Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I've always been interested in languages. Maybe that's partly because when I was five years old my family moved from the East Coast to California and I was surprised by the difference in dialects.

As a kid I intended to learn all the languages in the world but, for some strange reason, that didn't happen. However I did take Latin and German in High School and French in college because English is related to those three languages.

I've forgotten most of the Latin, but using English words of Latin derivation has helped me communicate with people who speak Spanish.

A family from Germany with little kids moved in next door to us the week I began studying German. I actually used that language, so I remember it better than the other ones I took in school.

My French professor was from Quebec. At that time people in Canada were trying to get French accepted as an official language, so that's probably why she told us over and over again that French was the best language in the world and much better than English. I knew no language was better than  others, so I pretty much flushed French out of my brain after passing the tests in her class.

As an adult I learned American Sign Language and became fluent in that one because I've actually used it to communicate with Deaf people for many years.

And I've even learned some dog language from a deaf dalmatian we once had. I wrote about that dog in a story published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul book, I Can't Believe My Dog Did That.

I still wish I could learn every language in the world, but don't have the time or energy to study even one more. Oh, well, I guess I know enough to get by.

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