Through Reading

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Today (or rather yesterday since it’s already Saturday) I spent many hours scanning the internet to increase my stock of physical reading material. There is a ‘gap’ on my bookshelf, you see. I feel it needs to be filled.

I typed a few key words into the search bar of a website I enjoy browsing. I hoped to find new titles that I had not come across before. It began to don on me though; my appeal towards English books has drastically increased. In the past, I have commonly preferred English books if that was the original language. Nowadays I find my tolerance of Dutch writings declining even more. I feel that my education is to take partial responsibility for this yet it remains to be a peculiar change.

I ordered a total of five books. Three out of these five are English titles. One of the novels is about writing my preferred genre. I thought there would be no better way to learn than through the language I like to write in as well. The second novel was a fiction story I had read when I was younger. The final one was a language-oriented book. As I am doing in university at the moment too, I feel comfortable learning a new language from the English point.

English is a rich language. Therefore I think it can expand lushly into the new, foreign language. While in Dutch we have but one word for something, in English there is an abundance of words, phrases and expressions to lead to the same outcome. This means, to me, that the language has a more poetic allure to it. This is also why I prefer its embrace for my own words and stories. It is even commonly the voice of my thoughts. It has been that for well over a decade even before I started my education that is taught strictly in the English language.

Dutch can come across as a very professional language however. It gets to the point very quickly rather than hovering in empty space filled with poetry. This is likely a consequence of Dutch culture. The Dutch are very straightforward people. We enjoy getting to the point. We find it displeasing when people beat about the bush. The Dutch are often thought of as rude or blunt for speaking so openly. It is not seen likewise by fellow Dutch citizens. In our opinion, withholding the truth is rude instead.

Language is a powerful tool. That is why I aim to learn multiples. As I am increasing my understanding of the cultures from which the languages descend, I am starting to make connections. It is interesting to me. It reveals ‘aha’ moments for me and points to facts that I had never thought of before. When I was in high school, I had to analyze novels very intimately. In comparison to my current knowledge, the thoughts I had about the stories then was miniscule.

I am one who lives through the mind. I like to know and understand. It is a path to wisdom, I am willing to believe. That is why I have set myself on the path to understanding the world and its many languages; even if I can only learn but a handful of them. For through the understanding of a language, I can learn all that the natives of that language have uncovered in turn. It is a doorway to an enormous castle of renewed sources and I have found the key. All that is left for me to do is to turn it.

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