October 3rd, 2009

language goals, ambitions, etc

I was just curious to know how many of you feel this way: you start out wanting to learn every language in the world because well, after all, you ARE a linguaphile...and then you realize well, hm..that's not entirely realistic or practical...then you realize that there are just way too many languages out there and you just HAVE to start refining and modifying your dream list of languages to learn!

The more I really pervade the depths of a language the more it really sinks in that..every language is a lifelong pursuit and one is never, ever 'finished' no matter what.

There was a point when I wanted to learn about 10 different ones, now that I'm in Taiwan and really trying to attain proficiency (at least somewhat!) in Mandarin...I realize that I'd rather just spend the remainder of my days refining and really working on this language alone! There's just SO much to it all...All other previous 'goals' I'd had with other languages are now so far and distant...I realized today that I don't even MIND if my skills in other languages previously studied sort of dwindle...because I love THIS one so much and want so much to feel I'm adequately able to converse and communicate in this one. Does that makes sense?

Well, I'll admit that I can't let go of my two other aspirations for Japanese and Portuguese, because they are just so beautiful. I guess that's personal opinion or what have you, BUT 3 language goals feels a lot less daunting and mentally less overwhelming than 10!

I'd love to get different thoughts and perspectives on this!

Bob Ctvrtlik

Was reading in the NYT about the Olympics stuff, and the name Robert Ctvrtlik came up. Was wondering if anyone knew the origin of his surname - Czech is my best guess, does anyone know for certain? Also, for bonus points, does anyone know if it means anything and can you give me any cognates in other Slavonic languages?