Brace yourselves for an awesome metaphor. In Stranger in a Strange Land, Dr. Mahmoud refers to language as the map one uses to see the world. It leads characters to where they are going, helps them know where they've been, and gives them a reference point to where they are. The major problem Mike confronts when he first comes to Earth, and throughout his journey, is that his map is so crazily different from everyone else's. Where he sees marriage and brotherhood, others see sinful sexual congress. What he defines as God, others define as blasphemy. By teaching humans the Martian language, Mike is able to create a place in this strange world. And now, finally, his map shares some reference points with others, and he's no longer the stranger. Or is he?
It's possible that Mahmoud's "map" example is backwards. Maybe language doesn't determine the way we see the world. Instead, the way we view the world does determine our choices in language.
Jubal is the only central character who doesn't undergo a major change in the novel. This is because he's the only one who refuses to learn the Martian language—stubborn much?