Should we be trying to communicate in languages other than English?

2nd January 2020. General, Stuff paranormal investigators need to know. 1354 page views. 0 comments.

Is a language barrier hindering paranormal investigations or in the afterlife, or do we become bilingual through energy? Does knowing the cultural history in advance help or hinder us? Here are my thoughts and experiences. I would love to hear yours!

I have done my fair share of travelling. In my 20's when I was career focused, I spent quite a lot of time in China on business trips. The company I worked for was a wholesaler for bedlinen and it was my job to hand over instructions of every design, check it was being done correctly, everything was running on time and fine details in between. As with most wholesalers, we manufactured out of China. While a lot of the communication was via email, it was more productive for a lot of it to be done in person. Working out of Shanghai and Wuxi for me was a major challenge. A lot of people did not speak a word of English. Sometimes even getting a taxi was challenging. It was incredibly frustrating and sometimes our meetings had to have an interpreter just to get the message across. I would ask the hotel to write down where I needed to go in Mandarin so that my taxi driver knew where I had to go.  It was a simple problem. I spoke English, they spoke Mandarin.  They wree always very friendly and would nod and smile at me and say 'no English'.  I suspect this was about as much English as they knew.  The only Mandarin I knew was Xièxiè which means Thankyou.  It was safe to say, we were not really able to communicate.

English is narrowly the most popular language as of 2019 

Supposedly there are approximately 6900 different languages spoken in the World.  Some sound similar to a casual observer, but are spoken in different dialects.  There are millions upon millions of people in our world, that do not speak English and cannot understand it.  In fact, a lot of people tell me that English is one of the more difficult languages to learn.  While in 2019 it was the number 1 language spoken worldwide, this figure also accounted for people that spoke a different language as their 'mother tongue' meaning English is their second language.  While they may understand basic English, there is a lot they they do not understand.

According to http://www.ethnologue.com/guides/ethnologue200

Does the language barrier continue into the afterlife

This is something that comes down to personal belief and your experiences. First we would have to assume that when we die, we live on in some way as a form of energy or even light. I have asked many times during an investigations to whatever it is that I may be communicating "how do you see us?".  In my experiences the answer in whatever form has generally been energy/light. I know of other investigations who use this as a 'control' question with their equipment.  The question I should be asking is "How do spirits hear us?"  If they don't have physical ears or an eardrum, how can they hear us?  Is it through this energy or light that they are able to hear us?  Are they standing there with their version of an EVP recorder asking us our name? Do they receive information telepathically like some mediums do? Do they hear us through vibrations? Do they feel us like some sensitive people do?  None of this we actually know for sure. I know a lot of people have had experiences in this area, but there seem to be mixed answers here and what has worked for one person has not for other or they have a different view based on their experience.  Regardless of the view a person has, what I do know is however that we should at least be trying to communicate in a variety of languages.

Does speaking in a different language work during an investigation?

I have investigated locations with various connections to different languages, the most popular being German. In these instances I have suspected there was a presence with us, but no answer. Granted the reason for this was because the 'story' of the location was there was a German cook so was I already setting myself up?  I introduced myself in German and asked a question in German. I started getting reactions and hits. Is this because they could not understand what I was saying in English? Perhaps speaking in German in a room where a German cook lived is a form of the Singapore Theory where I was doing something to resonate with them.  Now with more years of experience and more importantly research under my belt, I also wonder if maybe I was influence here.  Knowing the stories of the German cook and speaking German, was I inadverdidly created my own 'Philip Experiment' and creating something that wasn't there with my intention?  This is not the only example of course, only one of many, however there is a connecting factor that before each investigator I have been aware of an ethnic historical connection.  Whether deliberate or subconsciously, I have been aware of it one way or another.  It does make you wonder doesn't it?

It is also important to take into consideration the time period you think you are dealing with.  For example, if you are investigating a castle that is a few hundred years old, a spirit wouldn't know what electricity is let alone a REM Pod.  If you are trying to get a spirit to light up a REM Pod, it would be better to say things like, 'please touch this red circle' instead of 'light up the REM pod.'  They would most likely not even understand a lot of what we say because our words are a lot less formal and a lot more casual.  I am sure terms like YOLO or YEET would be lost.  (If I am being honest someone said YEET to me the other day and I have no idea what they are talking about).

Photo by Sarah LLIFS inside Tower of London 2013

If it is a spirit of a person who has passed over, it is naive for us to think that people only speak English. Even on EVP or through different ghost boxes etc, whether it is audio pareidolia or not, I have heard voices that seem to have an accent. Just the other day a female voice with an Irish accent was coming through.. At another location I have heard Chinese words come through. If someone alive cannot speak English, I don't believe they would understand it in the afterlife.  What if though they don't hear the words as they are spoken?  Again they do not ears or eardrums, it would a communication through energy or light.  Does this energy or light act as some sort of translator?

If we look at the history before an investigation and see the cultural connection, it will likely aid an investigation. What is the cultural background? Maybe saying hi in their native language could change the course of your whole investigation! Of course this should be done with care as there are certain things that are not culturally appropriate and you must make sure (especially if you are going to share your investigating with the public being there or a video on YouTube) that you are not being insensitive.  Some cultures do not believe in afterlife communication or their belief is that we do not live on.  In this case if you are aware of this history in advance, should you be doing it?  Ask yourself the question 'Just because I can, should I?".  Further to that, I kind of think if you are asking the question, you already know you are in sensitive waters and may already have your answer.  Ethics however is for another time (something I have touched on in the past).

In my experience I have had great results with different languages. Of course the question you are left with (well if you are like me) is 'Am I communicating with a spirit who does not understand English, or I have created my own Philip?

Tell me your thoughts! Has this worked for you?

*** . Originally I first published this article in 2017.  I have updated it dramatically as my views have changed - the gift of hindsight and experience.  I challenge you all to look back on some of your earlier thoughts or experiences and you will likely have evolved since then.  I think it is important to acknowledge where we were to where we are now as it shows growth and evolution.  If we kept the same opinion for many years, are we even doing it right?  One of the things I LOVE about the paranormal field is that I am always being challenged, asking questions and often my perception changes as my years of experience and research change.  Then when I think I am sure about something, another things happens that makes me question everything.  Perhaps in another year or 2 I shall think differently again.  

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