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November 07, 2013

Does Learning A New Language Make Us A New Person?

Deeply immersing ourselves in a new language is a challenge, but does it even make us a different person?

Does absorbing a new language change the way we think and...

...see the world?

Take a look at this article for some thoughts on this topic - http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/born-again-in-a-second-language/?_r=1.

Here's a quote to get you thinking; "When you become a writer, you don’t do so in abstract, but in relation to a certain language. To practice writing is to grow roots into that language; the better writer you become, the deeper the roots."

My roots in the English language are deep and I sometimes wonder how differently I would write about, and even see, the world around me.

Here's another excerpt - "The world reveals itself in a certain manner to the Japanese writer, and in quite another to the one who writes in Finnish. A writer’s language is not just something she uses, but a constitutive part of what she is. This is why to abandon your native tongue and to adopt another is to dismantle yourself, piece by piece, and then to put yourself together again, in a different form."

And if we think about our language, and we realize how deeply it defines us, we begin to realize that, in some sense, it is the language that prevails and we are subject to it.

One more excerpt - "In a certain sense, then, it could be said that in the end you don’t really change languages; the language changes you."

Language learning is not for the fainthearted. I wish you the best on your journey.

Morf

Posted by mmorf at November 7, 2013 09:08 PM

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