From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishlanguagelan‧guage /ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒ/ ●●● S1 W1 noun 1 English/French/Arabic etc [countable, uncountable]LANGUAGE a system of communication by written or spoken words, which is used by the people of a particular country or area How many languages do you speak? one of the best-known poems in the English language2 communication [uncountable]LANGUAGE the use of written or spoken words to communicate the origins of language3 style/type of wordsWORD, PHRASE, OR SENTENCE [uncountable] a particular style or type of wordslegal/medical/technical etc language The letter was written in complicated legal language.spoken/written language The expression is mainly used in written language.ordinary/everyday language He is able to explain complicated ideas in simple everyday language.literary/poetic language The plays are full of old-fashioned poetic language. language of the language of science4 swearing [uncountable] informalSWEAR words that most people think are offensivemind/watch your language spoken (=stop swearing)bad/foul/abusive language5 → strong language6 computers [countable, uncountable] technicalTD a system of instructions for operating a computer a programming language for the Web7 signs/actions/sounds [countable, uncountable]WAY/METHOD signs, movements, or sounds that express ideas or feelingslanguage of the language of bees the language of dolphins → body language, sign language, → speak the same language at speak(11)COLLOCATIONSverbsspeak a languageCan you speak a foreign language?use a languageThe children use their native language at home.learn a languageImmigrants are expected to learn the language of their new country.master a language (=succeed in learning a language well)She had had a long struggle to master the Russian language.know a languageHe had lived in Japan, but did not know the language.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + languagea foreign languageHe found learning a foreign language extremely difficult.the English/Japanese/Spanish etc languageShe had some knowledge of the Spanish language.somebody’s first/native language (=the language someone first learned as a child)His first language was Polish.a second language (=a language you speak that is not your first language)Most of the students learned English as their second language.modern languages (=languages that are spoken now)The school has a good modern languages department.a dead language (=a language that is no longer spoken)She didn’t see the point of learning a dead language.an official language (=the language used for official business in a country)Canada has two official languages: English and French.a common language (=a language that more than one person or group speaks, so that they can understand each other)Most of the countries of South America share a common language: Spanish.language + NOUNthe language barrier (=the problem of communicating with someone when you do not speak the same language)Because of the language barrier, it was hard for doctors to give good advice to patients.a language student/learnerLanguage learners often have problems with tenses.a language teachera book for language teacherslanguage teachingrecent developments in language teaching phrasessomebody’s command of a language (=someone’s ability to speak a language)Does he have a good command of the language?THESAURUSdifferent kinds of languagedialect a form of a language that is spoken in one area of a country, with different words, grammar, or pronunciation from other areasCantonese is only one of many Chinese dialects.the local dialectaccent the way that someone pronounces words, because of where they were born or live, or their social classKaren has a strong New Jersey accent.an upper class accentslang very informal spoken language, used especially by people who belong to a particular group, for example young people or criminalsTeenage slang changes all the time.‘Dosh’ is slang for ‘money’.terminology formal the technical words or expressions that are used in a particular subjectmusical terminologyPatients are often unfamiliar with medical terminology. jargon especially disapproving words and phrases used in a particular profession or subject and which are difficult for other people to understandThe instructions were written in complicated technical jargon.‘Outsourcing’ is business jargon for sending work to people outside a company to do. The letter was full of legal jargon.techniques used in languagemetaphor a way of describing something by referring to it as something different and suggesting that it has similar qualities to that thingThe beehive is a metaphor for human society.simile an expression that describes something by comparing it with something else, using the words as or like, for example ‘as white as snow’The poet uses the simile ‘soft like clay’.irony the use of words that are the opposite of what you really mean, often in order to be amusing‘I’m so happy to hear that, ’ he said, with more than a trace of irony in his voice.bathos a sudden change from a subject that is beautiful, moral, or serious to something that is ordinary, silly, or not importantThe play is too sentimental and full of bathos.hyperbole a way of describing something by saying that it is much bigger, smaller, worse etc than it actually is – used especially to excite people’s feelingsIn his speeches, he used a lot of hyperbole.journalistic hyperbolealliteration the use of several words together that all begin with the same sound, in order to make a special effect, especially in poetrythe alliteration of the ‘s’ sound in ‘sweet birds sang softly’imagery the use of words to describe ideas or actions in a way that makes the reader connect the ideas with pictures in their mindthe use of water imagery in Fitzgerald’s novel ‘The Great Gatsby’She uses the imagery of a bird’s song to represent eternal hope.rhetorical question a question that you ask as a way of making a statement, without expecting an answerWhen he said ‘how can these attitudes still exist in a civilized society?’, he was asking a rhetorical question.
Examples from the Corpuslanguage• language skills• She can speak four different languages - French, German, English, and Dutch.• Every pupil has to learn at least one foreign language.• the Japanese language• Confused by the legal language of the letter, Patterson called his attorney.• How many languages do you speak?• People often find the medical language used by doctors confusing.• English is the island's official language, but people also speak French and Creole.• the programming language C++• You never heard such language! It was disgusting.• Books about physics are usually written in highly technical language.• a fascinating article about the language of baseball• It's difficult living in a country where you don't speak the language.• the language of music• Every child develops the natural ability to use language.• "What language do they speak in Brazil?" "Portuguese."• There are ways of communicating without language.legal/medical/technical etc language• I write reams of dry prose with appropriately technical language and what my colleagues consider scientific consequence.• A will is a legal document, and it has to be written down in the correct legal language.• In more technical language, its position and momentum can both simultaneously be known.• One person's jargon is another's technical language.• Includes functional, professional, social, technical language and situations, together with associated body language.• First, they help to unlock the immanent structure of the legal language spoken in a specific arena.• In other words, the medical language facilitated liberal support of a degree of invasiveness greater than that proposed by a conservative.• You can use technical language for the expert which is not appropriate for the layperson.bad/foul/abusive language• They accompanied bad language with good works.• If he spoke, he would vent the most wicked and abusive language he had ever imagined, much less expressed.• The Professional's wife, acting as Steward, was dismissed for bad language and automatically it cost her husband his job.• She had learned bad language from her stepsons.• He doesn't like bad language.• The matter of sexually abusive language in texts is in some senses a separate issue.• As Sue Lees shows, the way pupils use sexually abusive language to insult each other in schools presents particular problems for teachers.• And Hollywood has discovered that bad language is good box office.programming language• To deal with that issue, Java was deliberately crippled as a programming language.• Java is a programming language that Sun unveiled last year.• The best-known example is Java, a programming language from Sun Microsystems that can bring web pages to life.• Being written in different programming languages, there was no literal similarity between the programs.• It will also use ObjectStore to recognise code, data and objects written in different programming languages.• It would also run on the Java programming language.• Interfacing of object-oriented programming languages to databases and expert systems.• The algebraic approach to programming language semantics has several features to recommend it.