Saturday, February 21, 2009

Divided by Partition, United by Language?

So, I found out a very interesting fact recently. Did you all know that Hindi (the national language of India) and Urdu (the national language of Pakistan) are essentially the same language? They come from the same spoken language but split off because Hindi uses an alphabet based on Sanskrit and Urdu uses a Persian-based alphabet. It all has to do with linguistic influences in the classes. As much as I've looked into India and Pakistan, I never knew that. It is so helpful! I've wanted to work in India and Pakistan for a while now and if I learn Hindi, combined with my knowledge of the similar Arabic alphabet, I can communicate in Urdu as well. How convenient! What I thought was really amazing is that the only language that can be used to communicate with more people is Mandarin. If I work hard and get at least a solid knowledge of Hindi while I'm in Bangalore, I will be able to communicate with over a billion people! How cool is that!!

Okay, I'm done for the night. I just wanted to share that fact with all of you. The more you know...

1 comment:

  1. I think language transparency is something that should be studied more often. The first language I every studied (besides English!) was Latin, which was very transparent with my English and Spanish, which I took afterward. But because of deep interest, I took Japanese. That was not related in any way to a language I ever studied. It was a new alphabet, a new grammar structure, new EVERYTHING (much like I imagine Arabic is!). A lot of people think that Japanese is at least a little transparent with Chinese, and urge me to study that afterward Japanese, but the reality is that the only things that are even a tiny bit transparent are the symbols themselves. But even that's not useful. For one, a lot of the time, they have completely different meanings. Secondly, they're not read the same way at all. And third, with the dumb move to simplified Chinese, a bunch of the symbols don't even look the same anymore!!! How dumb!!! But I guess there is a glimmer of hope. While in Japan, I heard that Korean has a very similar grammar structure to Japanese, which gives me lots of hope. Hopefully I'll be able to master that!!! But after Japanese, I'm going straight to Italian, which I think will be a vacation compared to Japanese.....

    Also, I believe that you'll learn these languages!!! You seem way committed, and won't pull a Julia and make an endless promise to learn such-and-such obscure language. YOU CAN DO IT!!!