Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Acts 22 -- and talking dogs

A Jewish guy from the United States became a devotee of Japanese martial arts. He moved to Japan, and learned to speak their language with native fluency. He had no problems communicating with people on the phone, but had to repeat himself when meeting people in person. "It's like listening to a talking dog," he explained. "You are too surprised by the fact that the dog can talk to understand at first what it is saying!"

Here's an old joke that my Turkish friends appreciate:
  • If someone who speaks three or more languages is poly-lingual, and
  • If someone who speaks two languages is bilingual,
  • What do you call someone who speaks one language?
  • American
At the top of the steps leading into the Roman garrison fortress, Paul, a Greek-speaking native of Anatolia, begins to speak to the mob that had just been trying to tear him to pieces. And, they listen:
Act 22:1 "Kardeşler ve babalar, size şimdi yapacağım savunmayı dinleyin" dedi.
Act 22:2 Pavlus'un kendilerine İbrani dilinde seslendiğini duyduklarında daha derin bir sessizlik oldu.
A "more deep a silence they made." (daha derin bir sessizlik oldu) In the last chapter, the Roman officer in charge of the garrison had been surprised when Paul addressed him in Greek, the administrative language of that part of the world.

Your language is a very deeply embedded part of your identity. When you make an effort to learn another language, you open the doors to friendship, since you are showing respect for something very near and dear to the other party. Here are some resources you may find helpful:
  • This newsletter from a friend describes his experience with a crash-course in self-taught Italian. You can do it -- very quickly -- if you simply make it the most important project in your life for an intensely focused season.
  • This web site, livemocha.com, is a free global community of people who are eager to learn, and eager to help each other learn, additional languages.

1 comment:

Алиса Дементьева said...

As you may have heard, Livemocha is no longer in business and that link no longer works.
Also, site, https://www.lingq.com/, is an web and mobile language learning tool for learning languages in context. This is a good analog of Livemocha!