Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sun Turner

Having used one for as long as I can remember, I would have to say I'm a bit of a fan of languages. I think that you can't really appreciate your own language until you try to learn another one. Right now, I'm taking Spanish through UCSD and it is not an easy language. It has really made me appreciate the beauty and adaptability of languages though. When languages don't have a word for something, they tend to have really interesting translations. For example, I'm reading a book in the class called "Los Girasoles Ciegos," or "The Blind Sunflowers."

The word "sunflower" in English is basically nothing more than a description of what that particular thing does: it's a flower that follows the sun. In Spanish, the word "girasol" comes from the verb "girar" which means "to turn," and "sol," which means "sun." Put those together, and again, it's a verbal depiction of what the flower is: "sun turner." As you learn a new language, there are countless words like this that come up, and (at least for me) it makes the process of learning that much more enjoyable.

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