Saturday, January 19, 2013

Learning languages
What everyone asks me when I say I'm learning German, which I find rather odd.

So I'm currently in my second semester as a (part-time) university student learning two new languages! And I love it!
It's made me think a lot about how the language we use influences the meaning of what we're saying, for instance, the sign for "believe" in American Sign Language is literally "thought-marriage", like a commitment to a thought. I'm not sure if a native signer would even notice this, but to an outsider it makes you think about what the word "believe" really means.
Or how in German, word-order is drastically different. Does this change the way you think about your sentence? Just because a German verb generally comes earlier in a sentence than an English one, does it give that verb more weight?
Anyway, I think I need to take a linguistics class because I have a lot more questions than answers!

But I think the point of this post is that learning a second (and third!) language really opened up my worldview, made me think about the way we communicate. Whether verbally or through sign, we all have the same desire for language. I hope to continue my studies to a point where I can communicate effectively in German and ASL, but in any case it's been an awesome introduction to other cultures, vocabularies, and customs.

Well, there's a mini-update on my life! I'll try to post again about some of the other stuff that's been going on!
If anyone's reading this, do you speak any other languages? How have they helped you to think about the world?

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