“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”

– Nelson Mandela

In Canada we have two official languages, English and French, and until recently the two languages were your options – take it or leave it!

On a philosophical level I understand about the ‘colonial’ interpretation of history into the two ‘founding’ nations – England and France. But is the ‘colonial’ interpretation of history a realistic history of Canada?

So where am I going in a post about being a Linguaphile?

Recently we have started to see in this country the renaming of English / French streets and schools into the First Nation languages that existed in the area at the founding of Canada. I have to admit from the outset that most of these names are a real tongue twister, but you know, that is a GOOD thing. What at first are unrecognizable names gives me two choices: to avoid using the First Nations name or to learn the words and in the process learn more about the First Nations people for which the street or school are named. I choose the latter and would gladly accept any assistance in learning!

And to me that is the TRUE belief of a linguaphile – a lover of language.

Nelson Mandela said it so aptly above, language is NOT meant to be an ego boost (I don’t care if you call it Aubergine or Eggplant!), language is meant to communicate ideas, thoughts, hopes and dreams! And in that communication you create connections on so many levels! Experts say that 70 to 93% of communication is non-verbal, but in the 7 – 30% that is language we can create the environment where the other 70 to 93% is positive.

Being a geek I like apps like Memrise that allow me to learn another language in terms I understand. But there are so many opportunities for us in our daily lives to learn, communicate and understand each other. We just need to become linguaphiles of a sort. The benefits can not be overestimated!

(If you are interested in learning the Scots language, as opposed to Gaelic, I highly recommend Miss Punny Penny on Instagram. She has a great attitude and you will find yourself learning Scots between the lols!)

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