Saturday, July 7, 2007

I'm impressed. . .

People who learn to read, write and speak another language impress me. Oh, yeah, most of us took one of the romance languages like Spanish or French in high school, not too hard because of similarities with English words. German is another language with familiar sounds. I'm talking about people who grew up reading from right to left, or top to bottom in an entirely unrecognizable alphabet to the English-speaking world. Most of the Asian and Middle Eastern languages have absolutely no relation to English, yet people from those parts of the world have mastered our language! My husband grew up reading, writing and speaking in Farsi, also known as Persian. It's a beautiful looking language, but bares no resemblance whatsoever to English. And -- it's written and read from right to left! I still marvel at his ability to understand and use American English. Idioms and colloquialisms on the other hand, are hard for me to explain and we Americans use plenty of them. He frequently consults his Farsi/English and English/Farsi dictionaries. A charming side-effect of his bilingual-ness is that common words or phrases come out front to back or inside out. We both love brout sproussels (Brussels sprouts) and think Clark Bagle was a great actor. His latest was the name of a flower shop -- Nosy Guy Florists. Nose Gay just didn't compute! ; }

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