Language of the Heart

I just came across a recent newspaper clipping, but I didn’t note which paper it came from. It’s headed “First in line: Foreign language advertising” and it’s by Emily Ford. The point being made is that, in advertising, one’s mother tongue works best. Based on a study from RSM Erasmus University in Rotterdam:

People who speak more than one language respond more acutely to marketing messages delivered in their native tongue.

Why? It seems that even for those who have good command of a second language and understand the message well in that language, it is communication in their first language which touches their emotions and evokes a response.

It is thought to be linked to the way in which people link words with memories. Theory suggests that we associate certain words with our experiences. Reading or hearing a word subconsciously reminds us of these memories, generating an emotional response. … So messages delivered in a first language are more emotional than those in a second language.

If people are to have their hearts touched by the most important message of all, God’s Word, they need to hear it in their mother tongue, the language of their heart. I think we knew that already, but it’s good to see the same principle confirmed in a different sphere.

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