Sunday, December 20, 2009

Love of Language

I grew up nurturing a love of language and literature. In synagogue I chanted the Hebrew prayers, following the thick calligraphy adapted from ancient scrolls. Sometimes even reading English was like learning a foreign tongue; I didn't always understand the content but liked how the words sounded strung together. 

In high school I studied French and German, even used a bit of Thai as a foreign exchange student. After college I studied Spanish and later returned to Brazil to immerse myself in the language I hadn't used since I was two.

When I was ten I taught myself the manual alphabet from Helen Keller's autobiography, entranced by her striking imagery developed through her sense of smell and touch, love of nature and avid reading. The word plays and poetry of children's literature engaged my imagination, revisited in adulthood by sharing illustrated books with kids.    

Dear Reader:
What languages have enhanced your love of the written, spoken, (or signed) word?

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