Saturday, 3 April 2010
I Love Languages
I can't really imagine what it's like not to speak more than language. I think everyone I know does. Maybe that's just a sign of the times. People are not so rooted in one place anymore, they go abroad to study, they have foreign friends. Increasingly, people are forced to leave their country to find jobs elsewhere, so of course they need to be able to speak the language.
For me, it wasn't really a choice. I grew up bi-lingually, and then we moved to Holland, where I went to an international school. So mono-lingualism wasn't really an option. But as far as I'm concerned, learning languages isn't really a chore. I don't think there was ever any time in my life when I wasn't busy learning a language -not always successfullly!
Languages I started and then gave up on: Japanese, Russian, Old Norse, Turkish, Norwegian, Arabic, Ancient Greek, Bahasa Indonesia.....oh dear!
Still, it was fun, and not just that. Learning languages - and this is more than a truism - helps you appreciate that cultures are really very different.
Think of the word 'Bread'
These aren't just different WORDS arethey? They are a porthole into a different culture - how people live, eat, imagine food, what they eat with 'bread' (couldn't have a ploughmans with that cholla, could you?).
I'm quite curious to hear what your experiences are with languages? Do youl like learning them? Do you speak them when abroad? What was your first reaction when you first encountered the adventure of a foreign word? Please let me know... I'd love to hear your views!