Saturday, August 13, 2011

Next Stop: Spanish

You’d never know it from this blog, since I never refer to it, but Spanish was the first foreign language I learned.  It was the key to the very idea of a foreign language -- an idea which, in our monoglot white-bread household, was quite foreign indeed.  But it is one of the most important ideas you can ever get into your head.  Well beyond any practical linguistic utility, another tongue lifts you outside of yourself, reinvents you, opens vistas in dimensions  perpendicular to our own.

I do keep up with the language  -- recently enjoyed:  a spooky mystery, La Sombra del Viento, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.  It’s not easy reading, but there is a brilliant English translation by Lucia Graves which you can use as a pony.

More along the lines of a light introduction, and suitable for reading at the beach, is Next Stop: Spanish, by Keith Massey.  Readers of this blog will know Dr. Massey as our resident Latin expert.  Here he weaves a bit of language learning  into a rollicking adventure tale, against an Intelligence background that is more than mere fiction.  Enjoy !

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