Before the dominance of English, Arabic, Mandarin and most other dominant lingua francas present in the world today, there existed the lesser developed but ever flourishing Indo European language of the ancient Greeks. This archaic society had a knack and for mathematics, architecture, and especially philosophy. The latter being the most surprising, as well as impressive, considering how intricate, evolved, and precise their ideas were made out to be with such a limited vocabulary. Those who lived in Ancient Greece learned to communicate to each other effortlessly, as one would normally do when acquiring their native tongue, with words that contained thoughts that were rather vague. In terms of learning a language, stressing the importance of establishing a level of communication (i.e. being able to carry along any sort of conversation and having a good understanding of how the language works), the next step of proficiency becomes quite easy to achieve. A child doesn’t learn the basic foundations of grammar of his native language before learning to say his first few words. Acquiring a foreign language is a process which is made out to be a task which is difficult, if not inefficient in an exclusively monolingual society such as ours, though it is one that can be made simple and effective when the right principles and study habits are developed and employed.
About five years ago, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Animal Crossing, on a young man's Nintendo 3DS, in the form of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Countless hours were poured into the game. Many sleepless nights were spent catching rare bugs and selling them to the highest bidder, visiting far-off islands with the intent of chatting up strangers who felt oddly familiar. We were all there for the same reason: to relax and take a break from the ever stressful world around us. Nothing's wrong with a little vacation now and again. Though, months of maturing and moving on in the world have caused myself to close my system, putting the animal residents of my town into a deep hibernation, with spring nowhere in sight.
To understand, to comprehend, to know
In modern society, knowing one or more foreign languages isn't seen by many as something that is quite useful, especially if you live in a country that's majoritatively english-speaking such as the United States or Australia. Sure, speaking a foreign language is a valued quality in the job market and it sounds kind of impressive, but otherwise, why bother wasting all that valuable time memorising endless lists of vocabulary I know I'm gonna forget? Why should I slave over learning something like this when everybody else speaks english anyways? It just seems like an awful lot of work for something that's not going to get me very far in life. Right?
I want to say before I get into anything substantial that I'm young. I'm not professionally qualified to write much of what I write. I'm not an expert. I'm not a genius, and I don't claim to be some wise philosopher. I've got a lot to learn, and I accept that I know very little. That being said, let's begin.