Thursday, May 24, 2012

Languages

Languages have always fascinated me and I wish I could say I learn other languages easily, but I don't.  Our daughter has that honor in our family.  The first language I tried to learn, not counting a year of high school Spanish, was German.  Off and on we spent 10 years in Germany and I even took a couple of classes.  I never became truly proficient, at best I guess you could say I spoke kinder deutsch (kiddy talk).   Anyway  I could order in restaurants and stores, ask directions and speak very simple sentences.  I mean what can you say about a language that puts together a bunch of words Herzkreislaufwiederbelebung (heart-circle-run-again-enlivenment) just to say C.P.R.  you knew I was never going to sound like a native speaker.  But I can still remember how to ask how you are: Wie geht's?, ask for a beer: Eine bier bitte, and ask where the train station  is: Wo ist der bahn hof?.
My next attempt at learning a language was Turkish and what a hash I made of that!  Our daughter thoroughly outshined me in class.  The teacher taught auditorily and I'm an almost complete visual learner.  She would throw a ball at you, ask you a question and expect you to answer.    All I remember is how to count to five: bir, iki, uç, dort, bes and to say that's too expensive: çok pahali.
I finally learned another language when I went back to school to finish my college degree that I'd been working on for 20 years and  I decided to minor in Spanish, nice, easy Spanish.  Well I'll never sound like anything but a mid-western American speaking Spanish, couldn't roll an r to save my life, but I have a pretty good vocabulary, speak it fairly well and read and write it quite well.  I worked as a bilingual teacher in California and that helped a lot.
Which brings me to why I'm writing about this, in my Blog yesterday I talked about my aching knees and how I have been known to confuse the words for knees (rodillas) and squirrels (ardillas), and Fenny at cornercupboard asked where those Spanish words came from,  that  they didn't sound like they came from Latin, which Spanish is derived from  and she wondered if they came from Arabic.
Good question, but the answer is no, ardilla means like a flame, so that's what they called red squirrels and as for rodilla it does come from the Latin rotella which is derived from the Latin rota, meaning wheel.  So I guess they felt the knee was rounded like a wheel or some such.  Love languages.

4 comments:

  1. I can't fairly say I love languages, but I do love words. SO much!! A few of mine (for you) are:

    blue
    vestigial
    cerulean
    laughter
    voyage
    completion
    truth

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  2. I'm always trying to learn French

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  3. Relyn, I love words too:
    cerise
    curmudgeon
    vermillion
    serendipity

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  4. Very interesting. Languages are fascinating. I'm always intrigued by languages. For me each language is a way of looking at things.

    Accidentally stumbled upon your post while I was looking for a photo to spice up an earlier post on my blog.

    http://originalwavelength.blogspot.fi/2010/02/languages-are-becoming-extinct-faster.html

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