The Language is Music

Musings about the language that we speak

The Language is Music
Photo by Juri Gianfrancesco on Unsplash

“Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language.”

― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

I’ve known some of the guests that would be featured for 10 years, and I feel very close to them not because we speak frequently, but because we share a deep passion for music.

That being said, I never thought the language we speak would be an issue until I started the project and discussed it with potential guests during the planning stage for the interviews. I have been in contact with some of my friends and colleagues, inviting them to be my guests on the podcast, and I didn’t realize that some of them are not comfortable speaking in English.

I remember attending UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network meeting in Enghien-les-Bains, France. The meeting participants were mostly high-level government officials or industry experts, the highly educated crowds. During one of the meetings between city delegates, one of the participants was speaking and got interrupted because she lost her way in the middle of her speech. She said, “Sorry for my English.” Another delegate replied, “This is a global forum; you don’t have to apologize for your English.”

That’s when I realized if you want to be truly global, you can’t rely solely on English. There’s a reason why the latest version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the hottest generative AI product in the planet, highlights its live translation ability. It aims to be useful not only for English-speaking customers.

My friends and colleagues, who I will feature in this publication, are trailblazers in their respective regions. They are the most knowledgeable people in their fields. Some have spent the majority of their adult lives mastering their areas of expertise. If we want music to be truly global, these rich resources of knowledge shouldn’t be judged by a person’s ability to speak English. Because our language is global, we speak music.