Thursday, April 30, 2009

Languages I have met in my life - part 2

Following yeasterday's post, I'll keep on talking about my language learning experience.

Several years after graduating the university, I got interested in Brazilian music (Samba and Bossa Nova) and had been into it for a while. I even bought some Brazilian instruments. I also got a Portuguese book to learn how to sing Brazilian songs. I remembered the Spanish teacher in my college told us that Portuguese was similar to Spanish like twins - actually these two has many similar words - but in my personal opinion, Portuguese sounded more like French. Honestly, I am not sure yet about it because I studied Portuguese just for three months or less.

Yesterday I wrote about how difficult French was for me, but it turned out later that the grammatical system of Russian was much more complicated than French. I realized that when I joined a weekly Russian lesson offered by my coworker who spent her childhood in Moscow. What makes Russian more difficult is its symbols, or confusing Cyrillic alphabet (for example, Cyrillic "Р," "Н," "В" are pronouced like English "R," "N," and "V" respectively. I took that lesson for more than half a year and memorized all those symbols, but sadly I no longer remember it.

This is the whole story of my wide but shallow language study so far. English, Spanish, Italian, Indonesian, French, Portuguese, and Russian. Because of the shallowness, I can't speak any of them exept English. But I think I have at least "tasted" each one of them - how it sounds, how it's difficult or easy, how it's different from (or similar to) Japanese or English, etc.
Just like wanting to try various kinds of foods in this world, I always want to try different tastes of language.

And after this "tasting," I realize that there are people who speak in a language that I can't speak and who therefore have a different way of thought behind that language. They are human beings just as I am, while they may have value that I can't even imagine. This might be one way to understand and to be respectful towards people around the world.

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