- If you would like to learn a bit of language for yourself check out the Duolingo app for your phone or tablet. It's free and a whole lot of fun.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Immersed in Language Learning
Ah...language learning. I have desired for a long time to know more than just English. I have bought the programs, gone to the classes and tried to be totally immersed but have never progressed much farther than “Hello” and “Good bye” and “Where is the bathroom?” Its tough! I have found that I can understand and read a foreign language far sooner than I can speak it. And when I do speak, it is pretty much sounds like 'baby talk'.
I am currently working on gaining some understanding in German for my up coming trip to that country. I have moved beyond Guten Tag and Auf Wierdersehen (although I have yet to learn, “Where is the bathroom?) and now am working on the familial terms- Mutter, Vater, Bruder, Schwester. Oh, and don't forget Baby. Yes, that is German for... baby. I'm liking this part. Not much different from our English pronunciation. I'm starting to get it! This ist gut!
One thing I've noticed in the German language is that all the nouns start with a capital. You can recognize them for what they are- people, places or things. In my English speaking mind this capitalization thing now elevates everything to special status. You remember the rule from grammar school- All Important Persons, Places or Things Always Start with a Capital. Now, the ordinary words of life seem to taken on a new significance. No longer just a plain, old cat but rather a Cat is found in its place. Much grander and full of importance by the little addition of the uppercase C, don't you think?
All kidding aside, whether or not Cat seems to take on more value simply because it starts with a big C, I have found when I start to prepare to venture out and follow Jesus insignificant things seem to take on special meaning. 'Chance' meetings, random bits of trivia and words of wisdom heard from a mentor or read from the Scriptures all come up Capitals. It is though God has pushed the cap's lock JUST SO I WOULD KNOW THESE THINGS ARE IMPORTANT.
It is said that when you return from a mission's trip you will see the world through different eyes. I believe the moment you turn to follow Jesus on a new mission your focus begins to sharpen. You see each event as significant. Each word important. Each moment valuable. Joy begins to seep in as you see the Lord's hand even in what seem to be minuscule scribbles of life. It is a rather wonderful place to be, alongside Jesus watching him communicate his words of LOVE to the world. Now, that's one language I want to speak fluently. I'm going for the total immersion method.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Here's is your random bit of information--
The term”uppercase” and “lowercase” actually came from the movable type printing press. You know, one like what Johannes Gutenberg perfected in Germany. At the time, the letter blocks themselves were stored in specially designed boxes called cases. By convention, the cases containing the capital letters was stored above the case containing the smaller versions of the letters. If one single case had compartments for all the letters, the capitals were stored in the back so that when the case was set upright, angled, they were higher, hence “uppercase” and “lowercase”.