Just Another Ant
Saturday, 29. November 2003

Der Kunsthistoriker T. Kaori Kitao berichtet über seine Erfahrungen beim Erlernen von 14(!) Sprachen:

In all these efforts that I consider rather serious than half-hearted, my achievement in proficiency is slim to say the least. But I feel comfortable enough to think that on arriving in any of the countries in which these languages are used, I'd be ready to refuel and revive whatever I had learned and then build on it for improvement. Having earned little proficiency in most of the languages I had studied, I can nevertheless claim that I learned to think differently from those who had no or no more than foreign language in school.

For one, we gain a deeper understanding of our own native language when we pick up another language. Any foreign language, from the very start of learning process, sets a contrast with our own and illuminates it; and if we allow ourselves to reflect on it we come to realize how peculiar whatever is familiar to us might seem to others who speak and think in another language. This is a lesson in multiculturalism; it gives us the clearest and best glimpse into the world of another culture. Having to struggle to learn a foreign language deepens our understanding of another culture, however peculiar it may first appear.

Außerdem: T. Kaori Kitao über Japanglish, Janglish und Panglish.

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