Being bilingual, I find languages fascinating. I love foreign films: if not for the intriguing stories, it's to listen to how people speak in their native tongues. I've spent my whole life trying to master two languages, and now I want to tackle another. I find Spanish very pleasing, and there's certain urgency in the language. I find French utterly romantic and beautiful to my ears. And how can anyone not love Italian after listening to a beautiful aria?

For me, the practical thing to do is to learn Spanish. Like it or not, it's becoming an official language in the U.S. If I can master Chinese, Spanish, and English, I have pretty much the entire world's population covered. A friend of mine tried to teach me Spanish in college, but I never picked it up. I was too busy trying to learn English. Now that I think my English is good enough, I really do want to learn another.

I simply love the French language. It's gorgeous to my ears. I don't know why. Some people hate it, think French is nasal and obnoxious. I think differently. I love French movies, and I love French songs. I love almost every French, from their cuisines to their arts to their architectures. It's a very strange thing: When I was in France, I felt very much at home, even though I could only speak limited, passable French. Maybe I was a dashing young Frenchman in one of my past lives.

Maybe I'm too familiar with the Chinese language; I don't find it all that exciting. Yes, Chinese is extremely economical -- you can say so much with just a few characters -- and it's gorgeous to look at (extremely difficult to learn and remember). But it's not that pleasant to listen to. In fact, most Asian languages are rather blunt and unattractive to the ears. Again, perhaps familiarity breeds contempt. I know it's an awfully unpatriotic thing to say, but I just don't feel the same way about Chinese as many westerners do.

I admire people who not only know, but can speak and write fluently in multiple languages. I think that's a gift, and I am seriously envious of that gift.

Jusqu'à la fois prochaine.


ORION said…
Why is it I did not know you had a blog?
It's a terrific read!
Congratulations on your award.
You are one of the other sane voices of reason on AW.
Patricia Wood
Nichola said…
I have many friends who are learning Mandarin as there is a growing Chinese population in Dundee - mostly students as we have a teaching hospital, university and medical school here.

Me, I prefer Italian - being brought up a Catholic means I've picked up a little Latin, and Italian is a natural progression.

I'm not sure you'd want me singing to you though...
Kanani said…
I like your insight, your view of the world. You are forthright without being naggy or pompous.

Keep going, most beautiful person of Pittsburgh, keep going, indeed!

Ray Wong said…
You all made me smile today. Thanks!
Kanani said…
Ray, you are much too modest. I know you were listed as the #1 most beautiful person in Pittsburgh. Of course, this must be an enormous burden. I can't imagine being up there with People Magazine's Sexiest Man of the Year Award.

I will pray for you.
But only after I buy your book.
Ray Wong said…
Goodness, my head is already too big for my shirts. Don't feed it. It's an endangered species all by itself.

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