Longman Dictionary

Throughout history human kind has developed language. The need of communication and understanding of each other has pushed the ancient human that he built up language. But because there were different settlements of them there were different languages developed all over the world but with the same aim. Now days we tend to expand our knowledge by trying to learn different languages. Some of which we consider as languages but some we call sciences, for example mathematics, which is considered as the language of numbers and shapes.

If judging by the explanations taken from Longman dictionary these to things seem to be quite different. As the Longman Dictionary states language is a system of communication by written or spoken words, which is used by the people of a particular country or area. The examples include Japanese, Italian and many other languages spoken all over the world. On the contrary mathematics is the science of numbers and shapes, including algebra, geometry, and arithmetic. These explanations are clear and simple enough to indicate that there practically is no similarity between language and mathematics.

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But the situation is quite different when we look at the explanation of word art, which is the ability or skill involved in doing or making something. It is clear that there is some ability or skill involved in mathematics. A pretty simple example might justify this point. If we give the same algebra problem to two different students it is going to be unlikely that both students will solve this problem equally fast or slow. Also the way in which they will solve this problem is probably going to be different. In addition all of us aren’t great mathematicians and genius. The same thing can be applied to arts.

However if look concretely to arts as a form of expression using painting and drawing, there is no definite connection. When examining explanations of words language and mathematics closer there are some quite obvious similarities. All of us are not mathematicians. So there is a particular group of them. As well as we do not use mathematics in our everyday lives. But there are people who do – engineers, mathematicians, physicists etc. The same similarity can be observed with languages. We do not speak all the same language. In different parts of the world people speak different languages.

There are different nationalities just like different professions that use mathematics in their everyday life. As well as the use of mathematics is to a certain extent similar to the use of language. As the Longman dictionary explanation states we use language to communicate between ourselves. But different people dealing with mathematics also use mathematics to communicate between themselves. They express their ideas and thoughts about different ideas dealing with math. As well there have been invented different jokes dealing with this science which other people normally would not understand.

For example – Guy gets on a bus and starts threatening everybody: “I’ll integrate you! I’ll differentiate you!!! ” So everybody gets scared and runs away. Only one person stays. The guy comes up to him and says: “Aren’t you scared, I’ll integrate you, I’ll differentiate you!!! ” And the other guy says; “No, I am not scared, I am e^x. ” For a person who does not know anything about integration and differentiation this joke can be probably dull and meaningless. On the other hand this joke can be amusing if you are acquainted with differentiation and integration.

In addition to these similar features there is also another one. Both language and mathematics are group into several subgroups. As already I mentioned there are different languages, like Chinese, Italian, English, Latvian and others. Similarly mathematics is subdivided into algebra, geometry, and arithmetic. But there are also several distinctions to be considered. Firstly there are no real sentences. Normally to speak any language you have to build sentences, which contain subject and predicate, and then using the language’s grammar you build up your sentence.

But in mathematics, if you call it a language, there is no such thing as predicate and subject. Sentences in mathematics actually are equations which have different signs and operators for example for, or, and, equals etc. In addition you cannot express yourself freely using mathematics. You cannot express your feelings, emotions. Which number or sign depicts sad or happy? Is it 1 or 2? In addition it is impossible to illustrate scenery or a picture. Thus it is clear that mathematics does not have to abilities that any normal language has.

But the arguments might be little bit stronger if we talk whether it is or it is not art. As already mention to be a mathematician you need to have some skills and understanding of the science. As well just any of us can’t be a genial artist. Artist also need some skills an understanding of art. They have to know how to draw and how to shade and also various different aspects of drawing. In mathematics these different aspects are rules, theorems and axioms. However if we consider art as a form of drawing to express our feelings it is hard to compare it to math. Again which of the numbers express feeling sad?

Another thing is that art creates a picture or a sculpture, but math does not. Is a number a picture? Anyone can draw a number. Is he therefore an artist? Obviously not, so it might seem that there is no connection. But the same question can be asked about language and art. Is language by itself a form of an art? Letters an art? I would like to say no. But communication is. It is not so easy to make a friend if do not now how to talk not hurting anyone. Actually it is pretty impossible to no to hurt anyone by the way you talk. But can the same questions be asked about mathematics as a way of communication?

If you would ask these questions to a mathematician it is cleat that for him mathematics is a form of art and also a language, which can even help him to express his emotions, though not clearly for others. But for an artist it will seem that there is only a weak connection between these two areas of knowledge. But there are always exceptions. It is hard to draw the borderline. Are the arguments for stronger than the arguments against? We cannot ask to official acknowledge mathematics as a language. We have to think for ourselves whether it is art and language for us or it is not.