“The Power of Language”

This video has five parts.

First: people who create languages for movies and TV.My favorite part of this interview is that the first step in creating a language is not the alphabet or vocabulary, or the grammar, or the sound system; it’s the people. Because if you have a language but no community in which it is used, then what’s the point, right?

I also like how the 5th step they describe is history. It’s a reminder that languages change over time, and we must change with it.


The second part is about Pokemon and 和製英語 (which many people call “Japanglish”).


Part 3 is about a young woman in Peru who is trying to preserve a dying Incan language through pop music.


Part 4 is about a man who speaks 32 languages. He’s a “hyperpolyglot” and his answer to the question, “Can you learn a language just by sitting around studying?” was:

 

Right?

The more languages you can speak and understand, the wider your perspective will become.

It may feel a little unnatural to speak in English or another language you’re learning with your Japanese classmates, but it’s a good chance to practice; for some, it’s practically your only chance.

He also is asked “What’s the most complicated langauge to learn?” What do you think his answer was? Watch to find out.


The last part is about a Deaf poet who performs slam poetry. This section talks about how the rhyming in these performances is more about poetry in movement than in sound.  (Why I capitalized the word “deaf” here.)

The more you read …

… the more creative (and interesting) you become. I believe that. Hayao Miyazaki seems to, too.

And if you can read in two languages, that’s double the amount of books you have access to!

Hayao Miyazaki Picks His 50 Favorite Children’s Books(From Open Culture)

“Loners and orphans figure prominently, as do talking animals.”

Of course they do!

Have you read any of these books? What are some books you read as a child? What books would you recommend to children (of all ages)?

 

 

Doing it his way

No, this is not about the US president’s choice of songs for his inaugural ball (or Sinatra’s daughter’s reaction to it).

It’s about a 10-year-old boy in Japan who decided he didn’t want to be “the nail that sticks out and is pounded in” by following societal norms that made him miserable. He decided to do things his own way.

“Japan’s 10-Year-Old Philosopher, Published Author, and Grade School Dropout” (from Tofugu)

Reading this, I sometimes thought he was just being a self-centered pre-teen, and sometimes that he was a lot more self-aware than many adults I know. It’s complicated.

One great debate topic:

“I think schools should be places you can go if you want to. People who like schools can go to school, like my sister. It means school is a good fit for them. So, I’ve never thought about changing the environment in schools. I didn’t “fit” school, so I chose not to go. It’s that simple. What needs to change is “yourself,” not schools or other people.”

I also was not aware of the Rocket Project for Talented Children. It’s great to see programs like this in Japan.