October 14, 2011

Live, Love, Laugh . . . Language

I'm not sure if I have mentioned it on this blog or not, but my husband, Josh, is studying to be a professor of linguistics. He is currently majoring in Spanish and will go on to get a masters degree and hopefully doctorate in linguistic studies.


Now, one thing you should know about being a linguist is that it does not mean that one is fluent in dozens of languages (although that is one of Josh's ambitions). To help you understand the study of linguistics a little better, let me introduce you too three different types of people who study languages:

The Polyglot
Literally "many tongues," "polyglot" denotes someone who can fluently speak multiple languages. The learning method is not specific, and it may have taken him much of his life to learn as many languages as he knows, but what is important is that he can converse in them currently.

The Philologist
This man studies the languages found in written primary sources. He studies the history of language, if you will. This science has become less common nowadays because firsthand experience with modern speakers of foreign languages is so much more accessible than it was in the past, but it is still a useful study. One of the first and most famous philologists was Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien. He actually performed the first literary analysis of the original Beowulf written in Old English, and he made up his own languages and alphabets for fun! But that's another story. Most philologists don't do that.

The Linguist
The man of the hour! He studies all things having to do with human language. From grammar to semantics to etymology to speech pathology--he is responsible for knowledge of it all. This is what Josh wants to do with his life, although his career will doubtlessly include elements of the other two language-related careers I mentioned.

All right! Now that the vocabulary lesson is over! I will now introduce you to one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my life and which Josh cannot watch without giggling like a goofball (and peeing his pants a little):


Not only is it arguably the best Disney song of all time (it's a tough call with "Part of Your World"), "I'll Make a Man Out of You" is translated into approximately thirty languages in the above video! Coolness overload!

If you thought nothing could possibly be any more epic than that, get a load of this:


Yes, this is what my husband is going to do for a living--translate animated musicals into foreign languages. Haha, if only, right? Dream job, right there.

I am so proud of Josh, and I can't wait to follow him on all of his linguistic adventures. The fact that these adventures involve a five-month trip to Spain is a definite perk. Of course, this is all still very scary for me and probably for Josh too. Even loving a pursuit with all of your heart cannot take away the fear of the unknown. Like, "How exactly does one make money doing this?"

And here is where the faith always comes in! "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Love God, love people, and trust that the things you want to do to change the lives of the people around you are things that He has placed in your heart.

Amen!


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