“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” Ludwig Wittgenstein.
This quotation gave me a lot of inspiration. Actually the limits of our language are the limits of our world. At least under the conditions that we share our world with other people. To share your ideas, your dreams, your feelings and your inner world – you need words to describe this world to somebody. And everybody knows the very moment you try to catch a feeling or an idea you want to express, but you lack the words. At these very moments I mostly feel very uncomfortable, that I am not able to put it in to words, and the person I am talking to stays somehow in a foggy land, trying to follow but not really sure about taking the right path.
So in a relationship between cultures you have to be very attentive in listening to your love, as both people mostly don’t use the same language or expressions. You may be describing the same thing, but using different styles and expressions to paint the same picture with respect to your language. You may be drawing the same image but with different colors and finally you don’t understand each other rightly. Nevertheless, this is not a bad thing. If you are dealing even with two languages, I don’t think that your world is limited where your “language” stops, but where both languages stop. That means your range is growing.
(Not just for the fact, that you learn a second language well.)
To get back to Wittgensteins quotiation – at the same moment there is something missing. A spoken language is one side of communication, but there is also the unspoken language, which crosses the limits exactly at the point where you lack words to express. Everybody knows the following situation: You enter a party with many people. At the very first moment there will be at least one person catching your attention and maybe one person you don’t want to talk to at all. This phenomenon is just part of the wide range of unspoken communication. There is more, we can’t put into words. And maybe we don’t have to put it into words.
How would you describe in words that feeling when your lover takes your hand and presses it strongly, to let you know that he or she is there for you in a difficult moment. Would you call it support, love, comfort … etc” Is there really a word good enough to explain the feeling in it’s entirety? Well I don’t think so. How would you describe the feeling of a hug after two months without your partner? That one hug which tells you more about the time he or she spent alone and the joy to see you again, than anything else: Would it be enough to say “I missed you badly!” or “Good to see you again!”… etc.
Understanding what your lover tells you is important, so listen well and talk about your understanding. Sometimes it is even more worth to talk about expressions and what they mean, because by so doing, you find out whether or not you are speaking the same “language”, though you are not speaking the same language.
At the same moment, try to feel what’s going on and trust your feelings. There is so much more in that unspoken language, that you can’t catch from words so stay attentive and find ways to express yourself, so that your language is not an absolute limit to your world.