(Re)Learning 3 Languages: Rubik’s, French, Markup

On Sunday I visited a house that had dozens of Rubik’s cubes kicking around. I picked one up for the first time in 25+ years and set to task – to finish one side. I chose the largest cube I could find.

For 10 minutes, I was moving lines and shaking my head, then slowly, a little muscle memory returned. Deep down, I had some of the visual language and artistry required. I had studied for 10 years, I could do this again!

My kids attend French school. French-French school. I have to say french-french because most anglo-kids in Canada attend French-immersion schools. Same difference, only not.

Anyhow, babel fish in-ear immediate audio translators will be the big thing of…2019. So, no-one needs to learn foreign languages any more.

Apparently, “All you have to do is hold down on the right earbud and say, ‘Help me speak Italian’.” Apparently.

I can hear the screams of joy and ‘I told you so’ from 60 million Brits from across the Atlantic. Only, it’s the wrong response. Learning languages is more than just communication.

Bilingual brains are more resilient to dementia. Who needs another reason to develop  that neural adaptability?!

Language is about understanding. But it is also about rebirth, about learning, unlearning, relearning. I am vaguely studying French again after 30 years. I enjoy the tiny, breakthrough moments.

Today I sat through a SEO debrief of our website. I am no SEO expert, but I know enough to be dangerous; yet here were new words – new ideas!

“Hentry structured data markup”, “Hreflang tags”, “wildcard redirects”, and “backlink disavows”. Tremendous stuff! I can suck it up all day long. Technically elegant, outcome driven, a language of precision like German compound words.

What is the work equivalent of dementia? Anachronistic? Out of touch, unable to connect and keep up as the world speeds up around you? We need to keep (re)learning languages. It’s not easy, but it is the work, friends.

←This Much We Know.→



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