Craving Culture

What world culture interests you the most? Why?

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Musings of Yesteryear

Yesterday is the best time to feel inspired about today.
Many times when I go to bed I spend a great deal of time staring up into the darkness and thinking about all of the splendiferous things I will do the following day. It seems as if anything is possible and at these times I am bursting with motivation. I swear I have come up with entire plots for best-selling novels in my limbo between wakefulness and dreamland. I make life-changing decisions to change my diet and learn to speak Farsi. Again and again I go through plans in my head to make tomorrow the beginning of a better me.

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!!

Forget about writing a book or exercising; I can barely drag myself out of bed. I have never even gotten around to obtaining an alarm clock that doesn’t screech my sleepy ears off. When I wake up in the morning I may recall an ancient memory of inspiration, but if I can drag myself to work I consider myself accomplished.
Why is it so difficult—seemingly impossible—to develop enduring motivation? I have attempted to create checklists and reward systems to incur a smidgen of incentive. I am halfway through completing the novel I began to write two years ago. I need to start caring because I cannot stand the thought of tomorrow reflecting today.
What is something you have been putting off? Go do it. Now.
Suggestion: Listen to dramatic instrumental music. It makes even the dullest tasks seem intense!

Ranting of a Stranded Dreamer

When I tell people that I want to become a translator in order to traipse isolated mountain regions, wander through jungles, and work with indigenous groups, they assume I must have some experience traveling internationally.

I live in the U.S. I’ve been to Canada before, but only because it was the quickest way to drive to Michigan. Other than that I have never crossed the border.

Every time my church has had a mission trip my family has conjured some reason to keep me safe at home:

“Mexico is full of drugs.”

“You have never been on a plane.”

“Your father gets sick on planes.”

“Putin is taking over Ukraine; there is no way you are going anywhere near that place!”

The closest I have been to living in another culture is working at McDonald’s.

Meanwhile, I have witnessed enviously my friends’ departure to Morelia and heard all about the girl who has gone off to Ethiopia. It pains me to listen to anyone describe the trip he or she has taken to Italy because when they begin complain about the terrible bathrooms I want to say, “But the culture, the history, the language! Who cares how awful the bathrooms were when your feet were able to amble the streets of Venezia!”

Is there anybody else who wants to travel but has not yet been able? Please tell me I am not the only one 😀

How will you change the world?

There are over 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, but did you know that there are still groups of people that are unable to read simply because they do not have alphabets? Forvo.com, a language site that has collected pronunciations of words in languages from around the world, only had 318 languages on its site. There are hundreds of indigenous cultures in places such as Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Mexico that do not have written language. Imagine feeling undervalued by speakers of majority languages (like Spanish) because your native tongue is somehow ‘unworthy’.
Wycliffe Bible Translators is an organization that brings alphabets, biblical knowledge, and education to indigenous communities across the globe. They train willing individuals to learn languages with very few speakers and then write them down, creating stories, books, and pamphlets as reading material. Furthermore, they translate Bibles because many of these people need hope and have been suffering.
God has given me a love for indigenous cultures and within the next year I will be attending university in order to study Linguistics. I have a passion to reach out to these people and let them know that their cultures are beautiful! 🙂
Do you want to change the world? How?

Making Words from Gibberish

Aloha mis amigos!

Have you ever seen writing in an alphabet you cannot read or heard music that sounds like utter gibberish?

If not, you are living a very isolated life, my friend.

In year seven of school, I had to choose a language to learn. I had three options: Spanish, French, or Latin. Everyone took Spanish and French–Latin was for the weirdos and nerds. My heart yearned to study the French language, but, alas, my parents told me I could learn either the dead tongue of Virgil or Spanish. I had no interest in Spanish. I remember watching taco commercials on TV with the generic Mexican-sounding narrator saying”Muy bien!” and “Delicioso!” If I had to choose, I would choose Latin with the weirdos, I decided.

I made a mistake. I was subjected to translating stories about people named Marcus and Sextus (oh, yes, the middle schoolers though that name was hysterical.) We spent, like, ten chapters translating about how a carriage got stuck in a ditch on the Via Appia and I was bored to tears.

Somehow, I fell in love with Spanish. No idea how it happened, but the summer before year eight I bought a Spanish song off iTunes, wrote the lyrics down, memorized every rolled “r” and accent in those words, and taught myself more Spanish in a few months than all my friends had learned in a year of taking the class in school. I tested into the class with only a few months left of my eighth year.

Apparently I had some uncanny ability to transform gibberish into words or something. It’s kind of funny how I ended up hating French for a while after that. Life is weird.

~Experiences~

Ciao a tutti!

As I’ve told you, I am bilingual. I have been attempting for a long time now to learn a third language, but I can never seem to commit. I fell in love with Mexican Spanish because Latin American culture is rich and beautiful to me. I’ve dedicated a decent amount of time to learning Italian and Farsi, yet I’ve never reached the point of saying “yes, this is the one.” So…

What do you guys think of Icelandic? It appeals to me for some reason. Perhaps because the nation of Iceland itself is so rich with literature and history?

What languages do you know? Are you content with your knowledge of languages or would you like to learn more? Are their certain cultures that interest you?

Image

Just a photo of my Bible in Hindi. I love collecting books in other tongues. Hindi appears so elegant on paper.