Monday, 2 July 2012

Blip: The study of languages

I considered that today I might, for a change, use a post to talk positively and not complain about anything or try to dissect or destabilise modern society, instead I will talk about a passion of mine: Languages.

Both Pop and I adore languages; we are learning a few now and if we had the time in the day we would learn more. If our days were 128 hours long we would learn 15 more but we will settle for now. 

Languages hold the purest expression of a culture’s history and its view on the world and how it should be categorised. English is one of the most widely spread secondary languages but while it is very often used as a link between world scripts and dialects, people who speak English as their primary means of communication  often have a tendency to view languages of the world as an aside to theirs. I get asked what a certain foreign word is in English and so often the answer is ‘there isn’t one’. 

This isn’t because English is lacking or Japanese is superior, it is because the world is a hazy place and can be split up and labelled any of a million different ways, in fact, every single concept can be viewed from this many different perspectives. This is not to say that the object or the concept in question doesn’t exist elsewhere in the world, only that they talk about it in a different way. 

It is this difference in perspective that fascinates me; this, along with a certain obsession with etymology, grammar and script systems. I would not recommend languages as a full-time hobby to anybody; it is time consuming, difficult and it takes a large amount of concentration, effort, determination and a myriad of other ill-defined words that amount to the same thing: Without a strong bond with the core principles and disciplines of learning, you can’t effectively learn a languages, let alone multiple languages. 

I realise that in this post I haven’t brought much to provoke discussion, maintain interest or contribute to the argument-based, skeptical atmosphere that we’ve created but then, I’m not paid to.

You figure it out.

Blip (signature still isn't done yet.

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