Mes chats me manquent.

It’s the last full day of my vacation. We’ll take it easy, do a little shopping, finish packing, and have a few last local beers. Tomorrow will consist of breakfast, a long drive to an airport, a long flight to another airport, and a long ride home. It will be a long day.

My internet access is still limited, but it’s better than it was last week when I would have had to sell a kidney just to check email. I look forward to having time and facilities to catch up on responding to your comments and reading everything I missed over the past two weeks. It’s been a wonderful vacation, but it will be nice to be home.

In the meantime, I offer a few language-related tidbits that have arisen in my travels: Continue reading

Second Languages, le premier part…

(I’ve been trying to figure out where this is going for months…okay, that makes it sound like I’ve been at it day and night, which isn’t really true. But I am tired of tinkering with this first half and so I’ll just post it so I can finally move onto the rest.)

When people ask me how many languages I know, I always say “One – just English.” I have been fortunate enough to have studied and learned a lot about other languages, but I never feel that I truly know languages other than English. Our native tongues always feel like home, and while we can learn to be comfortable in other houses, towns, even countries, nothing every quite feels like home. I can speak other languages to varying degrees, and I’ve learned about even more languages beyond that, but do I really know another language? Does that question even have an answer? Can I know a language even without being perfect in the grammar and vocabulary? I don’t have the answers for the moment, but I’ve been wanting to start learning another language (methinks it’s going to be Arabic) and so I’ve been reflecting on the languages that have been important to me over the years. Continue reading