By Pragya KC

Language is power, life and the instrument of culture, the instrument of domination and liberation.

Angela Carter

In today’s world, more than 6,000 languages are spoken, discounting the numerous others that haven’t been recognized. With new technological advances, international organizations and multilateral relationships between various countries, these languages increasingly come into contact with one another. As a global citizen, one must be at ease in this atmosphere, one where cultures converge and fuse. That said, first we must address certain questions: What exactly is a language and what role does language serve to the human race? Is it merely a medium of communication or rather a vehicle that allows us to explore and understand countries, cultures and peoples alike?

First and foremost, language was constructed in order to meet basic human necessities: to communicate, to warn, to discuss; however, over time, it has been molded by culture and tradition, which have revolutionized the true meaning and value of language. Beside its basic functions, language also traces the history of the culture or the nation that it serves. Being a global citizen means that one is not only open to different countries and cultures, but also earns the right to understand them. Therefore, learning different languages is an integral asset for being a global citizen as it offers a looking glass through which we are able to view and comprehend different cultures and countries, especially in the international community.

Learning a different language is not only a great asset but it can also transform the manner in which we perceive the world. With not only a wider vocabulary, but also access to different schools of thinking and histories, one’s outlook on how to grasp the global community, and even his or her own community can metamorphose.