March 2, 2010

Other languages- parallel universes

As you learn a new language to the point where you begin to think in it and read literature in it, you will feel like you will develop a whole new personality and move into a parallel universe. Concepts will be different, the flow of thought will be different and many words will have no equivalent in your native tongue. Some expressions and adjectives will have approximate counterparts but never the same. The music of the language and the colors, tastes and sounds that it contains will reflect the centuries and millennia in which it formed by the people who had had a different history and values from your won. Ones you reach the point when no translation is necessary and every time a new word or sentence is pronounced you can picture, taste or smell what it says, your move into a parallel universe will be complete. You will for all intents and purposes become a different person, while still remaining yourself in so many ways. You will also understand why so many misunderstandings occur between your culture and the culture whose language you have just learned. However, there are five to six thousand languages in the world so, to understand the way humanity really feels and sees itself and the universe around it, you will need to approach native fluency in those languages. This is a chronological impossibility as you will need at least a year of constant immersion and insanely intensive study to master at least one. No one lives 5000 years and even if reincarnation were possible, you would need to be able to recall all the other languages from past lifetimes. It has never been known to happen. Consequently, complete understanding of humanity and all the nuances in the way it perceives and expresses life is utterly impossible.


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