Language is a way of communication between people, which enables them to understand each other. Clear and understandable ideas are what languages should enable people to deliver.

Languages have a structured process, which takes place between one person and another. One of them starts the conversation by sending his/her thought through a sound; that sound known as the meaning of that thought. The receiver then interprets the sound into a concept that has a value.

Ferdinand de Saussure identified the person who has sent the thought or the concept as the signified and the receiver as the signifier. Then he identified the process between them is a sign process. From my understanding of this process, the receiver can express the meaning of the word that he/she has received and that expression is the sign; it is invisible or can’t be known other than feeling and meaning to the receiver.

If I said twelve hundred or one thousand two hundred, there is no problem to understand the value in English ether way, but if I said twelve hundred in Arabic it would not be understandable at all!, logically they are the same and the concept of the word is there, but twelve hundred does not have a sign. This shows that the existence of the sign may affect how people understand words and how they give a value to the specific sign.

Signs play a key role in languages, it could turn a whole idea to another or to the opposite. That point has to be clear to people like me who wise to learn a new language; in other words, languages does not depend only on its vocabulary but also the signs that they have and how to relate them to each other.

The concepts of words might not change through the time but what might change are the signs. I remember when I was quite young I came to England and people used two words to thank someone which are “thanks” and “thank you”, meanwhile you hear people say “cheers” as a thank. Here where we can see the sign has changed or a new sign has been added to the word “cheers”.

It does not matter how the language changes as long as it allows people to deliver their ideas clearly. What is important is the real understanding of words in term of signs.