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Spiritual Meme Question Seventeen

17-- What is a skill you've always wished to have, but don't? What had stopped you from pursuing it, or what stopped you from achieving it?

There are many useful skills i lack.  I am clumsy, i have no ear.  No competency to live the simple, off the grid, life i admire.  I can't fix things or make quick decisions.  Part of that is autism, part pure laziness.  I believe in gardening but hate to garden.

If i had to pick one skill among the many that i lack that i wish i didn't it would be multi-lingualism.  I would like to be fluent in each of the 6000 languages that are still spoken on the planet.  That being impossible, i would like to be able speak and understand Navajo, Chinese, Spanish, and one of the nearly 3000 languages which is on the verge of extinction.

Language traps each of us in an illusory and artificial world; but to speak or sign is human, we can't always be silent.  The best way to recognize how we are snared by our language is fluency in a second (and third, fourth, and fifth) language.  Moving from one usage to another is like moving to another culture, another world, another reality.  I could comprehjend the flimsyness of my own world if i could live in another for a while.  To do that i would have to speak the language.

Some folks think everyone should speak English (or maybe Chinese), but that would be a mistake.  It would be arbitrarily picking out one illusion and calling it realityl  English, in fact, has dominated the world for too long and with too many ill effects.  I would sooner we all spoke Inuit.

Everone's mother tongue is or should be precious to them.  The "official language,"  if foreign to the indigenous population intrudes on thinking, dreaming, poetry, conversation, grieving and a host of other personal but important activities that can be best expressed in the language one learned as a child.

I tried learning German as a young man.  I struggled through four semesters and later took a summer's "immersion" so i could have a foreign language for my masters degree.  What could be easier for an English speaker?  English is a Germanic language.  But i have no ear, so i never learned to speak it properly, and because i  could not speak it, reading it was like reading code.  The words had no life for me.  So i remain monolingual.

Writing prompts: only ones that would be hard for you to answer please! {FULL!} - the eclectic ecstasy of an ecphorizing eccentric


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 25th, 2016 01:53 am (UTC)
I always wanted to learn another language and speak it fluently. My father was bilingual as is my mother. They didn't speak the same language though.

I started learning Spanish through Duolingo, but never followed through. Maybe some day.
Feb. 25th, 2016 04:50 am (UTC)
Don't give up. You may find it exciting, maybe even amazing, ask a bilingual friend how it feels to shift from one language to another.
Feb. 25th, 2016 08:10 pm (UTC)
Two gifts I lack that I would love to have: to play the piano (or indeed any instrument), and to speak fluently another living European language.
Feb. 25th, 2016 10:20 pm (UTC)
Yes, i gave up on piano to soon. I wish i could play an instrument or even sing -- but i have no ear. I start "Unchained Melody" and it comes out "Shackled Monotone." :(
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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