I think.. I think I am going to quit Finnish for the time being. I am a little bit sad. I have my copy of Harry Potter in Finnish waiting for me and it was a goal to read that this year. My son will be starting Greek any day now though and I honestly am feeling a little anxious about 3 beginner languages. My goals are not ambitious for whatever I start this year, but still I'd like to see SOMETHING that looks like progress. I don't have great interest in learning Greek at this point, but it will be 30 minutes a day going to another beginner language. My sleep deprived brain may not handle 3 different completely new languages very well. In addition, I keep getting this ideas for intensive projects I'd like to do in French. I have a physics book I'd like to translate into French and I want to study philosophy (mostly as ammunition for intellectual debates with my husband. He really likes philosophy and I really like to talk to him
). I'll never do intensive work if I am doing something like 1.5h/day in beginner languages. So that's that..
Speaking of my husband, we had an interesting discussion today about the value of ideas related to languages. I'd like to bring the discussion here at some point, but I don't have it all nailed down to a distinct question yet. I think we have more to discuss on this topic so there was a lot of sorting out of ideas in order to analyse what we were thinking. The root of this discussion was prompted by some friends who are planning to teach their young children Latin. In discussion, the friends said the reason to start early was so that the children would have deep knowledge of the language in order to impose higher order thinking on to.. presumably the various original latin texts. The discussion evolved into the assertion that the thinking and ideas most valuable to the world came through Latin and Greek. I think that is kind of a dumb statement since it is unverifiable, but it prompted a great discussion. If you are going to teach a child a language for the ideas found in its culture or roots
, should that language have a significantly larger corpus of valuable texts than other languages? And if you are going to teach a dead language, shouldn't it have an even larger corpus to outweigh the negatives of not having another use besides studying texts. To this end, how do we separate what is cultural signaling
in educational choices from what has a quantitative value.. or is it even possible to quantify or analyze great thought across distinct cultures. And how does the idea that "the length of time a work has survived is indicative of the value of ideas it contains" relate here..?
None of those ideas are meant to represent a position. Just a bunch of things rolling around my head. They look less interesting when I write them out so poorly too, but I am going to leave them here and maybe I'll be able to consolidate my ideas into something more suitable for discussion later.
Oh and in one last bit of news, I finished 1Q84 (livre 1) today. After how much I disliked it at the halfway point, I'm rather surprised to admit I immediately bought books 2 and 3. I was rather pleasantly surprised to see references to Sakhalin near the end. One of my travel dreams is to go from Alaska to Sakhalin and take the ferry to Japan. I tried to plan and actually do it a few years ago, but was really disappointed to realize I missed my chance for an Alaska -> Sakhalin connection by a couple years and it is no longer possible.
But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.