Second Languages, Part Deux

Here’s where we left off in ‘le premier part’:

My other studies led me to brief forays in Italian, German, Latin, and soon, Arabic. Throughout it all, I wondered how it was changing me, this constant attention to other languages. Okay, I’ll occasionally throw in a Turkish hedging technique (şey, yani) and I apparently believe that lights and computers are now open or closed rather than on or off, but apart from that, did my relationship to English or thought change?

The languages I’ve studied had strange new rules, fun pronunciation, and interesting idioms…but what did that all get me? What did I gain beyond the practical issues of eating, drinking, or buying souvenirs while on vacation? Did these languages add anything more significant to my life, even if I’m not using them on a regular basis? What can I take away that will increase my understanding not only of myself, but of all of us? Continue reading