Languages are frames for a lifestyle

“One can easily imagine a language consisting only of orders and messages in battle,

or a language consisting only of questions and an expression of affirmation and negation.

And countless others. To imagine a language means to imagine a life form.

Quotation (translated by frizztext), introducing Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951), Austrian-born philosopher, professorship in philosophy at the University of Cambridge (1939 – 1947); he had times of service in the military, as well as a primary teacher, was a son of rich parents, gave away all his money, liked to be a poor writer, or enjoyed to be a man, who liked to fall into deep silence, avoiding any words at all …
End of the Arirang mass game - Pyongyang North Korea

End of the Arirang mass game – Pyongyang North Korea
Originally uploaded by Eric Lafforgue

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DDR Luftwaffe Lim-5 Gatow
DDR Luftwaffe Lim-5 Gatow
Originally uploaded by Danner Gyde

translate good German to bad English

“Man kann sich leicht eine Sprache vorstellen, die nur aus Befehlen und Meldungen in der Schlacht besteht, oder eine Sprache, die nur aus Fragen besteht und einem Ausdruck der Bejahung und Verneinung. Und unzählige andere. Eine Sprache vorstellen heißt, sich eine Lebensform vorstellen.”

via Wittgenstein (de) « frizztext – little essays.

About frizztext

writer, photographer, guitarist

20 responses to “Languages are frames for a lifestyle

  1. I like Wittgenstein’s quote. A lot. At a dinner party, I was seated next to an army general. I asked him about the command, “Ready. Aim. Fire.” I was getting a tad philosophical, but I was interested in the underlying principle of the command; not just that one is firing a gun. But the trifold nature of the command is what intrigued me. He explained to me that commands in the (American) military are a deliberate sequence, with each part having a specific function. “Ready” – get yourself in position. “Aim” – prepare yourself for what you need to do. “Fire” – execute the command. I found this a fascinating revelation. I’d forgotten about that until reading this quote. I think you’ve just helped me for one of my 365 entries for PostADay! 🙂


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  5. I suck at languages….! :). K


  6. related:
    was man über sprachen sagen kann – und gruppen, völker,konzerne – könnte man auch über architekturen sagen …
    ELTZ castle
    es gibt abweisende, herrische, egozentrische, einschüchternde –
    und es gibt freundliche, einladende, fragen zulassende …
    Loft Light


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  16. Interesting post and it does fit the one I have on language… 😉


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