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The language of sharing

Updated Monday, 23rd April 2012

Communication brings people together. Sharing through language, food, music and drink is at the core of human relationships.

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Communication is not only a tool that we use in transactions, it is also the means through which we share experiences and develop relationships with fellow human beings.

When we use somebody else’s language (even just a couple of words) we are showing our willingness to take part in their culture, to learn about them and to share experiences with them. The more able we are to speak and understand someone’s language, the more experiences we are able to share with each other and the deeper such experiences can afford to be.

Not too surprisingly, this sharing of cultural and personal experiences often goes hand in hand with the sharing of food and drink (and in many cultures, music and dance), which have been closely related to the social dimension of human behaviour throughout our history.

The language of sharing

Click each image to watch some of the many forms that communication and sharing can take.

Simon discusses the impact that language differences have on his relationship with Gino. Copyright BBC Memories and traditions are important to our cultural identity. The German baker in this clip is keen to share his father's recipe book for the original Black Forest gateau. Copyright BBC The ritual use of language is an integral part of many initiation ceremonies. Watch how the Hairy Bikers are admitted to the Académie Universelle du Cassoulet, by repeating a 'magic sentence'. Copyright BBC Sometimes the language we choose to speak has a meaning in itself. In this clip, watch how three languages are used: English, French and Occitan. Copyright BBC Social interaction consistently revolves around sharing food, drink and music. This lively clip with a German band illustrates the spirit of sharing perfectly. Copyright BBC Dave, whose wife Lil is Romanian, discusses the role of language in his multilingual family. Copyright BBC




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