”I like learning about new cultures. It’s a way of getting an answer to the ‘why?’. When you know the ‘why?’ suddenly strangers are not so strange anymore.”
Source: Humans of Amsterdam
When I came across that quote, I couldn’t help but think about my own situation towards cultures, history and languages. Despite that my dayjob is being a Historian at a Museum, I’ve always been connected to languages somehow and life have always seemed to have to put them in my path. Whether when it was when I had to learn English in order to study in school in the US or now that I am learning about a culture and history through its language with the hopes of developing and cultivating my passions in a new environment.
However, how can I explain my passion for learning languages and such?
I am a curious person, both in a good and bad way. I can get nosey at times, but most of the times, when encountering foreign cultures or people, I like approaching to them, if not eavesdrop. It must probably be something intrinsical to my personality, I guess.
However, my point about learning about languages is that it is my approach to learn about a certain culture: its customs, beliefs, music, food, et al. Everyone has different approaches: religion, food, fashion, among others. I decided that mine would be languages. Despite I am sort of shy and when I was much younger I had serious problems with communication skills, I take them as a challenge I can and I have already defeated several times. Not to mention that I constantly remember something my formation as a Historian has given me, beating the fear of the unknown. If you were to reflect about crude events in World history, violence (in all its forms) has been caused by one single thing: fear. Whether it is the fear of the unknown due to not knowing who these strange people are, of losing certain privileges you have been accustomed to or simply doing what you best though it was right. History and present life itself have showned us that we are all pretty much the same. Sure, we may have physical, intellectual or emotional differences that are important to remember, but more or less, we all can feel a range of emotions or have certain common tastes or opinions which we may not know at first hand. Hence, learning about languages has become a bridge to connect other people with others and a hammer to break down certain walls dividing human beings from each other.
One of my goals is precisley do these two things: connect with other fellow language learners or native speakers and realise… we are not so different in the end. We can probably all end up in a restaurant eating fries and having a drink, laughing at each other or simply singing a horrible song we know by heart. Now, it is up to myself on how to do these things: on this blog, I will feature tips, experiences and different approaches towards language learning, specially Polish language or other cultural aspects vital to this process. You are more than welcome to share posts, your experiences in comments or even contact me personally for future collaborations both here or anywhere else.
Bo, do zobaczenia i Witam!