The dawn of humanity took place in Africa around 2 million years ago. Since we are social beings, we strove for communication way before the development of language. Nevertheless, we still communicated by making sounds, dancing, acting, and so on.
Around the same time, we started communicating using symbols and drawings. Drawings are said to be one of the oldest forms of communication. The oldest drawing ever found is said to be around 73,000 years ago. It has been 73,000 years since we first drew something and here we are, still taking pictures.
Why did the early humans discover drawing earlier than languages? As the popular quote says, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” our brains are made in such a way that we understand images way better than texts. That’s why early humans prioritized drawings over languages.
So, when did people start communicating via languages? The oldest written language is the Sumerian language, first attested about 3000 BC in southern Mesopotamia. That’s just about 5000 years ago. When we do the maths, we can see that language first came in writing after 68,000 years since the first known drawing.
So, why did we start using languages? The answer is quite straightforward. We began using languages to connect, to communicate about one another’s feelings, needs and ideas to live and run families.
Why am I saying all this? Well, I’m saying all this because I think we have forgotten that the ‘sole purpose of language is to connect people, not divide them.’ Moreover, we people think of languages as a barrier when they are made there to connect people and understand each other through language.
People these days mock non-native English speakers. In some countries, one who speaks fluent English is considered ‘intelligent.’ One of the greatest footballers of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo, was also mocked during the beginning of his career just because of his poor English. Here, we did wrong because we took language, whose sole purpose is to connect people, and used it as a barrier. And I’m afraid that’s not right.
I use the English language in my blogs despite it not being my native language because English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. And due to this reason, I get to connect with more people.
To conclude, let’s stop mocking others regarding their poor language skills. We discovered languages to ease our life and living and they have done so too. Then why do we tend to make others’ life complex and embarrassing just because they are not good at one language or the other?
The writer, a 17-year-old student from Nepal who sometimes thinks himself an ‘over-thinker,’ is currently planning to do engineering and has a rooted interest in writing.