The Power of Language

In addition to this morning’s video on the Arab media, I agree with the director of Al Jazeera English that the bigggest obstacle America is facing is that “America is trying ot sell an unsellable product”. While at the same time America is denied access to Al Jazeera English, which has so much power in bringing different countries and showing a sympathetic side to the conflicts within the Arab countries. The two issues have a very significant strain to the current situation, especially when ideas of cultures are trying to be changed for the good of peace. This discourse of communication is largely caused by a major challege, the language barrier.

In order to get an intended message across it must be sent through the language of the receiver. When it is translated through a translator, much respect is taken away. This is interesting because it puts so much stress on the way a message is being sent. Though a translator may be able to translate what is being said word for word, a sense of personalization is lost. By speaking in the language of the receiver, it reflects that you don’t have intentions of imposing your ideas as an outsider because you are one of them. In essence you are speaking to them not at them.

This has been something we were taught in many parts of life, such as when we were children and were asking something from our parents. We knew that by screaming and demanding what we wanted was never effective and if you wanted something you’d have to speak to them as if you were an adult and achieve that respect to gain their attention. Why is it so difficult for America and Arab countries to apply that reasoning? Is it because it is at a much larger and political scale? Is it an issue of pride, that neither want to appear inferior to another? Or is that they want to establish power before peace?

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