Monday, 24 April 2017

Esperanto

First and foremost, it is Tornado's seventh birthday today. I want to wish him the very merriest of days filled with love, laughter, presents and good things to eat. Hopefully, in the years to come when I am long gone he will read this and think, "I wonder why mom never showed me this?" In answer to that my little friend, your mom has/had more important things to do than read this blog. Love you...

I have been thinking about language for the past few days ever since I said hello to a couple sitting on a bench in a mall and they said with few words and actions that they didn't speak English. Two days ago I was in a restaurant in Lahina and the couple at the next table were speaking French. Since I didn't pay attention In Dr. Dawson's French class, I had no idea what they were saying and I love to listen in on other people's private conversations. Forty years later my actions are still biting me in the ass!

I can't really understand why there are so many different languages in the world. We all started somewhere in Africa some 10,000 - 100,000 years ago and the name for rock was rock, food was food and flower was flower. Some people wandered away looking for a better more fruitful land or at least one that was moderately less dangerous. I doubt that anyone crossed the Bearing land bridge and settled in the high Arctic so that they could make up fifty or sixty new names for snow. How the high Arctic was a better place than they came from just boggles my mind.

Why change the names of things that you needed to discuss with others. I am aware that there is such a thing as language drift, but I don't understand how it can change from Swahili to Chinese to French to Russian. That is a lot of drift. I am sure someone has written a Ph.D. Thesis about it and I could look it up if I were so inclined, but I am not really that interested. I just don't think it should have happened.

Here in Hawaii I am having real difficulty with the pronunciation of towns and street names. It's like someone told the Hawaiians that they could name things whatever they liked. The vowels are free, you can use as many of them as you would like, but the consonants are expensive. That's why there are names like A'aoliueoti, Kihei and Ka'auala. My Canadian mind can't handle it. Since there are a lot of people descended from Eastern Europeans, I am used to names from the Slavic countries where all they got were consonants. Someone screwed up the order and sent too many vowels to the one place and not enough to the other.

Maybe I should learn Esperanto...

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