In The Jungle Of Languages

The world of languages fascinates me. Given a chance to fulfil a wish, I would jump at mastering as many languages as possible. It is one of my earnest desires. Thankfully my career as a student of Sociology and Social Anthropology does not come in the way. For having a way with languages is considered to be an added qualification in this branch of social science. The level of fascination is so high that on meeting new people, I make all direct and indirect attempts to find out the number of languages they know. People with multilingual abilities impress me so much. I must confess of a sense of envy that crops up in the subconscious.  

So far I have been a slightly decent sample of the ‘rolling stone’ variety with a little moss gathered here and there in my brain. My efforts directed towards learning languages have met a mixed fate. Some were disasters, some weren’t as disappointing.


While in college, I enrolled for a year-long part-time certificate programme in French. I passed easily. Basking in the little glories of  ‘bonjour’, ‘comment ca va?’‘je suis desolee’  and several verb-forms, I enrolled for a diploma in the following year. Things had changed by that time. My attendance at the lectures declined because of my participation in everything else that college and hostel life had to offer.The French syllabus suddenly appeared monstrous to me as the number of lessons had shot up. I remember that my examiner at the viva voce examination asked me to describe to her ‘an imaginary stay at a hotel in France’. I would definitely not like to talk about the look that dawned on her face as soon as I shook my lips. It was clear that she tried her best to find some meaning in the nonsense that I had tried faffing up. Thanks to her strict marking that the French train I rode for those two years came to a screeching hault. It still stands at the same station and waits for a green signal from my side. It has been over ten years now and I have no idea of when and how will my ‘rendezvous’ avec ‘le langue Francais’ resume?

Urdu and Arabic

The experiences of learning French kept me mum for another few years till I finished my masters. The fieldwork for my Ph.D. research

Urdu Alphabet with Devanagari and Latin transl...
Urdu Alphabet with Devanagari and Latin transliterations.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

began in 2006 where it was essential for me to learn the language that my respondents used. During the course of my interactions with the members of the Jamaat in Delhi and in Uttar Pradesh, I had to take up learning Urdu with a fresh zeal. This time I was sincere with the classes and made the best out of my year-long association with the masters. Thanks to this attentive phase as it enabled me to comfortably read, write and speak Urdu. I did a large part of my year long fieldwork at a madrasa in Azamgarh where I made many friends. One of the senior Maulanas here was extremely kind and generously helped me polish my Urdu. Satisfied with the progress I made, he gave me around a dozen intensive classes in preliminary Arabic. I could finish a primer with him in those classes. Sincere gratitude to his support and guidance. He made the subject so engaging and I was the most influenced by the method of his teaching.  He continuously worked with me to dispel the notion that the language of the holy Quran is tough to understand and learn. He did make it clear by the end of my fieldwork that Arabic could be learnt as easily as any other foreign language.

Having finished fieldwork, I came back to the university. I could now fluently read Urdu newspapers and could use the literature that I had collected for my thesis.  I got enrolled for a course in Arabic which was hugely helpful in advancing the basic knowledge I had received from the Maulana. I found Arabic to be quite like Sanskrit in its structure and syntax. The rules of person, tense and number are very similar in both the languages . There are similar verb forms and combinations to be memorised. Arabic surely isn’t that difficult a language to learn as it might initially sound.

Dreams Galore

One of the most fascinating aspects of university life is that it is a platform where people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds get a chance to intermingle. Numerous ideas, varieties of knowledge systems interact and are discussed and shared. Each time that I listen to my friends using their own language, the linguistic lust gets ignited in me. I quickly add to my kitty some of the interesting sounds from their conversation with a hope that there would be a day when this kitty shall be useful. 😛

Ritwik Ghatak, India (1925- 1976)
Ritwik Ghatak, India (1925- 1976) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another occasion that triggers the madness is when I watch a film in any of these languages. The wish to learn Bangla was at its peak when a friend gave me a DVD of Ritwik Ghatak’s classic films. While admiring his genius in films like Meghe Dhaake Taara, Naagrik, Baari Theke Paaliye and Jukti Gappo Tarko, I noticed that I was for a brief while intent on learning the Bengali language. Thankfully I did not enrol anywhere and continued paying attention to the work I was supposed to be doing. A similar week-long Marathi phase passed not so long ago. That week was all about the Lavani and Nautanki videos on Youtube.

The latest one to have smitten me is Tamil. The craving began a couple of days back when I watched Mani Ratnam‘s Iruvar once again. Iruvar is a brilliant film that presents a fictionalised account of the friendship and the political rivalry between the cine-political personalities from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu- MG Ramachandran and KM Karunanidhi. Snippets from the Dravidian movement find interesting space in the film. It bespeaks of the power that cinema and poetry can play in electoral politics. The characters of the playwright politician (played by Prakash Raj) and that of the Tamil cine star (played by Mohanlal) are amazingly portrayed.   Powerful poetry rules the film from its’ beginning till the end. This unending appreciation for Iruvar is only to slyly mention to the reader that Tamil has made it to my list too!

For this mega project of mine (clearly I haven’t done enough for it) inspiration isn’t lacking. The Indian Prime Minister Mr P V Narasimharao’s mother tongue was Telugu and he had an excellent grasp on Marathi. In addition to eight other Indian languages, he spoke English, German, Persian, Arabic, French, Spanish, Greek and Latin. Thinking of him and the others of his stature thrills me no end!

This is to end by saying that dreams and aspirations are integral life processes. They lead mostly into the domain of the impossible. They at times stand for the best and the worst in us. It can be fruitful to ponder over the dreams that recur. And yes! dreams alone do not and cannot mean much until and unless intelligently pursued!



285 thoughts on “In The Jungle Of Languages”

  1. I have a friend from Africa, he speaks so many languages. Every year he takes classes for a new language. He wants to go back to Africa and be an interpeture. I’ve seen him speak to Russians, East Indians, Asians, French and Spanish people . It amazes me.

  2. I enjoy to learning languages too. I’ve done French and Italian but honestly, I can barely remember any of it. I plan on going back to school… Then we can practise together 🙂

  3. Good write-up.

    In the Jungle of Languages, we belong to a tree called mother tongue. Then, we discover our neigbours’ or vicinity’s language that may or may not belong to the family of our mother tongue. As we grow old we start discovering other trees, their flowers, their fruits. Some seem easy to grab, some are thorny temptations and others remain in the realm of beyond. We chase one or two, or a few. But life and our competence defeat us in grabbing all we desire. The Jungle is the wilderness and our desire – the energy to make it a Home.

    Thinking about Jungle of Languages, I am reminded of the followings. Watch it yourself and share your thoughts (perhaps in your next post).

    The Gods Must Be Crazy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntdJBMu52ek

    Koshish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5o8d76khkA&feature=watch-now-button&wide=1

    I’ve got a feeling http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOQ40DqGZ5A by Bobby McFerrin

    Sing! Day of Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81uJZIF9TCs Improvisation by Bobby McFerrin

    Keep expressing

    PS: I can send more of Bobby McFerrin’s performances but I leave that for you to explore.

    1. Thanks for the insightful analogy that you have drawn. It adds so much to the clarity of the post itself! While the post mentions the jungle as a place of confusion and disarray, you made it sound like a networked arrangement which is orderly and networked in its own way. Have seen Koshish (a film that I trmendously admire). Will check the other links soon. And yes! a post on the other links you have shared shall follow very soon. It is always nice to see you here!

  4. I read this post last night as soon as you posted and wanted to respond in detail but was too tired and sleepy.

    I loved reading this post from you.
    I too am fascinated by languages.
    I already told you about my linguistic problems.
    I don’t have a proper linguistic identity.
    What I speak naturally at my home is a wholesale “Khichdi” with ingredients from Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and English.
    Technically my native language is a dialect called Paalakkad Tamil spoken in the border districts of Kerala/Tamil Nadu.
    But I have been unable to claim an identity from either state.
    The Tamilians consider me a Malayalee and the Malayalees dismiss me as a Tamilian masquerading as a Malayalee.

    I learned both the scripts and have a basic knowledge of these languages, just enough to indulge in informal and colloquial small talk and with enough knowledge to read the Bus destination boards and the cinema hoardings and newspaper headlines.

    Having lived so long in Karnataka, Kannada soon joined this list of three south Indian languages that I know but not well enough to boast. I never got an opportunity to get exposed to Telugu.

    Childhood and boyhood years spent in Mumbai exposed me to Bambaiya Hindi and having lived in a Gujarati neighbourhood ensured exposure to Gujarati. I also learned Gujarati formally as a third language in School for 7 years but my knowledge has rusted after so many years of being away from it and not using it.

    Hindi was my second language in School and a compulsory one. This is one language, I did not just pick up. I made efforts to learn it when I developed a liking for it.
    English was of course our medium of instruction and the language I was most serious about and encouraged by both the family and the school to master.

    I now regret my decision to ignore Sanskrit which was an optional subject from Standard 8 to Matriculation and I learned French instead. I have now forgotten French due to lack of use and exposure for about 46 years now. I think I should have opted for Sanskrit instead. But, frankly, studying a Foreign language had greater snob value and I fell victim to peer pressure during those impressionable years.

    I am now trying to pick up Sanskrit. A recent two day camp, conducted by Sanskrita Bharati at our residential complex rekindled my interest. The teacher skillfully demonstrated that Sanskrit could be a spoken language and need not be confined to scriptures, mantras and shlokas.

    I have been fascinated by the Arabic script and have regretted my inability to read Urdu in Arabic script. I used to enjoy listening to those grand dialogues in chase Urdu, in old Bollywood films and also the lyrics of old bollywood film songs but am totally at sea when I see the script . Some one told me that it is the most “economical” of all world scripts. By that he meant that in a hypothetical situation where paper and ink was rationed, and if the same volume of matter had to written in a number of languages, all other language writers would be more likely to run out of paper and ink, but the Urdu / Arabic writer would probably have ink and paper space left over. Is this true?

    Some day, just for the heck of it I may try to learn it if I get an opportunity.

    Considering the powers of reach that knowing a language gives you, my choice of languages to be proficient in would be:

    1)English for global reach
    2)Hindi for reaching out to the largest number of Indians.
    3)Spanish (not French or German Italian or Portuguese) to reach out to the largest number of westerners who cannot be accessed through English
    4)Arabic, to reach out to a wide arc running through all the Islamic countries right from Northern Africa, via West Asia up to the AfPak region.

    5)Sanskrit, for enabling me to better appreciate and enjoy our classics, mythology, scriptures, shlokas, prayers etc and for the foundation that can enable me to pick up other Indian languages.

    If I had my life all over again, I would entreat my parents to see that I had the opportunity to learn the above five languages. I would be satisfied with superficial knowledge of other Indian regional languages if needed only, and would not exert myself too much to learn any of them. Unless one is obliged to live in those regions, I see no point in making an effort to learn them.

    I believe being multilingual is not impossible if begun at the right age. Don’t we learn many subjects simultaneously in school? Aren’t there sportsmen who excel in more games than one? Aren’t there musicians who can play more than one instrument? May be they are best at one but they can be good or at least passable at the others.

    That Laavni video was enjoyable. Who was that celestial nymph? She is real “eye candy’. To me it looked a lot like the character “Archana” of the Manav-Archana lead pair in the popular TV serial Pavitra Rishta. I don’t watch that serial of course but I occasionally watch my wife’s facial expressions as she watches and follows the serial and find it equally entertaining. That is one teleserial when I am on my own if I need anything. I dare not disturb her while she watches unless I am willing to brave an angry glare. I take advantage of commercial breaks to catch her attention during that prime serial watching time.

    Sorry for the length of the comment but the subject was absorbing and I couldn’t help myself.


    1. Dear GV Ji
      Once again I found your comment to be far more enjoyable and engaging than the original post!
      Your comments are invaluable and are always most most welcome!

      The ‘CN’ and the ‘EC’ (:P) you have asked about is Sonalee Kulkarni. Have not seen the teleserial so can’t really say if it is the same person over there. Hope you noticed the Rang De Basanti fame Atul Kulkarni in the background of the dance, dressed as a performer!

      The economy of stationery that you mention sounds like an interesting question to explore further. One reason for such a belief could be the fact that “maatras” are not used while writing Urdu. So PUL can be the sound for either “Pull” “Pill” or “Pal” and has to be read keeping the context in mind. Arabic (specially the scriptural text) heavily relies on the right ‘maatra’ and therefore looking at a page printed with Arabic sentences can give you an impression that a lot of ink must have been used. I personally think there are other languages which would be more ‘economical’ to write in. English for that matter requires lesser pen-paper contact. I am not sure though. This way of looking at a language is new to me. Thanks for pointing that out.

      Your list of ‘to learn’ languages is impressive too. Would be so interested in reading about the details of the two day Sanskrit course you attended!

      Sanskrit/French anyway would have been a tough pick during school. Believe me, had you gone for Sanskrit, you would have equally regretted missing French. And that is the charm of the world of languages! You hop on to one only to realise that the other one is fancy too!


  5. Congrats on being freshly pressed !

    I too am very fascinated about learning languages.. Although I haven’t mastered one yet:) I have always wanted to master the ability to speak in Sanskrit.. There was this one time when I picked up a book called “Learn German in 30 days” . It definitely didn’t help .. 🙂

  6. I completely agree, language fascinates me. I know a little bit of French and a decent amount of Spanish, but I would love to keep learning. My cousin mastered in languages and speaks a total of 8 languages. I have always been so envious. Maybe one of these days I’ll miraculously learn a few more ha.

  7. Great job.l myself speak four languages ARABIC ,TURKISH. GERMAN . ENGLISH ASYRIAN .I TEACH ARABIC LANGUAGE l graduated from Baghdad Un iversity .Languages college.Thank you.Best regard and wishes. JMS

  8. I so know what you mean by people who know many languages impress you! I guess we’re on the same page.
    I love Spanish, apart from Hindi and English (which I am quite good at). I know a bit of French too, because I’d studied French for four years straight. But, still, Spanish is the best. Do you know Spanish?

    And yeah, Sanskrit, even though it is not that common anymore, still retains its mysterious, charming ways.
    Great post! 🙂

  9. I share your love of languages and I have tried to learn just about every language I have had access to. I’ve also greatly admired anyone who can speak several languages and aspire to one day be like them. Good luck on your linguistic journey!

  10. I would love to be a master of many languages. I’m conversational in a few and trying my hand at sign language, no pun intended. It’s all self-taught though so it’s moving a little slow.
    Awesome post!

  11. Great post and delighted to see this featured on Freshly Pressed! I share your fascination with multilingualism, and fret now that I don’t use the few I know often enough!
    Not at all surprised that Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar has inspired you to think of Tamil; and that Ghatak moved you to consider Bengali – while the best movies transcend language and location in some ways, they also help us feel so absorbed in the local and these two artists are particularly good at it! Again, thank you for a thought-provoking post…..

  12. I love languages too. Unfortunately i’ve only had the opportunity to do a little French and Spanish, but I would love to pursue languages more. I also share your jealousy and admiration for those who are multilingual.

    Hmm… maybe a summer project…

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    – Kali

  13. I always wanted to learn multiple languages as well. I have found my ear is in remedial training and I’m lucky I know English. I have been fortunate to be exposed to several other languages though and find such exposure a real joy. Great post! Cheers.

  14. I hate you (not really) just dam jealous at how easy you made it sound. I try not to hold to the belief that older people can’t learn languages. As my aim is to learn Russian though I keep having to set it aside for long periods which is a hinderence. I think immersion in the language and culture is what I need perhaps a year two if lucky would do the trick.

  15. Hey! Great post. Much to relate to actually!

    Being a half-teugu-half- pallakad iyer, brought up in Bangalore, I’ve had lullaby’s sung in 4 different languages! In one of the comments, Mr. Vishwanath very well explained the Pallakad Iyer plight! Mine has been a little worse.
    Naturally, Hindi and English were added to the list and since I live in Lucknow now, it is polished Urudish Hindi! I took up a certificate course in French this year. Hopefully, I’ll pursue a diploma too. I live with Bengalis and Punjabi’s long enough (2.5 yrs) to pick up what I’ll need when I land up in Calcutta or Amritsar. A one year stint in rural Rajasthan has given me pretty decent command over Marwari/ Rajasthani.

    So here goes the tally: Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, English, Marwari and the other half learnt languages.

    Eagerly waiting to increase the tally like you! 😀

    1. That is actually some enviable track record! Hope that I will get to hear more from you! Yeah there is a striking similarity with Vishwanath Ji’s linguistic predicament!
      Best of luck for the efforts!:)

  16. well, from one impressed writer to another: your earnest efforts towards diversifying yourself inspire me. as do your well-chosen images.

    a thought: it’s been said that by the age of twelve, we become hard-pressed to master any language but our own. having wrestled w/ German as a teenager, i’m hard-pressed to dispel the notion. BUT — what if there existed a language which transcended this barrier – flew above our finite limitations: one easily expressed and freely shared universally? *sigh*. what do you make of this?

    1. Those are extremely nice words to hear. Thanks!

      Cannot agree more with you on the lovely thought! The transcendental language does exist- it is the one that conveys to us the enormities of nature and the unspoken signals from our beloveds!

      However, the utmost technological achievement that language is for humankind, needs a celebration every now and then. These beauties are to be multiplied numerous times over. So in a way- the more the merrier!

      I hope to read and hear more from you! Do visit again!

  17. I’m just a passerby who found this post on Freshly Pressed. Congrats!

    Languages really are the best, I agree! I didn’t get too interested in languages until about a year or two ago, but ever since, I have been engrossed in them. If I had it my way, I’d learn most of a language in the foreign country it’s spoken in by full immersion. At first, I just wanted to speak French, but now I want to learn all the major (and then some) languages, including Spanish, German, Russian, Arabic, and Mandarin. And as time goes on, the list grows longer.

    Currently, I speak only English and Korean, of which knowledge of the latter is sadly diminishing. I know bits and pieces of Spanish and French from high school, and someday, I hope to perfect all these languages. What a dream. If only secondary languages were taught at an earlier age in the States. If only I had the time. With luck, perhaps mastery of these will seem more feasible.

  18. Learning some new language is such a pain. I basically just know how to read, write and speak in Hindi, English and Punjabi. I tried learning French once, it was very interesting in the starting- i very enthusiastically learnt numerals, alphabets, certain verb forms- but as soon as the time came for framing sentences, I swooned and since then, I’ve been running away from French.
    Well, congrats on being freshly-pressed! Nice post!

    1. To keep up to such a tough moment is the biggest challenge! That is where my French classes too saw a lack of involvement from my side. A sustained attention and a little bit of perseverance can definitely do it for the likes of us. Let’s give it a try once more!
      What say?
      And thanks a lot for stopping by. Hope you will visit again!

  19. I’ve always dreamed of becoming a polyglot. I am fortunate enough to be Argentine-American and have a fluent control of Spanish. If I ever get off my lazy butt, I could probably pick up Italian and Portuguese fairly easily. Good luck on your efforts!

  20. I really enjoyed reading your post! I share the same love for languages including some of the same ones you’re interested in. I am currently in graduate school working on my M.A. in French and am also taking an Arabic class. I actually find pronouncing Arabic rather difficult although the grammar is so much easier than French. Some of my dearest friends live in Tamil-Nadu, so I’ve always had a bit of a yearning to try to learn Tamil one of these days! I don’t know what I want to be when I “grow up”, but it may be on the lines of linguistics. 😉 Keep up with learning languages!

  21. Great post! I too share your love of language. Just one thing though. Please tell me you were writing for effect when you wrote “le langue français” in place of the correct phrase “la langue française”.

  22. my friends are in the social sciences and they have a habit of taking language lessons also. most of them are now at really advanced spanish, arabic and japanese. and our great national hero, Dr Jose Rizal, shares your interest with languages too as he was well-versed in Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Malay, Chinese, Japanese and 10 other Philippine languages.

    good luck on your linguistics. may it get you to wonderful places and get you to meet interesting people!

  23. I found your blog when I clicked on Freshly Pressed.

    I share your love of languages, and wish that I knew more. I’ve studied French for years, and I think I am fluent. I can read French newspapers, and have almost no trouble speaking to French people.

    I can understand Telugu, because that is what my parents speak at home. I can speak Telugu, but I have to think hard and speak slowly. I am studying Telugu now. I was fluent in Telugu as a young child, so perhaps learning it again will not be too hard.

    Hindi is beautiful. I love hearing the language. Unfortunately, I don’t know it. I purchased some software to learn Hindi, but I have not been using it.

    I know some Spanish, enough to get directions and talk to shop clerks.

    As others have said, learning a language is like stepping into another culture. I have a friend from South Africa who speaks at least a dozen languages. He studies languages for fun, and told me that learning the first few languages is hard, but becomes easy afterwards.

  24. I adore linguistics and languages but I’ve never had the opportunity to study them at great length. Unfortunately I speak only English, but I learned Spanish at school and can get around in very basic French and Swiss German. When I was younger I also had a go at my father-tongue, Welsh, and, somewhat embarrassingly, Sindarin Elvish.

    My best friend speaks Flemish, French, English and Gujarati fluently, as well as conversational German and I am incredibly jealous!

  25. I always wonder though, when people claim to speak and read more than ie. 3 languages, just how fluent they are in their 4th, 5th language. Could they formally be good enough to be a paid translator for….ie. court, emergency medical service support, a suicide hot line?

    That can be a real serious test where accurate translation and interpretation is life and death or is costly in litigation.

    By the way, in Canada a child does inevitably have to learn French which I did. Then took…it twice at university. Long story here.

    Perhaps it would sociolinguistics or psycholinguistics would be your true love of study. An area where I wish I did take some courses at university…sociology of language and acquisition of language.

    1. Very important point there Jean.I am sure that the depth would definitely suffer as and when the number increases. Still keeping the really sensitive tasks aside, it would anyway be a lot of help in appreciating films, literature and also when one is travelling to a new region!
      Sociolinguistics is an exciting area, I agree!

  26. Great words! I hope to be able to take a language course in post-secondary as well. When I was in middle school I had a fascination with learning the Japanese language, and I’ve been meaning to finish that for a long time, since it has been itching at my mind now for some time.

    Recently I traveled and volunteered in a bilingual town, where all of the kids spoke both English and French, and I can’t lie, I was quite jealous! I’ve now taken it upon myself to learn French, and will finish Japanese afterwards, and then move on to who knows!

    Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  27. Loved it! I, too, share a deep and lasting love of languages. I find myself feeling jealous of my friends who are bilingual since birth. Worse still, the other day in a biopsychology class we learned that a native speaker has his or her language skills in a certain spot in the brain and a non-native speaker has his or her language skills in a nearby spot in the brain (they are both in Bronca’s area, just a little offset from one another). This means that no matter how much I try, study and even live in a different country, my second language or third will never equal up to my English.. Bummer. Oh well, I can keep trying!

  28. Great post! I learnt a little basic conversational Japanese, did a short course in Mandarin Chinese and now I attend lessons three times a week to learn Cantonese (My wife’s language). I’m an English Teacher and I find learning other languages makes you focus on teaching your own language in whichever way helps your students most.Without studying other languages I suspect I would be less willing to modify the lessons in accordance with the students’ learning style.

  29. Great to see this post being singled out by WordPress for special mention!
    Happy to note a sudden increase in readership and new names among those who are sending in their comments.
    Keep it up and Congratulations!

  30. I mostly come across bloggers from other parts of the world.This post is the first one that i have read from an Indian blogger.It is really wonderful to read about your interests in different languages.I’ve tried learning a few languages but have always left them when it gets tough.This post makes me wanna pick up those books again and learn

  31. That is the appropriate blog for anyone who desires to find out about this topic. You realize a lot its nearly exhausting to argue with you (not that I really would need�HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

  32. It is really nice.I loved it,i am also learn Hindi,english,oriya,bengoli,assamis…etc.Really its inspirable.It is really wonderful to read about interests in different languages.I’ve tried learning a few languages.Thanks for sharing.

  33. I think it’s really hilarious you tried to learn French, which uses the same alphabet as English and didn’t do so well. Then went on to master Arabic and Urdu which uses completely different alphabets! I speak French fluently (grew up speaking it because my dad is from there) and I do admit it is difficult to learn. I easily picked up Spanish in high school, continued on in college, and I’ve been living in Madrid the past 2 years. I don’t consider myself fluent in Spanish–if I ever learn another language, I don’t think I will ever consider myself fluent. But I can definitely speak it decently.

    And I understand the language lust thing–when I was in Portugal, I realized I could probably easily pick it up because it’s so similar to Spanish. And just came back from a trip to Germany and Austria and I loved those countries so much–it made me want to go out and learn German.

    But I think 3 languages are pretty good. At least in my opinion! I know some overachievers…

    1. yeah that surprises me too!

      may be for me it was the age factor. French was in college when I wasnt so serious and attentive. Urdu happened much later and was also somewhat compulsory to learn!

      Glad to hear from you. You know quite a number!

      Do stop by again!


  34. It seems I am more fascinated with people who are multi-lingual rather than becoming like them – that is, learning other languages. I tried Korean before but skipped classes eventually.

    Hey, Amit. How would you like to learn some Filipino (Tagalog) words? ;P

    And congrats on being FP’d. What took them so long?

  35. I, too, love languages. As a native English speaker, I find that a little knowledge of many world languages is what has given me such a vast English vocabulary. As for me, I don’t speak many other languages. I am comfortable in polite, conversational Spanish and can read an article in Spanish People magazine, but that’s about it. I currently volunteer at a high school tutoring Somali immigrants in basic math, so I’m considering learning some Somali. (Right now, my Somali vocabulary consists of duck, butterfly, ear, and a vulgar name for a male body part.)

  36. Amit,

    What a great honour! For me, I mean, not for you!
    Look at sulatanhaidar’s comment posted at 3:37 pm
    Compare it with mine posted at 11:10 am.
    I have reproduced both below.

    I am so happy.
    I probably write great comments.
    Or else why would someone choose mine to copy when he had a choice of an international array of readers all lined up?
    My warm and sincere thanks to sultanhaider for honouring me.
    I must also thank you for making available this platform from where I can make my comments available to all and sundry to copy and reproduce as they please.


    sultanhaider permalink
    April 14, 2012 3:37 pm

    Great to see this post being singled out by WordPress for special mention!
    Happy to note a sudden increase in readership and new names among those who are sending in their comments. thanks a lot.
    vishvanaathjee permalink
    April 14, 2012 11:10 am

    Great to see this post being singled out by WordPress for special mention!
    Happy to note a sudden increase in readership and new names among those who are sending in their comments.
    Keep it up and Congratulations!

  37. Oh nooooo ! you’re writing in French without the accents ^^ “oups, je suis désolée”
    Nice post. I love learning languages especially japanese. Though it takes a long time to really master a language I think it’s rewarding when you travel and you’re able to communicate with people. A new language is like an open door to a new culture, way of thinking and new gestures to learn, for ex when you’re counting in japanese and you fold your fingers instead of opening your hand.
    I always said that after 10 years learning japanese I’d start learning chinese but now I feel I’m only just scratching the surface… ^^
    In some countries like Thailand especially in big cities people speak English quite well so trying to speak Thai is not so rewarding but in Japan it changes everything, it’s really worth your while learning some expressions.
    Last thing: now we can use karaoke to practice Asian languages, it’s easy and fun it doesn’t feel like studying at all.

  38. learning languages is always fun! and not only adds points to your resume, and can help you with more job opportunities, it enriches your life and perspective of it, since you can know about other people’s experiences in firsthand, not in translations.
    I myself, (i excuse myself if there are typos or english grammar errors, is not my first language) learned english along the way of life, studied japanese for 3 years (and still studying!) and i’m starting to learn korean now.
    If i had the time! i also would love to learn german and arabic (i love how it sounds, i don’t know, i just like it, haha)

  39. Great! I would ADORE to speak as many languages as possible! This is also one of my wishes and I will try to continue learning languages for a long long time. Even on my blog I try to write in different languages. I can speak 5 languages quite fluently and I am proud.

    A curiosity: my mother language is Basque, do you know about it?

        1. thanks. the problem with wordpress blogs got fixed by themselves, and the hotmail is half cured. most probably hotmail was malfunctioning, my blogs are connected to hotmail so it might have been disturbing the affair or my service provider might have been disturbing both,

      1. It’s a minoritary language spoken on the north of Spain and south of France by around half a million people. It is an isolated language because it is unknown where it comes from, it’s trully ancient!

    1. Basque is an absolutely fascinating language since it shares nothing with all the other European languages. Its origin and provenance are not known… I would love to learn it.
      I also love languages like the people who respond to the blog.

  40. Traveling in Europe for three months, I was shocked at how many people I met who spoke a minimum of two languages (many times they spoke even more). I am fluent in two (English and Spanish) and was inspired to enroll in Arabic this next year!

  41. “One of the most fascinating aspects of university life is that it is a platform where people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds get a chance to intermingle. Numerous ideas, varieties of knowledge systems interact and are discussed and shared.”

    The beauty of multilingual communities, whether at the university or elsewhere, is the wealth of understanding about the world that is shared, as you mention. My undergraduate studies in linguistics and then a little post-grad work in language education often impressed upon me the great value of linguistic diversity. Languages, even and especially the more “obscure” ones by Western standards (as some you mention), encode generations of understanding about the world — profound ideas are often found bound up in relatively mundane syntax structures or color lexicons.

    Thanks for you post! Good to remember the wonder in languages!

  42. “For having a way with languages is considered to be an added qualification in this branch of social science.” Totally agree with this. Multilanguage ability is absolutely a bonus when you go out for a job and some other things. I am running a Chinese teaching blog, http://path2mandarinchinesecharacters.com/. Hope you can find something interesting there. Keep up the good work. Cheers!

  43. I’m an American Sign Language Interpreter and am fascinated with signed languages around the world. I took a 10 week course in Australian Sign Language while living there and I loved it! 2 similar cultures both using a visual language stemming from the same spoken language (kinda) yet even the alphabets are completely different. I’ve always been obsessed with learning about language and culture, so I get it!! Have you ever dabbled in signed languages?? 🙂

  44. Pingback: URL
  45. A colleague, in her late twenties, told me just yesterday that she didn’t think she could learn another language. I spent a good deal of the day trying to convince her that it isn’t that difficult!
    I’ve always been interested in languages, English being my forte, and while German was the first one I took actual classes for, I’ve picked up a lot just by listening to others speak – Italian, French, Spanish, Telugu and Malayalam. There’s something beautiful about words and how they, together, form meaning… it’s expression, and it’s brilliant. So I don’t understand it when people tell me they ‘can’t’ learn another language! Maybe I was affronted because I’m quite well versed in 4 languages, can understand 2 others and intend on properly learning at least four more!

    Anyway… Loved your post; I do hope you get to go back and indulge in the many languages of the world. Cheers!

  46. Nice post! I speak a few languages, and I’m addicted to language learning. People often don’t understand why one would do so. But it is certainly not “the language gene” which enables you to achieve your goals. It is just a lot of hard work, motivation and the right attitude. I’m always glad to find people who don’t give up when it comes to languages. Good luck with your studies!

  47. You and I share a love of language, though you’re obviously more capable of learning a foreign language than I. I even keep a shortwave radio receiver next to my bed, and listen to different languages before going to sleep–particularly Chinese and Spanish. My best background is in Spanish, though I have a long way to go. I took a semester of German in high school, as well. I flunked French however–and feel that the language needs a major overhaul (sour grapes). Nothing is spelled as it’s pronounced, and there are far too many punctuation marks–not to mention genders. Only Irish Gaelic is more difficult (at least as far as nothing being spelled as it’s pronounced).

    Still, I love to hear any language that’s foreign to me, as well as any other dialect of English. Every language sounds beautiful, especially when spoken by a woman. I even wish I could forget English, momentarily, so I could truly appreciate its beauty without being distracted by meaning.

    Best wishes in your further studies–I envy you!

  48. I’ve always been interested in learning foreign languages. I’ve mentioned it in my blog that my dream is to be fluent in french/spanish and italian.
    Loved reading your blog.
    thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  49. We have similar interests! I also love studying languages, just too bad I haven’t got the chance to study more languages. I can only speak English, Indonesian, and a very little Japanese. I’d love to study Latin, though!

    You can always contact me if you’re interested in Indonesian! 🙂

  50. I share you love of learning many languages! I am trilingual (French, English and Dutch) and I dream about learning spanish, Japanese, Arabic and Russian in the future! Continue to learn language because it also means discovering new cultures! 🙂

  51. Learning languages is a great challenge, but it’s a very enjoyable one!
    It takes time, dedication and passion…
    Mix this with a good amount of consistency and you’ll probably learn one 🙂
    Anyway a new language opens a wide range of possibilities in every field!!!
    Good luck with languages!!!



  52. Really nice read. I too share your love for lanuages. I’m from Kerala, never learnt Hindi in school, but I used to love listening to hindi songs, Much of the lyrics one never understood back then. Now , I feel richer having learnt the language,(Long years spent in Delhi) and being able to appreciate the poetry in most of those old songs. I love urdu too for its richness and that delicate quality which is difficult to describe or translate . I can barely understand Bengali ..I love the lilt with which it is spoken. Languages are so dynamic , aren’t they? I feel too that one of the biggest mistakes people make is to try and interpret old scriptures and texts, with one’spresent literary knowledge. The nuances of the words as they were spoken and understood long ago, may have undergone a thousand changes since then. We see it happening in the span of our own lives. It is really an interesting area, I must say…

    1. Very fine observations from you. Thanks. In fact one of my chapters in the thesis does try to explore a similar theme. I am trying to understanding the multitudes of ways in which the contemporary reciter and the reader interpret a scriptural text. Very nice points you raised. Thanks and nice to see your comment!
      Please do visit again!

  53. Hey…great post and I love learning new languages as well. I tried French but did not have the time. Hopefully will give it another shot soon 🙂

  54. Interesting 🙂 I often here of people offending other languages and poking offensive fun also retorting”they love their language”. I always muse and also tweeted once learning another language is an art and does on put down the pride for your own language.
    I loved reading this write up of yours.

  55. I am trying to create a new language where each word is very dense in meaning. Each word would be a concept. You see people talking in concepts by allusion occasionally, but it is not standardized. A person might need 10 pages of text, let’s say, to explain a difficult concept. But if he is talking to a friend he might say, “It’s like in the movie-x when she does this and learns that…” If they both have seen the movie and discussed it before, then he can effectively speak the equivalent of one word if it were standardized. It would be a word that would stand in for “movie-x, scene 4”. If we could standardize a set of teaching stories, metaphors, movies and essays, assigned a single word for each, then we could have a language where each word of a sentence would be equivalent to 10 pages of text. It’s a matter of standardizing those words as a new vocabulary. I’m not yet sure how a syntax would be constructed. Perhaps,for example, if there were several stories about compassion and giving with equivalent words, then a construction could be something like “doing [compassion-word-x] she was [giving-type-x]”. The two verb forms could be changed to some kind of suffix or prefix added to the two dense words. It would be more like a thought language. Thoughts go by in seconds but it takes many pages to explain them. When two friends have a common vocabulary of allusions and experiences they almost talk in thoughts by reference. Perhaps this can be standardized to a larger group. You see this a little bit with specialized jargon and with math. Words as concept-pictures I think would make for an interesting vocabulary. However, being at the point of discouragement, where I see I would probably have to finish the whole project before I could explain it, I find it difficult to muster the will to even begin. Perhaps it is only I who would want this language because no one has the patience to listen to my ten pages of speech and they always say, “Get to the point.” I wish there were a single word for “my point” and then I could say it before they ran away.

  56. Oh how I love bilinguals… they are never boring. I’m one of those who are always wondering what languages a person can speak, too! haha. Besides English I can speak French, Malay and Indonesian. My Spanish is rusty, unfortunately. I took Arabic classes in college, too 🙂 Language definitely influences the way a person thinks, and knowing many means more perspectives!

    ps; I was a French-English interpreter in the Youth Olympics in 2010, and the multilingual environment there was something I can never forget. 😀

  57. Great post, so many people like it.
    This is really a good work. I appreciate your efforts behind that. Have a great day!

  58. Great post!
    I can very much relate to the part of your post which states that “one of the most fascinating aspects of university life is that it is a platform where people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds get a chance to intermingle”, as I am a Norwegian student, studying in England. I am very fascinated by languages as well, but being a communications student my greatest interests are in intercultural, non-verbal and persuasive communication. In my blog I write about effective communication: http://norwegiannegotiator.wordpress.com/
    I hope you will have a look at what I write about active listening and effective communication 🙂

  59. Being multilingual is definitely such a good way to understand the world and really connect with others. I’m really trying to learn more but its slow progress… Enjoyed the post. Thanks.

  60. What a great post! and comments! I love languages so much that I established a language school!!! My mother tongue is Arabic, I speak French, English (it is sort of becoming by first language) and some rusty Italian.
    Languages are a great skill in life and can take you further than you would if you are a monolingual!

  61. Great post! Having studied psycholinguistics and having a grand bit of jealously when others learn languages with ease, I found a lot captured and maintained my interest. As for me, I had to learn French in ballet class – I recall some words and I can tell someone “shut your mouth.” I heard that alot (hohum). HS Spanish is nearly gone. Learned some Italian and am returning to it as it was quite useful in Italy. 2 years in Japan and all I learned to say were apologies (yep, out of need). But I woke one morning in near panic at not knowing Swahili. So I am learning. The little I know I tried with the only person I ever knowingly saw fron Kenya. She spun around (she was a hotel clerk) to see who spoke her language (silent cheer – she understood me) and then her eyes got wide searching for who spoke it. I continued on. Her eyes nearly popped out and she giggled at seeing a very white gal in Washington DC speaking Swahili. Wish I had someone to practice with. I will look at your blog again. Cat

  62. I would love to master every language on the planet! But I spoze if I had to be realistic and just pick one or two I would pick Spanish (so I would know when my co workers are talking about me haha) and French. Seriously tho, being fluent in Spanish would be a good selling point on my resume since I work in human services and more and more job in that field are making it mandatory to know Spanish. As far as French goes, I just love the language. I think it’s beautiful and sensual and I’d love to be able to read the literature without a translation.

  63. Hey, even I’m crazy about learning new languages. Guess that makes two of us! 😀 Apart from my mothertongue – Malayalam – I know English, Hindi, can understand Tamil, read Arabic and read & write French. I pick up languages quite fast and am planning to learn new languages in the near future!

  64. This was a fantastic read today and I too find language to be so curious. Watched a documentary about PETRA today. My mind was in a perfect place to read this today. Thanks for sharing with me.

  65. Great Post. Here are a few first lessons for your desire to learn tamil language. Indha post romba nana erukku. Nanathan ezhyudire.Palla Mozhigal tharindhu kolvathu oru gauravamana vishayam thaan. Anthukku allam muyarchi thevai. ( This post is really very good. You do write well. Knowing different language is indeed a matter of great pride. But to acquire this, it needs lot of efforts).

    It will not be out of place to mention here about the basic difference between the structure of forming a sentence between Indian languages and the Europen languages. Languages like English follow Subject, Verb, Object pattern Whereas Indian languages follow a Subject, Object Verb pattern. For example, take the sentence ” I am going to Mumbai” which follow a SVO pattern and when it is translated to Hindi you say ” Mein Mumbai Jaa raha ho” which follow a SOV pattern with Mumbai appearing between Subject and Verb .

    Just thought of sharing this and congrats for being freshly pressed!


  66. Congratulations on your Double Century!
    202 comments already!
    You have hit the jackpot with this post!
    Did you even dream this post would be so well received and read so widely?
    I am truly happy for you.

    1. Had no clue, absolutely no idea of this happening. I am delighted! 🙂
      Waise frankly speaking, each of my posts in the “Showcase” series remains my favorite! I was the most involved when I planned and executed those. And they are all such wonderful ones!
      This one is now special too!
      With you and Faizaan commenting early on the post, some sort of a nice feeling did come to me! and it was a moment later that I got an email from WP!
      It is my absolute privilege to hear from you!
      Kindly keep the encouragement flowing!
      Warm Regards!

  67. As I read your post I was having a “thank god for blogs and internet “moment lol
    The thing is I am a language junky I always pick up the essentials of the language fast enough
    And start the adventures journey of learning a new way to communicate I got my license to teach
    Arabic language at 15 “it’s my native language but I studied the old Arabic that is not used now as much it’s almost extent “and started learning English on my own whine I was 12 then I took the Mandatory course that public school teach and it kainda slow me down I felt like I was walking backward so I just went rogue if I may say and took it upon myself to level up my English.
    My teacher started to get annoyed by my independence so she said that I should stick to the course
    My other teacher though was dazzled by my good accent and sported me and challenged me to get better any way I got bored by the easiness of eng “sorry “ so I learned how to write in Japanese and I am making my way through till this day “20.y.o” and started learning Spanish “such a grate language “
    And I know how to say thank you in more than 14 languages “that’s lame but I find it fun” and I have a decent experience in Tagalog .
    Any way if I master the three languages that I am learning now I would like to try Turkish and Russian
    I think learning a language means I need to understand the culture and history behind it
    That’s why I take so much time learning in addition to the fact that I am self-taught
    It pleases me so much to read about someone who lived with the same thirst and understand the beauty of it

  68. Hey, I have been looking at your blog for a little time now and I really like what you see, that is why I pressed the follow button. I would love if you saw my blog and could follow me back, it would be much appreciated, I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy reading yours…

  69. oh hi there Amit…come on…actually I too had a aha moment, when I realized there are people like us, who love languages and the sound of it…it gives you a sense of belonging and togetherness…above all a wholesome feeling..when people realize we are not of their mother tongue, but do respect theirs and also honor it, by speaking it…so keep up this habit…I’m sure it is contagious..

  70. Boy, you remembered me my Certificate Course in French Language in ANDC (Aacharya Narender Dev College) in Govindpur, Kalkaji. Good, Old days! Now, it’s just office, office, office! Loved reading your BLOG!

    All i would say that, ‘Keep exploring and keep writing here’.

  71. Hi – Great Post. Language learning is so intertwined with life, don’t you think so? Your family, friends, interests, even doctoral research 🙂 I think you’ve brought all this across in the post wonderfully.

  72. Je parle français, español, anglais, et un peu d’italian et allemand aussi. je suis aussi étudiant de linguistique. l’amour pour les langues, je l’entend. il n’y a pas des mots suffits pour expliquer 🙂

    1. 🙂

      merci beaucoup!

      I think I could understand what you said. “I speak french, spanish english and a bit of italian. i am an australian student of linguistics. i have a love for languages i know which words cannot succeed in expressing”….am I right?


      thanks a lot for stopping by!

  73. Great article, languages are amazing, funnily enough, I too would like to learn French.
    And Hindi too, since i’ve got a couple of friends from India

  74. Cool topic, I’m working my way through Japanese right now. Reading can be a bit complicated with all the characters, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes a sort of art form. Good luck with any future endevours!

  75. I have a suggestion that might interest you: why don’t you blog in a foreign language? I know English is a global language and it helps when you want to reach as many readers as possible all around the blogworld, anyway a little touch of any exotic language (depending on the point of view) cannot be so bad. It’s a good training, even if nobody corrects you, your mind is forced to make thoughts in a new form and you can always offer a double version of your posts 🙂

  76. Nice post. Surely learning Chinese would be the most beneficial language to learn for a young Indian such as yourself? It’s fair to say that the relationship between your two countries will be fairly important in the future 🙂

  77. I love languages. I know Spanish, by force LOL, or how else will I speak to my grandparents? I learned French in honor of my French ancestry also. I can sort of understand Italian and I love to listen to it and I can defend myself in Portuguese. I’ve even dabbled in Indian dialects. Each language has it’s own distinct sound and beauty. I love languages, people who are multi lingual are my heroes. 🙂 Keep learning, mon ami!!!

  78. While I only speak two languages, I have a similar interest in learning as many as possible. I am especially fascinated by how languages borrow, one from the other and their historical meetings – often conflicts that brought about occupations particularly during the days of empire – Roman, British, etc…At the moment, I’m intersted in learning some indigenous languages – Mapuche from Chile and Andean Quechua. Cheers!

  79. A great read. I had never heard of Ritwik, let alone most of what you spoke of! But it’s a great read because I agree re languages. It’s enormously fascinating that we are all one people, but communicate verbally differently – AND some of us can’t understand the other. We are ALL one people, ONE world, but some can’t understand the other…

    Anyone who learns various languages, I do admire.

    Love hearing about uni life too 🙂

  80. Enjoyed reading your post. I have been fascinated by languages. I would love to learn all the languages but I guess I may be a poor learner of languages. Inspite of living in Mumbai and Surat (for a few months), I have been unable to pick up anything in Marathi or Gujarati. Some of the things I happen to think and ponder over the years.

    One of the curious things being, the birth of languages itself. So many languages and scripts across the worlds. Does it tell a bit about the culture.

    In India, we have a number of scripts but it can be distinctly demarcated to 2 or perhaps 3 distinct scripts. The South Indian or Dravidian, north Indian or Aryan. Urdu sounds a lot like Hindi but only the script seems to be borrowed. Dravidian script is roundish (you see a lot of curves or circles) whereas in an Aryan script we see a lot of lines than curves.

    The Japanese are considered intelligent or lets say their average IQ is one of the highest in the world. One of the fact is that, an average Japanese student spends almost half his school hours studying the language itself. The theory is, if a Japanese kid can speak Japanese as fluently like say an Indian kid speaking speaking any Indian language, then the Japanese kid is more intelligent simply because the language is difficult to learn. Does it bring an edge to their intelligence levels by default. Can the same be said about the Sanskrit language?

    One of the reasons why Sanskrit is a dying language in India is the fact that the Brahmans called it the language of the Gods and thus it has to be spoken by gods and those close to gods namely priests etc. Even Brahmans dont know this language these days. A lot of priests simply chant mantras without actually knowing the meaning of it. Sad to see the great language thriving in Germany but dying in India. I don’t know if I should be happy or sad when I hear the Germans say “Don’t worry, Sanskrit will not die. It will always be alive in Germany”.

  81. I’ve always had a confidence problem while speaking Marathi even though I grew up in Mumbai. I write it competently, but stutter when someone asks me a question. I’m fascinated by languages too. I would love to learn French and German. I like the way they both sound. Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Anthropology huh? Sounds really heavy!

  82. I love learning a language; I’m still getting a grasp on kiswahili but it is such a beautiful language to learn I hope it never ends.

  83. languages fascinate me as well, sometimes I think about them mangling in my mind too lucidly.. right now on my travels I am bouncing between Spanish and Portuguese, which come layered on top of my Italian and can consciously track them carving pathways in my brain (:
    I also just read this on NYT a few days ago: http://nyti.ms/IKxWJN

  84. languages are really something that one should always be fascinated by. Actually i’m not good a english 😮 i live in mauritius a small island in the indian ocean where there are a lot of languages going on. I speak creole, french and english fluently..i’ve learnt mandarin but i quit but will restart soon..i learned the arabic alphabet and how to write names in two days…and i love it..i’ll keep in touch with your blog and may be one day i’ll teach you creole 🙂

  85. Great post, I love languages too, although I don’t get enough time to practice them. French is my best by far, Spanish is quite rusty and Italian is definitely sketchy by now. I took French at school, and Spanish and Italian at night classes.

  86. What an interesting post! I would love to learn new languages too. But my real concern is the possible extinction of Indian dialects, seeing as how more and more young people speak English these days! That would be a sad day indeed

  87. Dreaming of being able to master many languages seems like a good dream to me. The more languages one is able to speak, the easier it is to communicate with the world. I wish I could speak more languages too, but it does take a long time to learn one. Lykke til med dine studier. Kanskje får du også med deg norsk en dag.

  88. I’m a language junkie myself. I became interested in Arabic about two years ago in my sopohomore year of college and haven’t let go since. Now I’m self-teaching myself Korean. I know a little bit of Spanish as well. You can never go wrong learning languages. I think after you learn one ‘difficult’ language, it gets easier. After taking intensive Arabic, Korean is so much easier to grasp. I am going to take some Swahili classes next semester and hopefully start teaching myself Japanese.

  89. I’ve always been in awe of linguists. For so long I dismissed the effort thinking that it is something that one is either wired with the ability or not but after seeing many different disciplines and formulas that students can use to learn, I wonder if there may be a way to tap into everyone’s ability. I bought the Rosetta Stone Hindi to prepare for my Varanasi trip and although I only used it regularly for a few months, by the time I was walking along the ghats, I was surprised at how much conversation I recognized. There is hope! Thank you for following my blog as well.

  90. I love language! I have a diploma in German, and am 7 months away from completing my honours degree in Spanish language and culture. I also learnt Japanese, but forgot it, and tried french for 2 years, but that didnt go so well. I would love to learn more though!

  91. I do love languages as well. As many languages as man speaks so many souls he has (what an awful structure of this sentece).

    My favourite second language is definitely FRENCH, but it takes a lot of effort to master it.

  92. One of the best college courses I ever took was a course in Lingustics. Halfway through the course our professor, who specialized in one of the Native American languages and helped to shape that language by transforming spoken word to written form, brought in one of the women from the tribe she was working with. One of the most powerful classes I have ever witnessed… This simple think called language brought her world and world a little closer together. Thanks for the post.

  93. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is wonderful, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about In The Jungle Of Languages Personal Concerns .

  94. A great post. I speak three languages – only one well, but the other two enough to get me onto a train, and into a cafe drinking something cold, wet and appetising! I do think that knowing other languages helps enrich understanding your own. e.g. I help in a Maths class, and the kids there that knew “cent” was 100 in French found the idea of “percent” much easier to understand – as one said, “80 percent is just 80 per 100, what is hard about that?”.

  95. Hello,
    Great post, I really enjoyed it!
    I’m a Spanish and an English as a second language teacher. My mother tongue is not English though, so I’m still learning and I think I’ll be learning my whole life. I’ve studied French, Italian and Portuguese at university. I still understand Italian pretty well (films and books) but my speaking has become very rusty since I don’t really have the chance to interact with Italian speakers. I’m not bad at Portuguese 🙂 As for French, well, I have to say my French tutors have ruined the language for me. Sad but true. Having a good teacher is very important, especially when you start from scratch and you’re and absolute beginner (said by a teacher 😉

  96. DId you got freshly pressed on this one? Trying to catch on lot of blogs.
    BTW: When you talk of languages you have to explore Gujarati. After all it’s the language our father of Nation spoke.
    I also like Kumar Vishwas’s take on Hindi.
    Ramswaroop bimar huye, phalswaroop mar gaye.
    Q: If Ramswaroop was sick, how did phalswaroop died?

  97. In The Jungle Of Languages Personal Concerns Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  98. I have to express my gratitude for your kind-heartedness for persons who have the need for assistance with in this concern. Your special commitment to passing the solution all-around has been particularly interesting and has always allowed some individuals much like me to achieve their pursuits. Your own helpful help can mean a whole lot a person like me and substantially more to my colleagues. With thanks; from all of us.

  99. I dont know what to say. This is certainly one of the better blogs Ive read. Youre so insightful, have so a lot real stuff to bring to the table. I hope that more individuals read this and get what I got from it: chills. Fantastic job and wonderful blog. I cant wait to read more, keep em comin!

  100. I truly identify with a love of languages. And I have a natural gift for learning languages. Some people haven music, other are especially athletic… I can easily learn a language. But with age I have stopped that pursuit…. Dealing with age requires some powerful skills too…!

  101. I like that quotation by Ernest Hemingway , the one that says that
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