Language

I saw this interesting post on Reddit yesterday:

I don't think the Bible is the best thing to look at when tracking the evolution of language, because it's been translated and re-translated so many times... often with an agenda that changes a lot more than just the language. But meaning aside, I found it fascinating to look at the structure of the words from each time period. The jump from Old to Middle English seems so enormous.

I'm no linguist. I took exactly one class in college, and it was just enough to make me want to learn every single language in the world so I could compare and contrast syntax and word origins... you know, for fun. I speak Spanish decently enough, and I'm working on improving my Basque, but my efforts to learn other languages (German, French, Russian, and Japanese) have resulted in nothing more than the ability to have nonsensical half-conversations with myself. 

Wo ist mein Hund? Ich weiß nicht. (So helpful, I know.)

Un deux trois quatre cinq six sept huit neuf dix... (To the tune of the French national anthem.)

Spasibo! (But for what, I couldn't say.)

Daijōbu? (And other phrases picked up from watching too much anime.)

This is how I approach language-learning these days.

This is how I approach language-learning these days.

I've given up on improving those other tongues. My dream now is to learn enough Basque that when my family is having a conversation that's 40% Spanish and 60% Euskara, I will actually be able to follow along with maybe 75% of it.  

In the meantime, I content myself with spending a few minutes here and there reflecting on language and what a funny thing it is. We're inventing new words every single day, and I keep having to Google slang terms like "on fleek" (does that make anyone else feel old, BTW?).

As a closing thought, let me leave you with this song from one of my favorite albums of all time. "Aria" by Delerium, featuring vocals by Mediæval Bæbes. The song is in Middle English, and I think it sounds so incredibly rad.

While you're checking that out, I want to know: if you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language, which language would you choose and why?