Saturday, January 17, 2009

TJ's Week Two: Learning 50 Languages

For my second week of doing something awesome, I decided to learn to say "hello" (or the closest equivalent thereof) in 50 different languages. I chose to do this because, like many people, I wish I knew more languages than I do, but I'm much too busy to think about learning one completely. So onto my half-assed attempt at international education.

Here is the full list of words I set out to memorize. Some of my favorites are:

Basque - kaixo (pronounced kai-show)

Cree - Tansi (pronounced Dawnsay)

Icelandic - góðan dag (formal; pronounced gothan dagg)

Zarma - fofo

Today, Tony called me up and quizzed me on all 50. I'm happy to say I passed with near perfection. Although I always hated memorizing things for school when I was a kid, I was always very good at it. And there's something very comforting about being able to absorb a large chunk of relatively useless information in a short span of time. After all, when am I going to ever run into someone who speaks Basque?

But the process of memorization, the way we can still teach our brains to hang on to this information, is what I enjoy. I think it's pretty awesome.

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