Can Mathematics/art be languages?

Are mathematics and art types of languages?

Firstly, the definition of language in dictionary is a specific instance of system of complex communication (Wikipedia). Assuming that the meaning of ‘complex’ is expression of details, both of the area (math and art) seem to be lacking in it. Using our verbal and written languages, we can express our feelings, situations and emotions in greater detail. Of course mathematics can express the concepts that work in our world (ex: a2 +b2=c2) and art can convey feelings such as happiness and sadness. But is it possible to express things such as “I need a medicine because I just ate an expired mint chocolate chip cookie and got stomachache” through math and art? For mathematics, lots of things such as numbers, angles, shapes, differentiation and integration are applied to our real life situation. However, can it express our surroundings as well as the emotion? In the case of art, it can convey general, obvious feelings such as happiness or sadness. But can it accurately describe detailed things like hunger and itchiness?

We’ve seen a limerick shown through mathematical equation, which shows that those symbols can make up a rhyme and a poem. Similarly, we can try to show shape circle through its properties (2                         r, r2) but there is limitation to it. We always learn mathematics through language which allows us to understand the meaning and significance of all the symbols and numbers. And the previous limerick was formed since humans chose to make the symbols to be perceived as having same sound with certain alphabets, written, and read in certain ways. Hence mathematics itself seems like it can be a type of language, but in fact it still relies on verbal and written languages to be understood and applied.

Art is more abstract and subjective. The style of art and its forms change often, and it gives certain impression to viewers without any verbal or written languages. We purely see the movement of dancers, colors and strokes of paintings to judge the creator’s feelings. This already creates a problem for art to be a language: if the ‘communication’ through art fails since the viewer perceives it in different way, can art be a language? Also, even though it can convey certain feelings and emotions how accurate would it be? For instance, an artist could have drawn a picture of bread and milk to show his hunger and craving for food. But the viewers may view it as ‘reminiscence of simple way of life’, ‘normal family’s lifestyle’ or ‘unique way of viewing normal food as an artistic object.’ I do agree that there are still problems in understanding each other’s cultures completely across different countries, but if this kind of miscommunication happens in our daily lives between everyone art cannot be a complete way for communication.

Therefore, I view both mathematics and art as things that are not languages. Of course they communicate certain things as explained above, but they fail to achieve ‘complex communication’ between people.

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