Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Formatively Foreign: inspiration & spark

This post is Part 1 of a series to augment the Author's Manifesto available for free download.

This and other inspirations of mine are gathered in the Spark Directory for you to explore.

Find more linguistic content in my Language Directory.

Language has always fascinated me. When I was in preschool, my teacher spoke French and, like any young kid, I picked it up readily. It helped that my paternal grandmother also spoke French. However, I stopped using French when I started elementary school, and by second grade, I could hardly remember the old songs in French that I'd learned.

About that time, my older brother was learning basic Japanese at school. I was so jealous! I felt like Japanese was such a cool language, and I yearned to understand its crazy symbols. But it wasn't offered at my grade level, so that yearning went unquenched for the time being. Then, halfway through second grade, my family moved from Seattle, Washington to Austin, Texas. Instead of language options like French or Japanese, my new elementary school delivered only Spanish.

Check out this Author's Manifesto for more of my inspirations!

My indignation quelled itself in time. Due to my experience with French, the Spanish language seemed familiar and frankly, boring. When I ascended to junior high, I omitted any foreign language class at all, hoping that in three years, high school would have more interesting languages to offer. They did, in a way. I had to choose between French, Spanish, and ancient Latin. No Japanese, and not even talk of adding Japanese in the future. In fact, I believe the school was thrilled to be adding German to the list sometime in the next few years.

I went with Latin. I'd read lots of Greek and Roman mythology as a kid, so learning Latin seemed to be a good idea. As I began working on my Tales of the Known World saga, I discovered that my favorite part of the Latin courses was learning the Roman history and culture surrounding their language. I felt like I understood the ancient Romans through their lifestyle and society, and it instilled in me a sure knowing that language and culture are inextricably linked.

That's it for this post! Up Next: Inventing some quirky sci-fi tongues...

Download the Author's Manifesto here, or start your adventure below.

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