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Wednesday, 28 October 2009


"Why can't the English learn to speak?" These wonderful words were uttered from Rex Harrison's mouth in My Fair Lady. As I listen to him complain in his eloquent, articulate, voice, spitting out the words in a gently yet staccato fashion, I wonder what he would think of my use of the English Language?

I must confess that growing up tri-lingual, although it sounds very impressive, has meant that I strive to find the right, or better yet correct word, in English, Spanish, and Norwegian. I speak a combination of all three, and at times find it much easier to speak one of the three. Admittedly, at times I find it hard speaking any of the three and am totally lost for words, turning to mime or guttural sounds. I find that my moods decide what language I think in and speak in, (or shout in). For example, if I am angry, Spanish fits exquisitely. Norwegian is a tremendously useful secret language, and English, well, it goes without saying, it is quite useful.

My ability to speak many languages has opened up a whole new world for me. I can read literature, watch films, hear music in their original languages. So much is lost in translation, and I am a lucky gal in this aspect. French, Italian and Portuguese are easier for me to understand (especially the first two). I am fascinated by language. I am so intrigued by how one changes slightly when one speaks a different language. Perhaps one doesn't change as such, but when I speak Spanish I love the sound of it so much, that I adopt a different manner about myself. I feel as if parts of my personality flourish depending on what language I am speaking. I wonder if other people feel this. I imagine they do.

I really do firmly believe that it is incredibly important to learn several languages. It is proven to aid in the prevention of Alzheimer, and be good for the ole' brain. Apart from the obvious biological perks language gives you, it opens your eyes, and mind (quite literally) to new ideas, perspectives, theories, which are pivotal to enjoying and savouring this life we only,(as far as we know) get to enjoy once! I find it a damn shame that languages are slowly disappearing. With well over six thousand existing, many slowly wither away and eventually die as the world becomes more and more uniform.

Traditions, specific knowledge is passed down the generation because language permits us to communicate them to our wee ones. Language, well language is a wondrous vehicle linking communities together. The other day on the bus, my favourite place to be as you all know by now, I sat behind two Filipino ladies talking Filipino, on my right were a Pakistani couple, speaking Urdu, behind two Nigerian girlfriends....I sat back, closed my eyes, and enjoyed hearing these people laughing, talking, and wished I could understand and speak with them in their own languages. Yet, I couldn't help but relish how beautiful it was to be surrounded by the sounds of these languages, each having existed for I don't know how many years, used by goodness knows how many people, shared in moments of happiness, and sorrow. I then used my body language, and just smiled, in blissful happiness. I suppose I would tell Rex Harrison that what we speak is not just a result of the words that emanate from our lips, but the movements we make, the gestures we throw about, the eyes we smile, frown even cry with, the touch we make on another person's, well soul really.

And with the language left in my head, I bid you all farewell, till the next time I blog my friends.



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