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Language is a tool of the human being that serves to structure their world, their thinking and from there to communicate various types of messages to other beings. There are a multitude of them, from different epistemological cuts that can be made. Here are 18 types of language .

Text typesDefinitionExamples
Oral languageIt is the spoken language used by the speech apparatus.A simple talk or a soliloquy.
Written languageIt is the language that uses graphical representations.A letter.
Iconic languageLanguage that uses non-verbal visual representations.Any traffic sign.
Facial kinesic languageLanguage as facial gesturesGesture of sadness or rejection.
Non-facial kinesic languageLanguage as gestures of the rest of the body.A posture or a certain movement of the hands.
Proxemic nonverbal languageLanguage as spatiality.Closeness between people shows complicity and trust.
Natural languageInnate or primal language.Gestures of interest in babies.
Literary artificial languageLanguage learned for aesthetic and entertainment purposes and for the implementation of other regulations.Novel, poem or story.
Artificial programming languageIt is the language of computers in a broad sense.Any formal language designed by algorithms.
Scientific-technical artificial languageIt is the formal, objective and often numerical language.Science writings.
Formal languageLanguage whose claim is seriousness and respect.A conversation with a boss.
Informal languageLanguage whose claim is complicity, closeness and even fun.Chat with friends.
Visual languageLanguage that relies on the sense of sight.A film, architectures, works of art.
Sound languageLanguage that is based on the sense of hearing.Orality in the broad sense.
Tactile languageLanguage that relies on the sense of touch.Braille system.
Olfactory languageLanguage that is based on the sense of smell.Pheromones from a physiological aspect.
Egocentric languageLanguage based on the internal, without pretending to communicate to a third party.Thoughts.
Social languageLanguage based on communication, in the search for a receiver.A conversation, a book, a call.

There are different types of language necessary for human beings to be able to communicate with each other. Some can be observed in everyday life and others have more specific rules. Communication and language are vital for expressing ideas, emotions, feelings, and thoughts. The world and the human being as we know it develop from language.

Oral language

Here we simply mention spoken language, which is used by the speech apparatus at the physiological level to develop messages. Oral language, of course, is not only a matter of biology, since the words uttered are linked and have a meaning, even when technically they are not addressed to a flesh and blood third party.

It is an extremely ancient technology, which makes the world what it is for men and women. It is assumed that for 50,000 years the human being can use, in a rudimentary principle, an oral language.

Written language

This type of language lies in the graphic representation of oral expressions. Here we are not talking about a simple transposition, because written language, much more recent than oral, carries its own logics and modes.

For language to make sense, it must follow a multitude of syntactic, semantic, and grammatical rules. In truth, although man has the ability to develop written languages, in particular there are a multitude that have existed, exist and will exist.

Iconic language

Human language is not made of an absolute, pristine, and clear representation of the thoughts of the same person. The idea of ​​reflection is not sustainable, but it is that of a multitude of creations and productivities. A good thing about it is all that is iconic, which does not use verbality or even writing, but which accounts for a message, an idea that by convention we usually understand.

For example, if we see a skull on a yellow sign, it is logical that the same account for death, specifically toxicity; an allusion to risk.

Facial kinesic language

Gesture can be divided and a central place of it is the face itself. It is that a multitude of faces, movements and gestures have a symbolism, they convey a message. This is clearly non-verbal and has a strong bearing on the convention of the culture and even of a specific practice, in a restricted sense. An example of the latter are the facial signals that are made in any card game.

Therefore, it must be understood that man lives in a huge tide of language (some scholars call it social semiosis) and that everything he is and does communicates.

Non-facial kinesic language

The cut is arbitrary, but not only the face gives meaning, but the rest of the body. The expressive, appellative and communicative of the body movements can be reduced here. A body posture gives us a message, the movement of the hands, the legs; but also somatic issues such as the smell or the color of the skin.

So if someone gets nervous, their face may turn red and the viewer understands a certain message.

Proxemic nonverbal language

Proxemics refers to personal space and its study. And each space, therefore, contains a meaning, a message and communicates; even if it is not verbal or written. For example, very close accounts for intimacy; very distant is a public deal; distant and with games of height represent dissymmetrical relations of power.

The proxemics realizes that it is not the same to whisper in someone’s ear, which denotes complicity in both; to talks with a prudent distance.

Natural language

Here we understand any type of communication between people, the realization of which is innate and, if you like, even unconscious. When we are small, a strong reference is our mother tongue and also the whole panoply of original gestures: a grimace of rejection, acceptance, happiness, sadness, interest, etc.

Literary artificial language

But not all languages ​​have the privilege of an innateness that is confused with who we are and how we structure the world from a young age. An artificial language is one that is learned, whose rules are explicit to us, that costs, that takes time and discipline.

You can think of literary language, where the person who transmits a message does so correctly, looking for a certain beautiful style and developing extremely complex plots. There are different types of normativities here, since a novel is not the same as a story, a saying or a poem.

Artificial programming language

The artificial programming language is typical of the world of programmers. It is logical that you need a strong training to develop these types of messages, whose main motive lies in carrying out activities with the artifacts. Today talking about computers is a bit restricted, because the human being is crossed by a multitude of algorithmic devices.

Scientific-technical artificial language

Science has always had one claim: to know reality. And knowing reality, explicitly or implicitly, for many is speaking, reproducing the language of the universe. Therefore, a cold, formal, sometimes numerical, algebraic language will be the best for this, rather than a passionate, subjective and emotional one (especially if we are talking about hard sciences, such as physics and its multiple derivations).

Formal language

Here there is still artificiality from the moment we use a learned language, but also certain formalities, because what you want to convey is a message of seriousness and respect. Not only do we account for a certain way of speaking, with intonations and certain vocabulary; but also postures, clothing, distances, gestures, among other ways of communicating that converge on the same objective: etiquette and respect.

Informal language

The human being uses certain languages ​​depending on the context, the place. Is it the same to speak with a mother, than with a partner? With a brother than with a boss? The answer is no. Therefore, everything informal refers to colloquialisms and ways that imply spontaneity, closeness, complicity and sometimes even fun.

It is understood as if the rules were relaxed, when it can also be understood in the way that there are others, in another moment of our lives as communicating beings.

Visual language

Here visual language is understood to be any form of communication, natural or artificial, verbal or non-verbal; but with the outstanding feature that the message is captured through the sense of sight. Therefore, it is as varied as the gestures or the writing itself.

Sound language

Sound language is understood to be any type of communication captured or understood through the ear: that is, like visual language, it has a strong necessary physiological component. Oral language, for example, is in perfect correspondence with loudness.

Tactile language

In this language we apprehend information through the sense of touch. For those with visual disabilities, braille is a perfect example of what we say. In the case of sighted people, the tactile naturally communicates, but always subject to such a preponderant sense (even culturally speaking) as sight.

Olfactory language

As we said that in man everything communicates, since he is a symbolic being, naturally aromas and smells have a meaning. And not only from the social point of view, since we do not stop being animals (sophisticated) and we can also communicate with pheromones, chemical substances secreted by living beings.

Egocentric language

For many scholars there is a self-centered language since children, something like an inner genius that in adulthood we usually call “thoughts.” Here we give account of a language that does not have a foreign recipient of flesh and blood, but a way of structuring our ideas, organizing them to carry out various activities (not all with a productive sense).

Social language

Contrary to the previous one, here we have a language that wants to reach another, be it a person or a group of them. In short, it comes out of ourselves, out of that mental soliloquy. It communicates and relates us to an otherness, so it can be natural or artificial, verbal or non-verbal, oral or written, sound, visual, etc.

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