In Love with Languages

by - 4:17 PM

I don't know about you, but I don't fall in love very often. It's been over a year since I had any genuine feelings for anyone and to be honest, it was starting to worry me. How was it possible that I hadn't felt butterflies in my stomach for such a long time? I was an expert at awkward crushes in high school, where had they all gone?
I started thinking long and hard, ignoring my homework to figure out the mystery of my lost feelings. Yeah, I totally had my priorities straight these last couple of days, but at I found an answer. Maybe I haven't found anyone who makes me smile as soon as I see him, maybe my stomach doesn't do back flips for a guy, but there's something else that makes me feel that way: I'm in love with languages.

Language is a wonderful thing. Most people I know don't see that, they only see it as a tool to get their way in life. I see it differently. Language is not just that, it's so much more.

Language is a mirror. It shows others who you are, but also yourself. Your choice of words tells exactly where you're from, what you've been through, what's important to you. I learned English in California and you'll always hear that in my choice of words. It's not just the American accent that shows who I am when I speak, it's also the choice in written words. They show everything about a person: intelligence, preferences, influences from other languages. Put it all together and the language I speak shows who I am, who I've been and sometimes even who I will be.

Language is a barrier. It can keep people apart, confuse them and even offend them. The beautiful thing about this barrier is that it can be overcome. Anyone who wants to learn a language can do it. I won't say it's always easy. Mandarin taught me that language barriers might never come completely down in some cases, but the same language also taught me that determination and hard work will get you there.

Language is a shield. When I feel like I can't handle a situation anymore, I subconsciously switch to English. It creates some space between me and the problem. It's almost like taking on a new point of view, sometimes it even feels like becoming a whole new person. It protects me against things that want to hurt me, but also protects the people around me against my harsh words. Believe me, compared to my Dutch and German vocabulary, my English vocabulary is pure politeness.

Language is a weapon. Those who aren't strong and tall but quick of mind can hurt anyone just as badly as sticks and stones would have. It's the strongest weapon I have and it can be put to use in millions of awesome ways, sarcasm being my favorite.

Language is art. Ever thought of all the things a few simple words can do? Words on paper can inspire, spark creativity, strike fear into someone's heart, bring someone to the verge of tears. In all my life, I've never found anything that could show my innermost thoughts and feelings so clearly as words on paper or a screen. Words are the only things that can turn my feelings into reality, something understandable to others.

Language is a living thing. It changes, it evolves. You can invent new words whenever you want. Language is a work in progress that's never finished and that everyone can work on. I guess that's why I'm in love with it: there will always be something new for me to discover.

I can giggle about a word for hours and be mesmerized by pronunciation. Learning a new language excites me, understanding a new piece of grammar makes me feel on top of the world. But the most beautiful thing will always be communicating with people in their own language. I love how much people appreciate that (except the French, who just frown at me) and it only makes me fall in love with languages even more.

Stay Awesome!

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4 Fellow Ramblers

  1. I love your post. Language is many many things, and it is beautiful. It is the ultimate weapon to connect with people around the world, and you're probably the only one who has written a post about this beautiful thing we humans have. And I want to say thank you for that.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment!
      To be honest, I think language is the most beautiful things we have as humans :)

  2. My friend I were discussing this the other day, about how english is so polite and bland while urdu is colorful and descriptive. She liked urdu because of the vast emotions you can portray while I like english because of its inherent politeness and how you can be vague about what you want to say. English sarcasm is civilized, sarcasm in urdu sounds so harsh and caustic and well, the list can go on and on :D

    1. This comment just makes me want to learn Urdu even more :)
      I love all those differences, though the differences between European languages aren't that big.


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