2. Tower of Babel & Multi-Lingual-Cultural Global Citizens
3. Post on LInkedIn. By Mr. Ashley Church, Social and Economic Commentator – august 7, 2017
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Doei, salu2, ciao, até logo, grüssen, cordialement, salut, добрый день, ajoo, tur kos bon mi dushi hendenan na Switi Sranan i mi famiri na switi Korsou, tan bun allamala !
Being multi-lingual and multi-cultural can generate a lot of special advantages. For your personal life, career, for doing business etc..
It allows you to connect and to communicate in a genuine way with many people and cultures on this globe.
To swiftly cross boundaries (lingual, cultural, mental, geographical) that so often constrain and divide us.
These musings are based and inspired by my own history as a ” native multi-lingual-cultural global citizen “.
It represents my personal point of view. Based on what I have experienced as a varied, interesting and privileged language and life experience.
I wish to share this story with you, hope its serves you.
Background and Why?
I was lucky to grow up in a fully multi-cultural-lingual society, on a small island and hard rock in the emerald blue Caribbean sea.
An island of just 444 square kilometres with 150.563 inhabitants representing many different nationalities, in all the colors of the rainbow, that fully communicate with each other and that live and dance carnival, salsa and bachata most peacefully together.
A small Paradise.
With 37 awesome beaches.
Such as on my/our favourite spot since many decades (http://piratebaycuracao.com/nl/) .
Where you can enjoy unforgettable sunsets.
While eating a fresh catch-of-the-day piska korá or red snapper. Drinking a few Heineken beers, a bottle of ron Diplomático. Getting additional inspiration with Despacito of Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee, swinging salsa, bachata and reggae music on the background.
Discovered by Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso de Ojeda. September 7th, 1499. ” Isla de los Gigantes “.
As part of the third voyage of Christophorus Columbus, beginning 30th May in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain. When Columbus officially discovered the South American continent. The 31th July 1498, Trinidad and a few days later Paria, Venezuela.
The New World, Las Indias, discovered ” In Nomine Domini Nostri Ihesu Christi ” in 1492, according to Columbus’ diary. Fortunately incorporated in the iconic ” Historia de Indias ” from Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas. The original manuscript is safeguarded in la Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid.
At the dawn, stepping out of the dark Late Middle Ages and entering the bright sunny Early Renaissance, in 1499.
Then for many renowed scientists and clever people, this globe was still flat.
Flat as my favourite Dutch sweet pancake in restaurant Oudt Leyden, 110 years old, in my Alma Mater Leiden, Holland.
Flat as my favourite Vera Pizza and the Mastunicola, most delicious pizza’s in ” Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba “. The oldest pizzeria in Napoli nella bella Italia and the world’s first pizzeria, 187 years young.
Curaçao, Dushi Korsow in Papiamento, my native island (https://youtu.be/jd-n0aT9RV0.).
During my childhood and as a teenager, already before leaving for university studies abroad, most of us on Korsow would daily speak and fluently communicate in many languages across the cultures.
Up to seven (7).
Dutch, Sranan Tongo, Papiamento at and around home.
Spanish, English, already compulsory on primary school.
French, German on secondary / high school.
Those friends that studied at the ” Gymnasium ” included Old Greek and Latin.
Nine (9) for some.
In the Netherlands I added la preziosa lingua Italiana from Dante Alighieri.
La lingua Italiana ?
La Lingua Italiana insegnati agli Straineri, A. Rincari – C. Brighenti, 288 pages. As self-obliged preparation in Alma Mater Leiden for my 6 months fieldwork nella Bella Italia.
Parco naturale Rocciavre – Orsiera, Rifugio Selleries, 2023 metri (www.rifugioselleries.it).
Per chiacchiarare tutti gli giorni.
Con Madama Lida, Giácomo, Lida, Lida Jr. (ciao Bella, dove siete, a Roma?), Marisa, Silvana, Giovanna, Tonino, pastore famiglia Agu, Giovanni, Mario, Blengino etc. etc.. (Carissimi amici, ci vediamo fra poco, su Selleries…ciao). Anche per godere dalla Dolce Vita, con Barbera, Barolo e Dolcetto d’Alba.
Portuguese, (…well, boy, you never know, you may need it as a global geologist……). Both languages by self study in the language lab of the Languages Department of the University.
Russian, Русского Языка?
Private classes from Ирина and Галина during 2y, for my work. In addition classes at the university.
For projects in Russia, Moscow, Siberia, Caucasus area (…Dagestan..) and Yamal Peninsula.
Practical also to correctly order caviar in the restaurants.
To buy the Russian Siberian silver and red fox fur hats.
To search for Cien Años de Soledad, the translated version in Russian in Дом Кпига, the only gigantic library in town, in Москва or Moscow.
To buy a pizza, in the first Pizza Hut.
Seven (7) months before Michael Gorbachov left office as President of the Soviet Union. When the СССР or USSR still existed. Though, communism on the brink to capitalism by perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness).
Seventy four (74) years after the October revolution?
Negotiating and signing the first contracts between capitalists and communists. With Herbert Hunt, co-owner and the BOED of Dallas-based Placid Oil. First entrans, Siberia and Moscow, May 1991.
South African ?
Resembles Dutch and is easy to understand for a Dutchman, e.g. while in Cape Town. This as 90 % of the words are of Dutch origin (…such as apartheid…).
I have greatly benefitted from my multiple language toolkit.
To make it a bit more interesting and sustainable ?
I ventured to combine it with my profession, multiple (4) petroleum exploration related university postgrad disciplines.
Braincrafting my signature multiple-energy-work-toolkit.
In my elusive quest and endeavour to become a global Explorer.
It enabled me to communicate, to interact in an personal way, to make genuine friends, on their specific frequency, in their own language.
To do business with many different people, to feel at home and to integrate in many diverse countries on this globe.
Above all it gave me Freedom.
Freedom to talk, write and communicate with my own mouth, hand and brains with many different people, cultures and countries.
Freedom to think, read and feel in other languages and cultures.
Freedom to become an explorer. To discover new things wherever I was and every day. I did it my way.
Freedom and ability to feel and to be at home, to have great fun, to be happy together with many others in the different places where I have been on Earth.
This in addition to my native Paradise Curacao.
” Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.
Nothin’, ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free “.
It also seems to protect against dementia ??
And it saves you from being a narrow, self-confined ” lingual and cultural autist ” ?
Similar to the Blue-and-Yellow Macaw or Ara Ararauna?
Locked-up in a cage.
With a tiny future of 2 cubic metres, 2 metres high. Depressed eyes. Exclaiming only his 3 learned phrases, day after day, year after year.
Like waiting in Death Row, in Folsom Prison. Ill-fated, cursed and imprisoned just because of his really precious colors.
Formerly, a free man, flying and living a most happy life with his partner, such as in Arapahu, deep in the Amazon jungle.
Now confined and sentenced to speak only 3 sentences.
In this contemporary world with a new species denominated ” global citizins “.
Very special for me is to be able to read, understand, feel, taste, smell and palpate the nuances, in its original language, for example of:
Cien Años de Soledad of Gabriél García Marquez, Español.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream of Shakespeare, English.
Les Fleurs du mal of Charles Baudelaire, langue Française
Il Paradiso of Dante Alighieri, Italiano.
Os Lusíadas of Luís Vaz de Camões, Português.
Hé Patu of Ellis Juliana, Papiamento.
Ala poewema foe Trefossa, Sranan Tongo.
Perestroika of Gorbachov, Русского Языка.
Etc. etc. etc.
Benefits of being multilingual and multicultural ?
> I have greatly benefitted from my own language tool kit.
> It enabled me to communicate, to interact in an authentic way, to make genuine friends in their own language, to do business with many different people. To gain cross-cultural understanding. To integrate, to feel at home and to be happy in many countries on this globe.
> It adds a special dimension to your communication with people and with friends.
> Each language gives you a whole new lifestyle, a whole new shade of meaning.
” To have another language is to possess a second soul.” Charlemagne (742/7 – 814), King of the Franks.
> Speaking a different language, whether it’s your grandparents’ tongue or high-school Spanish, fundamentally changes the structure of your brain.
> Put a bunch of these malleable minds together in a company, and you create the potential for some truly original thinking.(https://qz.com/927660/people-who-speak-multiple-languages-make-the-best-employees-for-one-big-reason/)
> Observations of multi-language work teams show that mixed-language groups have a propensity to find innovative solutions for practical problems. This is because they use a range of communication strategies in flexible and dynamic ways.
> Please see, Linguanomics: What is the Market Potential of Multilingualism ? by Gabrielle Hogan-Brun – http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/linguanomics-9781474238298/
It also protects and delays against dementia.
>> I can therefore certainly fully recommend, get multi-lingual and multi-cultural.
( http://www.multilingualliving.com/2010/10/18/9-ways-to-keep-language-learning-going/ )
>>> It makes life much more varied and interesting.
2) Tower of Babel & Multi-Lingual-Cultural Global Citizens
2.1 Why the world’s peoples speak different languages ?
According to the story, a united humanity in the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating eastward, comes to the land of Shinar. There they agree to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach heaven. God, observing their city and tower, confounds their speech so that they can no longer understand each other, and scatters them around the world.
Some modern scholars have associated the Tower of Babel with known structures, notably the Etemenanki, a ziggurat dedicated to the Mesopotamian god Marduk by Nabopolassar, the king of Babylonia circa 610 BCE. The Great Ziggurat of Babylon was 91 metres (300 ft) in height. Alexander the Great ordered it to be demolished circa 331 BCE in preparation for a reconstruction that his death forestalled. A Sumerian story with some similar elements is told in Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta.
2.2 The amazing benefits of being bilingual
Just a few quotes of this extensive article, that explains the advantage of knowing different languages. In many aspects it resembles my own experience.
> Around the world, more than half of people – estimates vary from 60 to 75 per cent – speak at least two languages.
> Many countries have more than one official national language – South Africa has 11. People are increasingly expected to speak, read and write at least one of a handful of “super” languages, such as English, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish or Arabic, as well.
> To be monolingual, as many native English speakers are, is to be in the minority, and perhaps to be missing out.
> Multilingualism has been shown to have many social, psychological and lifestyle advantages. Moreover, researchers are finding a swathe of health benefits from speaking more than one language, including faster stroke recovery and delayed onset of dementia.
> What will happen if the current rich diversity of languages disappears and most of us end up speaking only one?The first words ever uttered may have been as far back as 250,000 years ago, once our ancestors stood up on two legs and freed the ribcage from weight-bearing tasks, allowing fine nerve control of breathing and pitch to develop.
> And when humans had got one language, it wouldn’t have been long before we had many. Language evolution can be compared to biological evolution, but whereas genetic change is driven by environmental pressures, languages change and develop through social pressures. Over time, different groups of early humans would have found themselves speaking different languages. Then, in order to communicate with other groups – for trade, travel and so on – it would have been necessary for some members of a family or band to speak other tongues.
> Research in the last decade by neurologists, psychologists and linguists, using the latest brain-imaging tools, is revealing a swathe of cognitive benefits for bilinguals. It’s all to do with how our ever-flexible minds learn to multitask.
> Bilingual children did better than monolinguals in both verbal and non-verbal intelligence tests.
> Psycholinguistics pioneer, Susan Ervin-Tripp concluded (1960) that human thought takes place within language mindsets, and that bilinguals have different mindsets for each language – an extraordinary idea but one that has been borne out in subsequent studies, and many bilinguals say they feel like a different person when they speak their other language.
Mental muscles: In fact, says cognitive neuropsychologist Jubin Abutalebi, at the University of San Raffaele in Milan, it is possible to distinguish bilingual people from monolinguals simply by looking at scans of their brains. “Bilingual people have significantly more grey matter than monolinguals in their anterior cingulate cortex, and that is because they are using it so much more often,” he says. The ACC is like a cognitive muscle, he adds: the more you use it, the stronger, bigger and more flexible it gets.
> But perhaps the most exciting benefit of bilingualism occurs in ageing, when executive function typically declines: bilingualism seems to protect against dementia.bilingualism should be encouraged”.
> As for the financial benefits, one estimate puts the value of knowing a second language at up to $128,000 over 40 years.It is never too late to learn another tongue, and it can be very rewarding.
> Alex Rawlings is a British professional polyglot who speaks 15 languages:
“ Each language gives you a whole new lifestyle, a whole new shade of meaning,” he says. “ It’s addictive! ”
In addition to facilitating cross-cultural communication, this trend also positively affects cognitive abilities. Researchers have shown that the bilingual brain can have better attention and task-switching capacities than the monolingual brain, thanks to its developed ability to inhibit one language while using another.
In addition, bilingualism has positive effects at both ends of the age spectrum: Bilingual children as young as seven months can better adjust to environmental changes, while bilingual seniors can experience less cognitive decline.
Being bilingual can have tangible practical benefits.
The improvements in cognitive and sensory processing driven by bilingual experience may help a bilingual person to better process information in the environment, leading to a clearer signal for learning.
This kind of improved attention to detail may help explain why bilingual adults learn a third language better than monolingual adults learn a second language.
The cognitive and neurological benefits of bilingualism extend from early childhood to old age as the brain more efficiently processes information and staves off cognitive decline.
The enriched cognitive control that comes along with bilingual experience represents just one of the advantages that bilingual people enjoy. Despite certain linguistic limitations that have been observed in bilinguals (e.g., increased naming difficulty7), bilingualism has been associated with improved metalinguistic awareness (the ability to recognize language as a system that can be manipulated and explored), as well as with better memory, visual-spatial skills, and even creativity.29
Furthermore, beyond these cognitive and neurological advantages, there are also valuable social benefits that come from being bilingual, among them the ability to explore a culture through its native tongue or talk to someone with whom you might otherwise never be able to communicate.
The cognitive, neural, and social advantages observed in bilingual people highlight the need to consider how bilingualism shapes the activity and the architecture of the brain, and ultimately how language is represented in the human mind, especially since the majority of speakers in the world experience life through more than one language.
> References (3):
European Commission Special Eurobarometer. (2006). Europeans and their languages. Retrieved October 1, 2012, from http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_243_en.pdf3.
Associated Press. (2001). Some facts about the world’s 6,800 tongues. Retrieved October 1, 2012, from http://articles.cnn.com/2001-06-19/us/language.glance_1_languages-origin-tongues?_s=PM:US11. Abutalebi, J., Pasquale, A. D. R., Green, D. W., Hernandez, M., Scifo, P., Keim, R., Cappa, S. F., & Costa, A. (2011).
This subject relates for example to attached post and interesting opinion on Linkein by Mr. Ashley Church.
3) Post on Linkedin by Mr. Ashley Church, Social and Economic Commentator – august 7, 2017
There’s a 16th Century quote attributed to Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, which goes something like this: “I speak Latin to God, Italian to musicians, Spanish to women, French at the Court, German to my servants and English to my horses”.
While the quote is almost certainly wrong – the principle behind this version of it is sound – suggesting, as it does, that back then the German and English languages were ‘unworthy’ and beneath the ‘nobel’ classes.
How times have changed.
English is now, indisputably, the international language and the means by which vast numbers of us communicate. It’s either spoken as a native tongue – or used as the intermediary language between two other languages.
There are probably a range of cumulative reasons for this – particularly, the influence of the British Empire which exerted influence over at least a quarter of the worlds population for over 300 years – and more recently, the rise of the US at a time which coincided with mass communication and the worldwide cultural influence of ‘Hollywood’.
Whatever the reason, it’s a phenomenon which is leading us inexorably, to a day when we will all speak the same language – either directly, or with the aid of technology…..
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