Languages are our chief way of communicating with one another, and are often learned by necessity rather than any actual preference. However, many today learn languages for fun, as opposed to a benefit of some kind. Thus, many wonder if they like a language, and since English is the most widely spoken, many ask: is English a beautiful language?
English is certainly a beautiful language for many people. The sound of English is varied with many differing dialects, and can sound both academic or rustic depending on the use. Then the cultural aspect- the people, history, and tradition of English, can make people find it beautiful.
Topics relating to languages usually end up having long and complex answers that are not fully definitive. Whether English is beautiful is no different. This is especially true since deciding if something is beautiful is nearly always done on the basis of subjective reasoning. So, can we find objective reasons why English is beautiful (or maybe why it is not beautiful)?
- 1 Is English The Most Beautiful Language?
- 2 What Makes English Beautiful?
- 3 Is English A Boring Language?
- 4 Is English A Nice Sounding Language?
- 5 The Final Talking Point On Whether English Is Beautiful…
Is English The Most Beautiful Language?
If we are going to discuss if English is beautiful, we should rule out first if it’s the most beautiful language. If this is the case, that would essentially answer our topic’s dilemma right then and there. Since it would obviously matter for our topic, we should ask ourselves: is English the most beautiful language?
English is not the most beautiful language in the world, as being such would require it to be agreed upon by a significant majority of the world. However, we can safely say that overall English would be one of the most beautiful in the world, despite not being the most.
This is not to say that there can’t be a most beautiful language, instead this merely points out the nuance that exists with languages. It depends on whether or not you are including all the languages of the world, or just those in a particular group, since both will bring you very different answers.
Along with this is how hard it is to not value these languages on a subjective basis, and this leads to many different answers to the “most beautiful” language question.
For instance, I myself could consider English to be the most beautiful language in the world (which would probably be due to me speaking it), whereas a speaker of Chinese or Arabic couldn’t even think of it in the top ten.
Any list of languages that you might come up with will always have a definite most beautiful, though we just might not see it clearly ourselves.
Instead of asking whether English is the most beautiful out of the whole world (since it probably isn’t, no offense to English), we should focus on if English can be objectively beautiful. This can help to see if it can legitimately be considered beautiful.
As such, our next question should be: can English objectively be a beautiful language?
Can English Objectively Be A Beautiful Language?
First things first, can a language even be objectively beautiful?
A language can be objectively beautiful on both the basis of how it sounds, and even more so on its culture and traditions.
We all know what beauty is. But we also know when it is lacking too. We know the sunset we are looking at is not perfect though we still say it is beautiful. The most beautiful or the one with the least imperfections is something that we would truly consider closest to the divine.
Even when focusing on languages, we can know beauty and be the judge of whether or not it is the most beautiful. What is the most beautiful, however, is not something I could have the time to explore in this article (as it is a subject deserving one of its own).
With that answered then we can turn back to our starting question of: can English objectively be a beautiful language?
English can certainly be objectively beautiful, for both its culture and sound. The sound of it is not considered the best, but it is still beautiful. Then the culture of English certainly brings objective beauty for a variety of reasons.
For more information regarding English, or language learning, check out some of my other articles.
- What Does English Sound Like To Foreigners?
- Is English Really a Boring Language?
- 15 Tips When Learning English
What Makes English Beautiful?
What do we mean when we say that a particular language is beautiful? Or more importantly for us, what do we mean when we say English is beautiful?
For starters, does this refer solely to the sound of a language, or can this also refer to other things surrounding languages?
So, how can we be sure that a language like English is right to be considered beautiful?
English can be considered beautiful due to its sound. However, a much less talked factor is the cultural aspect of languages. Someone can find any language beautiful by how it sounds and its cultural aspects, which refer to the people, beliefs, and customs that are linked to languages.
Here we have two main factors to determine a beautiful language, and in turn this applies to English. These two factors are both by themselves sufficient for a language to be beautiful, though it is always best if they have a combination of the two.
Even though most people’s first inclination is to think of the sound of a language in regards to beauty, what is arguably more important and less subjective is the people and history that are always inherently linked to them.
Due to the necessity they pose for our overall topic’s question, it would benefit us the most if we explored both main factors.
The Sound Of English Can Make It Beautiful
The main way people decide if a language is beautiful is whether it sounds nice, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. And generally speaking, English is seen through these lenses in a favorable light.
Yet, a problem that emerges when focusing on the sound of a language is that it can be very subjective.
It really depends on the eye of the beholder (or I suppose, the ear of the listener) if a language sounds good. Some just might not like the sound of English, regardless if others do.
Likewise, even if one is not commonly considered to sound nice, that does not necessarily mean people don’t like the sound of it.
Take German or Russian for instance. Though they are harsher languages to be sure, some like the guttural sound of German and the deep sound that Russian has. Now, would they say these languages are beautiful based on their sound?
Maybe or maybe not, however they could on a cultural basis.
These languages are usually considered to sound unique, not bad. So, essentially with languages there are the good, the unique, and the ugly in regards to how it sounds.
So, where would English be in this informal categorization?
English is considered to be almost a middle of the road between good and unique, not the best at anything, but good at a lot of things.
All in all, a language sounding nice can be for a variety of reasons depending on the person listening. Despite the subjective nature of it, the sound of a language can make it beautiful for many different people.
The Culture Of English Can Make It Beautiful
I said how the cultural aspect of languages is important for English to be considered beautiful, but there are some lesser (as in not as common) reasons that contribute too. The most notable would be the ancestral part of languages, and as such it would be best if we focused on these two.
The cultural aspect of languages in turn affects the sound of a language. If you can believe it, this is due to the perception of how we personally see a particular language.
For instance, it is said that some like the sound of English, particularly American English, because they think it sounds cool. And the huge media enterprise that comes from America would certainly be one the main causes for this (i.e. blockbuster movies, news media, and video games).
This is actually a fairly common view among those young people seeing English from the outside looking in. Though they might not put it this way, in a sense they are referring to the beauty of English through the culture of it.
As an example, someone might find Polish to be beautiful, precisely because they find Polish culture to be beautiful.
This is not without subjectivism, but it can also be much more objective than other factors. Some cultures are better than others, though a sometimes controversial statement, it is no less true.
There are those that are more free and just, or more unique compared to the rest. Some hold strongly to their historical ties and attributes, and some have simply melded into the more dominant ones around them. It is no fluke that some cultures are still here today while others are long forgotten.
By no means is this to say people can’t like a culture for subjective reasons, only that the objective can be found. English then can have objective reasons for why people think it is beautiful.
Along with the culture of a language, comes the ancestral aspect. This refers to those who have a strong tie to language and it’s culture, through family connections.
If your parents are Italian immigrants to America, then maybe you would learn Italian while growing up, or later in your life due to its significance to your family.
Having connections through your family to English ancestors could be why you learn the English language, or why you might further appreciate it if you already speak it.
This tends to be much more personal and unique to one’s own self, and can not necessarily be generalized across the public.
Is English A Boring Language?
Some wonder if English might be boring, but how can a language be boring in the first place?
They can be for a variety of subjective reasons, whether it is due to the grammar, the sound, or to the culture of a language. If that is the case then would English be boring for it’s features, or the culture behind it?
English is not a boring language by any means, because of the culture and history behind it. It’s features are not notorious for being boring, in fact English’s grammar is less intensive compared to other languages. The plethora of uses for English make it not boring as well.
Is it really so subjective to say a language is boring? Isn’t there some avenue that could be concrete, leaving certain languages just inherently less interesting?
Is It Subjective To Consider A Language Boring?
It is subjective to consider a language to be boring, however this does not mean it is bad to think this, only that it is just your preference. Thus, you can not definitively say a language is boring, nor can you really make much of an argument to convince someone else to think the same.
For the most part, people don’t say they find a language boring. Instead they usually come at it from the perspective of either they like it or they don’t. And that is perfectly fine, as long as we remember that preference is a private decision and doesn’t need to be defended.
Though there are some who might mistakenly think they find a language boring, when in reality it is just them not liking a particular language. Preference is private where opinion is public and should be based on facts that can be judged by others. Boring usually falls in the preference category.
Motivation in language learning is crucial, if you don’t like the language, then you are going to have a tough time trying to learn it. According to this study, even things like anxiety will affect how well you can speak your second language.
So, it is important that you don’t find the language you are going to learn boring, and certainly to like it to some degree. Others just may have a completely different preference and not share your feelings.
Is English A Nice Sounding Language?
Saving the best for last, and something that is very much related to our topic, is whether English sounds nice. When most people ask if English is beautiful, this is the question that they are really asking. So, is English a nice sounding language?
English sounds nice to a lot of different people, precisely because it can sound very different itself. There are many unique dialects of English all providing sounds that range from academic or more colloquial. English is able to be spoken in many different ways.
Now, there are still people that don’t like the sound of English, and that is perfectly fine. Yet, the general consensus is that most people at the very least think that it is pretty good.
Overall the English language is nice sounding, with a lot of variety that some others don’t have.
The Final Talking Point On Whether English Is Beautiful…
English is a beautiful language, due to both it’s sound and the culture that surrounds it. The sound of English is generally well beloved, mainly due to all of the unique versions of it. The cultural aspect of the language, namely the people and their customs, are what make English beautiful.
If you would like to learn more about English or language learning in general, then read some of my other articles!