The Language of The Heart

"Nowadays everybody obviously needs three languages. The first is his language of identity; the third is English. Between the two we have to promote a third language, freely chosen, which will often but not always be another European language. This will be for everyone the main foreign language taught at school, but it will also be much more than that--the language of the heart, the adopted language, the language you have married, the language you love.”
― Amin Maalouf, In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong.

I think it is safe to say here among language enthusiasts, that we all have a dream language. A language that we love and want to learn, not for work or study, and not because it is related to us somehow, but simply because we like it. We like the way it sounds, the way it feels when we try to speak it, and sometimes the way it looks written down.
We do not always know the reason for this infatuation. Is it the logic behind it? Is it the historical background that led to its development? Is it the cultural value of its region? Maybe... but even when we cannot tell you why exactly we adore this specific language, you would still sense the longing in our eyes and the excitement in our tone of voice when we attempt to articulate it.

And boy, do we want to master this baby!

We want to be able to understand it fully, speak it fluently, nail the grammar and perfect the pronunciation and the spelling. We want to have long deep conversations at times, and joke and throw slang words here and there at other times. We want to watch movies, sing along songs and read books in this language; I say, WE WANT TO READ POETRY IN THIS LANGUAGE!
But, because of all the other languages we have to work on (for work, study or travel...) our beloved language has to wait. Now, we do respect these other languages and we really think they are very lovable and charming, (Jesus!) but that language is just The One, and it worries us that it might take us long till we can actually... start.

So, for me personally, I cannot wait till it is finally the time to do what Elizabeth Gilbert had done long ago when she dropped everything and decided to go to Rome to learn Italian for no reason other than its beauty!

"Every word was a singing sparrow, a magic trick, a truffle for me. I would slosh home through the rain after class, draw a hot bath, and lie there in the bubbles reading the Italian dictionary aloud to myself".
Although the language I love unconditionally is not Italian, I still enjoined all the chapters about the course she took and the language insights she explains in a very fun and funny way.

Lastly, for you my agonizing fellow learners, I wish more free time, energy and mental capacity to learn all the languages you desire, and most importantly, your pleasure language ;)
2019年12月6日