Wednesday, March 7, 2012

On language.

I've been thinking alot lately about the importance of language. Once I arrived in BsAs, I realized very quickly how much in our day to day lives we take the ability to communicate for granted. Of course you can get by living in another country that you don't speak the language. But get by are the key words here. In most cases, anything deeper than that is impossible. And even just getting by many times is nerve wracking. Routine things become stressful. Average errands or things that you need to purchase become looming, ominous.

But for me the most difficult part about not speaking the language is the constraints it puts on my ability to have rich and deep interactions with people. Language is the primary tool in which we use to communicate who we are. Our likes, dislikes, passions, opinions, sense of humor, intelligence.... all of these things are nearly impossible to communicate without a common language. Of course... I know that so much can be communicated without language... and when that happens it's a beautiful thing. But for me personally, I have found that without language and conversation, I feel....stifled, alone, frustrated.

Don't get me wrong.... I have come across folks that speak English to varying degrees. I am not completely starved of intimate conversation. I guess I've just gained a new and different perspective on language. And you would think that this would all be motivation for me to put my nose to the grindstone and try to learn Spanish as quickly as possible. But in fact, this has not been the case. I'm not sure what is blocking me... but so far I've shied away from Spanish instead of diving into it as I had planned and hoped.There is obviously some fear there and/or something else that's keeping me from pursuing my dream of becoming bilingual. Perhaps it's as simple as my desire to learn isn't as great as I originally thought? But something tells me that's not it. In any case, I am doing a fair amount of soul searching as of late... trying to figure out what's going on with me.

March 7 2012