Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Three Languages before Dying

I'm learning Spanish--estoy tratando de apprender Espaniol. Maybe. Now that we plan on launching our MDIV in Spanish this year, I have reason to. Not to teach, mind you. We want first language speakers to do that. So there's an above average I'll learn it.

I like languages. I've dabbled in my share of dead ones and a couple living. I'd love to have reason to learn more but alas. The two I'd love to have a reason to learn beyond Spanish are Arabic and Chinese, and I wish I could interest my youngest two children in them. Believe it or not, all they're interested in is German.

It struck me today that Arabic is the lingua franca of the Middle East because of its connection to the Quran. I know this is obvious but for some reason the unifying force of the language just struck me today. Maybe it's because I was reading about William Harvey, who was English but studying in Italy around 1600 (the guy who really unfolded the circulatory system). How did he know Italian, I first asked myself. Then, stupid, thought I--Latin was the common language of academia then.

Arabic does the same thing for the whole swath of countries from Africa to Pakistan and beyond. That's the ticket to influence the entire region, thinks me.

Who knows... but the three I'd most value learning right now...


James F. McGrath said...

I strongly recommend using the Pimsleur and/or Michel Thomas courses. Both are all audio. The Pimsleur Arabic focuses on the Eastern dialect, the Michel Thomas on the Egyptian. Neither is focused on Modern Standard Arabic. But I highly recommend them - and they also have German, for your kids! :)

::athada:: said...

Que bueno! Ahora voy a practicar contigo en su blog.