Language and Linguistics

Language and speech difference in table

Differences between language language and speech

Language, language and speech are terms that tend to be used interchangeably, although their meanings are completely different and refer to different biological, social and cultural realities.

Language encompasses systems that go beyond the way humans communicate, but it also covers all communication systems created by mankind. For its part, language refers to the various linguistic systems or languages, in their different forms of presentation. Finally, speech refers to the specific and localized ways in which languages ​​are manifested.

The differences between language, language and speech, as we will see, indicate instances of communication that range from the most general to the most particular, and although the concepts tend to be confused, they mean specific things that are good to know.

Comparison Table


Physical and biological process that allows communication.

Oral, written and gestural communication system of a community or social group.

Daily and concrete manifestation of a language.


Natural ability, it exists in various species, it has various manifestations, it is an innate ability.

Human manifestation, social, arbitrary and structured character.

Individual character, personal and particular manifestation, does not need rules.


Sender, receiver, code message, channel.

Alphabet, morphemes, phonemes, words, signs, gestures, symbols.

Voice, articulation, intonation, rhythm, lexicon.


Oral, written, corporal, proxemic, iconic, phonetic, poetic.

Living and dead languages, natural and artificial languages, languages ​​in recovery.

Assertive, compromising, directive, declarative, expressive.


Human language, whale language, mathematical language.

Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, German, etc.

Mexican, Argentine, Andalusian, Venezuelan, etc.

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