So What if I learned a Bunch of Languages…here’s how I did it:
When I was young I was fascinated by languages, so I decided that I wanted to learn as many as I could. I got interested in language because my best friends growing up spoke Spanish. It was amazing to hear them talk. I couldn’t believe that they had this code language and they understood every bit of it.
Of course I sat there most the time and was completely clueless. So what I decide? Like a kid who wants to simply learn code so that he can pass notes back-and-forth in school without anyone discovering what it really means, I just chose to dive into my brother’s high school Spanish books to see what I can learn. I quickly found that words were pretty interchangeable. Vocabulary is simply vocabulary. However, what I didn’t anticipate was the fact that syntax and grammar was all jacked up compared to what I was used to.
That was second grade. It really wasn’t until eighth-grade that I started learning a little bit more about how to structure sentences in a foreign language. It really came through a girlfriend that I had at the time. Her parents didn’t speak English and she was from Guatemala.
Besides the fact that she was cute and I can listen to her talk for hours, I love the fact that she spoke both languages fluently. She had no trouble switching from one to the other. For me and made her even cuter.
So I’ll be in the practice with her. I try to manage to put together since is the best I could. Most of the time she would laugh at me… And my garbled sentences. Then, one day sitting on my bed I decided that I would take all of the words in the sentence and scramble them. I thought I’ll make it really messed up and see if she can understand this since he always makes fun of my sentence structure. Even at that time I didn’t really understand what was involved in building a sentence in Spanish. So that’s what I did. I had no idea that I would get the response that I did. She said to me I yes you finally got it!
That was the day that I discovered that language is not only words but it’s also thinking patterns. Once you learn someone else’s thinking pattern, then you can build sentences all day long. It is really amazing to see how much influence language has on our thinking patterns.
For example in Spanish if you were asking a question, then you put the action part of the front of the sentence in the the person part after. Can you tell I was trying to avoid any complex words like subject and predicate?
From then on I went and studied a bunch of other languages. I found that the thinking patterns range greatly. I was surprised to find that there are even languages that put the burbs all of the front of the sons and the person doing the action at the very end. This is completely opposite to how we do things in English.
But, I find it pretty cool. Humans are really adaptable and can structure of thoughts and all kinds of ways to make them intelligible.