love of language

It is well known that I’m obsessed with languages. Most people in my circle understand why a person would be, but occasionally someone will ask why – why do I want to speak Arabic? German? Czech? Spanish? *insert any language you’d like here* Saw an only slightly cheesy but true post on Tumblr that explains it quite well:

I learn languages to remind myself that beauty exists in the world. That there are an infinite number of ideas, abstractions, realities, that can be expressed in an infinite number of ways. To remind myself that even when I feel small, finite, lost, there are doors waiting to opened, people waiting to be met. I challenge myself to enrich my soul with the languages I speak; to shape my brain in completely different ways, to fill my heart with a pleasant weight of so many desires and hopes and emotions. I am the languages I want to learn, no matter how many speakers speak the language, no matter where the language is spoken, where I have an aspiration, I set a destination. And, how silly, the destination is not fluency. No, it is not to be able to speak about whatever whenever. No, it is not to be able to cross the language off of a list. It is to hold the entire process of acquisition in my hands; to form each foreign word with the mouth and the muscles given to me, to write each new word with grace and peace. Words. So arbitrary, so raw. So contextual, yet so free. I learn languages to remind myself that even something so intangible as the spoken word, resonates with the same passion, the same fire, as is within me.

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