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Making the Most of My Time: Learning a Language

Tags: Personal, Dyslexia, Esperanto

Following an earlier post, I have decided to review the activities I spent my time on and consider whether these activities add true value.

Today's post will look at spending time to learn a new language.

Why learn a language?

I have liked the idea of learning another language to be able to talk to a wider range of people. Of course, English seems to be the default universal language and almost everyone I have wanted or needed to speak to could also speak English. I have always felt a bit bad that I haven't put the effort in. However my main problem has always been which language to learn?

Which language to learn?

Since most folk use English to communicate between cultures, I don't have an obvious second language to learn. Do I learn the historical and local Gaelic? But of course, everyone who can speak Gaelic can also just speak in English, so I am not increasing the number of people I could speak to.

Esperanto - The language designed to be everyone's second language? I really do like both the ethos and the style of Esperanto. The idea to have a language that is second to everyone, a true common ground to work with is a nice one. It is also really simple and structured, without any contradictions. If I know what the word sounds like, I know how to spell it. Similarly if I see it written down, I know how it should be pronounced. Something my dyslexic brain appreciates a lot. Of course, the number of people who speak Esperanto is very limited and I would have to go out of my way to meet up and practice face to face learning.

What about communicating with people who can't 'just' learn English. What about learning Sign Language. Of course, there is not one sign language, there are many. Many many many. The languages used in Britain and the USA are completely different. So deciding to learn a sign language doesn't help too much either. The question just becomes which? Do I learn the local BSL1 (more limited resources) or ASL2 (more resources, but less likely to be of use personally). If there was a true international sign language which most people would understand, I would be really tempted to learn that one.

Finally a language that I had considered was Chinese/mandarin. I actually have met a few people through work that are Chinese and so this is one of the languages I would have most opportunity to practice. Of course it is also one of the harder ones to learn.

Final Thoughts

At this moment in time, I think there are better uses of my time than learning another language. Yes it is still something I would like to do, but I don't have the time to do so at the moment.

  1. British Sign Language
  2. American Sign Language
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