Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Secret language passions

"For years, I'd wished I could speak Italian - a language I find more beautiful than roses - but I could never make the practical justification for studying it. Why not just bone up on French or Russian I'd already studied years ago? Or learn to speak Spanish, the better to help me communicate with millions of my fellow Americans? What would I do with Italian? It's not like I was going to move there. It would be more practical to learn how to play the accordion...

And it wasn't that outrageous of a goal, anyway, to want to study a language. It's not like I was saying, at age thirty-two, "I want to become the principal ballerina for the New York City Ballet." Studying a language is something you can actually do."

-- page 23, Elizabeth Gilbert's bestseller, Eat, Pray, Love

I read these paragraphs sitting on the m├ętro in Lyon, France, and found myself nodding my head in agreement. Right now it would make so much more sense, be so much more logical for me to work on my French or another practical language.

But what I want to do is study Italian.

Sure, I'd love to be fluent - but I'd be happy knowing just enough to have a simple conversation... in beautiful, melodious Italian.

What about you? Any secret language passions you want to pursue? How are you going to vivi con passione?


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