#003: New Language, New Brain, New World.
2021 was the year I did the unthinkable.
I decided to learn two new languages in a short time, European Portuguese and Serbian. As an English speaker, these languages were challenging.
Three to four months of Portuguese and three to four months of Serbian were not enough time to reach a conversational level. My goal was to be fluent enough to read signages not to get lost, order food not to get hungry, and introduce myself to make friends.
Roman Emperor Charlemagne once said
To have another language is to possess a second soul.
There are over 7000 languages in the world today. Each language has its unique way of perceiving and structuring the world. In other words, there are over 7000 ways of living!
Learning a new language is like building a new brain, giving birth to a new "you". It is the training of mental gymnastics, vocal exploration and cultural deep-diving. Language shapes the way we perceive the world. Language gives meaning to emotions, explaining what and how we feel. Languages give us choices, opening up different ways of making decisions.
Learning a new language does not need to be as intimidating as climbing Mount Everest. You can always start in small doses.
... Olá! O meu nome e Ling Ling, muito prazer. Quero um cafe, por favor. Desculpe, eu não falo português.
... Zdravo! Moj ime je Ling Ling, drago mi je. Hocu kafe, molim vas. Izvini, ne pricam srpski. (Здраво! Мој име је Линг Линг, драго ми је. Хочу кафу, молим вас. Извини, не прицам српски.)
(Hi! My name is Ling Ling, a pleasure to meet you. I want a coffee, please. Sorry, I don't speak X.)
Give language learning a try and see where life takes you...
Take care and stay safe,
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Culturally Cool Stuff
If you've got a site or link about culture, society, psychology, or anything culturally cool, please hit reply!
- Asemic Languages, video (3 min), So KANNO
- Slang and sleeping dialects: The evolution of language, podcast (20 min), Ginger Gorman, Seriously Social
- How to identify any language at a glance, article (4 min), James Harbeck, The Week
You can check out previously shared culturally cool stuff on our Pinterest if you've missed it.
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