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Language and Culture

“Because without our language, we have lost ourselves. Who are we without our words?” ― Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock

Katelyn Darrow and Brigitte Jia spend time discussing the topic of language with Katelyn’s recent experience living in Japan. She was able to learn the basic phrases while struggling with pronunciation, grammar, sentence structure, because Japanese is vastly different from English! Despite her lack of verbal and written communication, Katelyn was struck by the ability to communicate in other ways and the eagerness that Japanese people had when corresponding with her. Brigitte reads The Gift of Language by Vann Ackerman in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World whereby Vann attempts to learn Russian so she can read Tolstoy’s War and Peace in its original language! As a neuroscience major, Brigitte gives us a glimpse into our brains and language from a neuroscience point of view. Language is a higher order function that requires multiple associations across various neocortical regions. The human brain is the size of an average primate’s, however, language is unique to human beings, perhaps due to the way certain synaptic connections are structured in our brains. Speak up, speak out, express yourself!

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