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Re: Planet of the New Papers

Jerry D. Harris writes:

... Now, I personally seem to be missing whatever key brain lobes are required for easy assimilation of other languages; my sister, however, picks them up very easily.

You can blame your Y chromosome there. The brains of women are (generally speaking) better wired for multi-tasking than those of men. When an adult is learning another language, they initially have to translate in their head 'on the fly'. Once you're familiar with a language you no longer have to mentally translate it though.

...But believe me, if an opportunity to learn Chinese comes along, I'm taking it.

Good luck. Tonal languages are amongst the hardest to learn (at least as far as speaking them goes). Just a slight change in inflection can change the meaning of a sentence entirely. And all those characters..! The illiteracy level amongst Chinese people themselves is one of the highest in the world. That's not becasue a lot of Chinese people can't read or write, but rather because the 'basic' literacy level involves memorising hundreds of characters (out of a total of more than 47,000).

We're light years away from a common global language, if such is ever achieved; even if one arises, I seriously doubt it'll be English, or at least the English we currently recognize.

Unless science fiction programs are to be believed, in which case every intelligent species in the universe will eventually speak english.


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist              geo cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia             heretichides.soffiles.com