Look Who’s Talking… in 10 Languages and Counting!

It’s tough to find any interesting person who doesn’t enjoy languages in some way or another. It’s also tough to find anyone who doesn’t complain about how impossible it is to learn a new language. Anyone except Benny Lewis (AKA the Irish Polyglot) that is. This fellow is so damn inspiring!

Odds are if you’ve spent much time online trying to learn a language you’ve come across Benny’s site (fluentin3months.com). Whether you have or not, you’ll find his Tedx talk cool and inspiring. I predict that 17 minutes from now you’ll be dusting off your dreams of learning a new language! I know he sure got me back on track.

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// Shawn

Solving My Personal Linguistic Dilemma

BalboaSince pretty much forever I’ve been learning French. Not full time or anything, but its been an ongoing subtle effort. Being Canadian means I got plenty of it in school. Plus I’ve taken classes and tried myriad online learning sites. I think it’s a lovely language, and I really like it a lot. How good am I at it though? Pretty damn sucky. So sucky that I don’t even know how to say, “pretty damn sucky” in French. Fast forward to October 2010, inside a burger joint in Oxford. My dining companion, who is a ridiculous super-genius, broaches the subject of which language she should learn next. You know, after having mastered 44* other ones or whatever. This is naturally a traumatizing conversation for those of us who don’t even feel like we’re good at our native language yet. Fast forward to this morning, I don’t know the date. You can look at your calendar though. I was considering this language dilemma, while murdering a bowl of Corn Pops, and started building this comparison in my wee mind. So the following is my logic on where I should focus the full glorious power of my futile linguistic learning cannon. Continue reading “Solving My Personal Linguistic Dilemma”

Bonjour, et Merci

Of the 6912 recognized languages in the world I bet none of their “hello” and “thanks” sound as true to meaning as French. I’m big on listening to how people speak, how they sound and what they say. Bonjour and merci seem to be two words that even if you don’t know a word of French, you would know what they mean.

Comparatively speaking, “Hello” and “Thanks” just don’t cut it. Hello sounds like a kids cartoon character and thanks sounds like an itchy sore.

“Um.. are you okay there, Janet? You’re sure itching a lot.”

“Oh dude, I know. I have the worst case of thanks on my bum. It’s driving me mad! The itching totally distracted me while I was trying to watch the new episode of Hello & Tinkles Go To PooPoo Town.”

See what I mean? As I wrap up my last few days in Montreal I know I’m really going to be sad to go from bonjour and merci to hello and thanks.

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// shawn