10 Feb


Photo by badeendjuh on Morgue File.

If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you don’t currently speak, which would it be? Why? What’s the first thing you do with your new linguistic skills?

It has been a long, busy day. So, I will give a short reply today to the post. It is much later in the day than I normally respond to the post, but I’ll give it the old college try.

As I have studied several different languages in an academic setting, I am familiar with the rigors of learning other languages. One thing a person finds as they study another language is how little they know of their own! As you study another language you begin learning far more about your own than you ever did as a child.

You begin learning things like syntax and parsing and different types of adjectives and conjunctions. All of a sudden, all those laborious exercises of diagramming sentences become relevant.

I suppose if I had to choose a language I have not studied much before it would be French.

It seems a natural progression to study and one that would come in handy as far as theological studies are concerned.

I do not really study languages to converse with others; my aim is typically more academic. I study languages to be able to interact with them and translate texts. If I did learn French, I would probably read a scholarly journal article and translate it into English.

As I have studied languages, I have come to appreciate how important the art of communication is. It is not just about knowing what to say, but also about how to say it. There are nuances and shades of meaning in all languages. One of the interesting things about linguistics is learning these finer points of a language.

It is a bit humbling as you have to start over, learning alphabets and sounds. You have to start on ground level, building sounds and syllables, finally pronouncing words. It is a process.

If you have not studied or learned a new language before, I would encourage you to do so. It will open your eyes, not only to the world around you and that particular language; but, as I said earlier, you will find yourself learning far more about your native language than you ever did in school.

So, as the French say, Bonsoir!


Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Grace in the Everyday


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2 responses to “Bonsoir!

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