Wednesday, 5 December 2007

My "Spanish ...(etc!) Conquest" wild imagination please, I was refering to my efforts to learn Spanish, as the "Spanish Conquest". I love learning languages. And I love Spanish, now that I've 'tasted' it.

However, I must say that when I first landed in Chennai to study music, I thought I was not going to need much more ramping-up of language skills given my 4.5/6 GMAT language score in English... and my proficiency in spoken Tamil and Malayalam.

I thought that my existing language knowledge surpassed that of most people I knew, and that it was all I needed to manage the tongue-twisting compositions that would come my way. Now, well into my course, I find myself swarmed with language, symantics, phonetics, grammar, vocabulary and what have you, of a whole host of languages! Try this on for size - an elective in Sanskrit, compositions in Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and Manipravalam, music theory in Tamil tradition and prosody, lectures delivered in English...and here's the cherry - Espana, the extra (compulsory) subject! Hence, my time has to be divided absolutely down to a "t", so that no language suffers neglect.

It's no wonder that I suddenly greeted my Spanish teacher in Sanskrit this morning and wrote "Introduction to Spanish" on the Sanskrit Exam answer sheet under "Subject:" this afternoon. Two minutes after I had written that, I realised what I'd done and made the correction. After I handed up my exam answer sheet with the corrections, a fellow Sanskrit enthusiast who heard my account of the last few hours said, "It's ok, it's common around here...students who take Sanskrit invariably also have a hand in anything between 4 and 9 other languages." Then, just as a matter of fact, he raised his hands and counted on his fingers, 11 other languages he was studying at unversity besides Sanskrit.

Definately a humbling moment.

Well, whatever it is, on the balance of things, I somehow feel elated with language more than I feel burdened. Perhaps it is that special something that language offers in terms of opening doors to a new culture. Language allows insight without having to sail the world to acquire it.

So will I take Spanish II next semester?

Hell, yeah!


Di said...

hey I love learning languages, too.

the reason i first stopped by your blog was i saw your quote, "Miracles happen, but only if you want them as much as you want air and water."
that actually gave me the drive to complete some work tonight, that i hold dearly to my heart. thank u for reminding me how important this is!

good luck with the spanish!..and all else...

Shobha Janardanan said...

Hi there,

Thanks for stopping at my blog. Didn't think anyone except family n friends were reading this regularly. So your comment "I first stopped by your blog" is great encouragement already. Thanks for your comments on my quote.

By the way, I love points 44,1 and 26 the best in your Dec 17th blog, in that order. :-)

Di said...

:-) Oh, so you like spoonfuls of peanut butter, too? (shaking my finger at you) *nutella* does nooot count as peanut butter! :D