Language vs Dialect
Difference between language and dialect are confusing to many as they are two words that are very much interrelated. Language and Dialect are two words that are often confused when it comes to their meanings and connotations. As a matter of fact, both the words are to be understood in different senses. A language is a form of communication used by humans with the use of sounds. A dialect is a form of a language that can be seen in a specific region. A language can have several dialects. In this sense, one can say that a dialect is a subset of a language.
What does Language mean?
Language is the mode of expression of thought by means of articulate sounds. It only means that articulate sounds make a language. Mere thoughts are not sufficient to communicate. These thoughts have to be communicated by means of meaningful sounds. This is how a language is formed. A language is very well defined by the Oxford English dictionary as ‘the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.’
What does Dialect mean?
On the other hand, a dialect is a form of any language spoken in certain parts of the globe. In the words of the Oxford English dictionary, a dialect is ‘a particular form of a language which is peculiar to a specific region or social group.’ For example, Greek is the major language of the Greek group of languages. The languages such as Doric, Attic and Ionic that are associated with the Greek group of languages are called as dialects in that particular group.
Thus, the various groups of languages coming under different families of languages are divided into dialects. There are several groups of languages such as Aryan group of languages, Greek group of languages, Germanic group of languages, Latin or Italian group of languages, Balto-Slavonic group of languages, Armenian group of languages and the like.
It is interesting to note that the languages that are mentioned above come under a family called the Primitive Indo European family or simply called as Indo-Germanic family. Each of the groups that come under the family are further divided into several dialects. Linguists consider that dialects are often impure forms of the main or the principal languages.
When we speak of dialects most people think that dialects are spoken in the rural areas in certain countries. These types of dialects are known as geographic or regional dialects. They are not spoken in the urban areas of certain countries. However, one should also remember that there are certain types of city dialects too that distinguishes one speaker from a certain part of the city from the other speakers.
What is the difference between Language and Dialect?
• Language is the mode of expression of thought by means of articulate sounds.
• On the other hand, a dialect is a form of any language spoken in certain parts of the globe.
• A dialect is a subset of a language.
• Linguists consider that dialects are often impure forms of the main or the principal languages.
• There are two types of dialects as geographic/ regional dialects and social dialects.
These are the main differences between language and dialect.