If we could all instantly understand each other, a lot of the color in the world would be gone. But it wouldn't solve the communication problem.

    Communication problems are a huge issue between people who speak the same language because we all have different backgrounds, different experiences, different biases, and different interpretations of the same things.
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    Apr 29, 2012 12:34 AM GMT
    I find it rather odd that, with all the brilliant people on this site, nobody thought of the implications a universal language would have on technology. That's actually what I thought would end up being discussed. icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 29, 2012 1:03 AM GMT
    vitamin_D saidThe cultural nuances that come with different languages would be lost. That's part of the fun of learning and speaking other languages.

    I like the flip side of this scenario: everyone speaking 2 or 3 languages fluently.


    + 1

    people must be fluent in at least two languages
  • araphael

    Posts: 1148

    Apr 29, 2012 4:43 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidWhat if one day the world wakes up and everyone understands everyone, clearly and precisely? This includes all forms of communication, even sign language.


    Wow, I love your dream man. I wish such a thing could happen tomorrow. The only problem, I think, is that humans seem to be, by nature, so insecure and seemingly self hating, that if the language barrier went away, they would just find something else to dislike, seperate, and hate each other over and about. But I hear John Lennon's dream in your dream here, "Imagine all the people...."
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    Apr 29, 2012 4:52 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidI find it rather odd that, with all the brilliant people on this site, nobody thought of the implications a universal language would have on technology. That's actually what I thought would end up being discussed. icon_wink.gif


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    Apr 29, 2012 4:55 AM GMT
    araphael said
    paulflexes saidWhat if one day the world wakes up and everyone understands everyone, clearly and precisely? This includes all forms of communication, even sign language.


    Wow, I love your dream man. I wish such a thing could happen tomorrow. The only problem, I think, is that humans seem to be, by nature, so insecure and seemingly self hating, that if the language barrier went away, they would just find something else to dislike, seperate, and hate each other over and about. But I hear John Lennon's dream in your dream here, "Imagine all the people...."
    Thanks! It's true that humans would just find something else to dislike and that many would continue to be self-hating and insecure; but I'm not dreaming John Lennon's dream. I'm just pondering the potential outcome of such an improbable event.

    And after reading most of what else has been posted, I can only conclude that even with all the positive results that could happen, a sudden change like that would bring worldwide panic worse than Dec 21st of this year could ever dream of. icon_lol.gif