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  • Actually Bosnians are pretty surprised. When I meet anyone from the former Yugoslavia in California.

  • I’ll be in a store and I can tell from the person’s name, it’s like Jasmina or something, and I can tell from the last name that she’s from the former Yugoslavia.

  • And I’ll say something to them and theyre like, “Oh my gosh. How do you know this language?” And then they have to tell me their whole life story.

  • How they left during the war, how much they want to go back and what they miss. And I say, “I need to buy this and I need to get going.”

  • It’s really the only opportunity I have to speak the language.

  • And I understand how important it us for somebody, when they are in an environment where they are only speaking a foreign language and then suddenly, somebody out of the blue speaks their language

  • Especially when you are coming from a “small languageor a “small culturewith just 10, 12, 15 million people or whatever it is.

  • It’s not like Spanish, it’s not French, one of thosebig and importantlanguages, if languages can be divided in that way.

  • It’s as if when Bosnians hear someone speaking Bosnian, that were grateful. “Thank you for learning our language”. It’s really funny because it’s really rare.

  • You know for some people, they don’t actually try to cultivate relationships in the place they are living.

  • It’s amazing there are people from the United States who go to Guatemala to learn Spanish and they just stay in their Spanish school and hang out with other North Americans, Europeans or other English speakers.

  • They only hang out with other English speakers. So I say, what’s the point of going all the way to Guatemala if all youre going to do is sit in a school and not talk to local people and try to make local connections.

  • So of course it’s huge. You learn the colloquial language and youre actually using it and not just reading it in a book, “I am going to...”

  • Hello Peter. Hello Jane

  • This is something I always find really surprising in the United States is that people sayOh, I’ll learn Spanish but I have to go to a Spanish speaking country.”

  • You live in a Spanish speaking country! Youre in the US. Were not officially a Spanish speaking country and Spanish isn’t the official language.

  • There are quite a few people there.

  • Tens of millions of people speak Spanish. I learned to speak fluent Spanish without leaving the United States. You can do it!

  • I think in Bosnia, even though I spoke to many of my Bosnian friends in English, you being one of them.

  • That’s interesting we never spoke in Bosnian much, except for the lessons. You told me that you have specific people you only spoke in one language to.

  • That’s true.

  • Why am I assigned to English? Why didn’t you assign Japanese to me?

  • Well number 1, neither of us speak Japanese. Your English is a lot better than my Bosnian.

  • So we would start with Bosnian lessons and then we would talk about something that was too complicated for me to explain in Bosnian and I would switch to English.

  • It’s seriously important for me to distinguish languages with people. It helps me to prevent confusing languages.

  • For example, Ismar, a friend whom you introduced me to, he speaks Russian and English.

  • He and I never speak in Bosnian. It’s always in Russian or English.

  • Because that way... you know, I do confuse my languages sometimes.

  • Even though in the United States ... I haven’t lived in Bosnia for so many years, I sometimes am speaking in Russian and a Bosnian word comes out.

  • Why? Because they are both Slavic languages.

  • There are some triggers, something that connects.

  • Often, when talking about the bus stop in Russian, and it’s “ustanovka”, but I always want to saystanica”.

  • Do you remembertrudna”? Oh my gosh!

  • In Bosnian, “trudnameans pregnant. She’s pregnant. Feminine gender. And in Russian, it means difficult.

  • So it’s a good one.

  • Yes, I wanted to say that something was difficult for me, “mne trudnaand it was mistaken that I was trying to say that I was pregnant.

  • But I wasn’t pregnant. I just wanted to say that something was difficult for me.

  • There are those words, theyre calledfalse friends”. They sound similar but they mean something completely different.

  • In Bosnian there are words that are similar to Russian but the emphasis is in a different part of the word. So I have to be careful there.

  • But back to the whole friends issue, it is important to develop a relationship to people in the language so that way you have an emotional connection to the language.

  • Because otherwise, the language just rests in a book or on TV or is an academic subject.

  • But when you have an emotional connection with a friend, with a romantic partner, or whatever, you are much more motivated to learn the language.

  • You have these emotional connections in your brain related to certain words, songs, conversations.

  • To learn a language, you have to give yourself up to the language.

  • It’s like youre releasing yourself from the confines of your mother tongue. For me, it’s English or Russian. And giving yourself up to the language, and here it’s Bosnian.

  • The best way to give yourself up to a language is through a personal connection with somebody or a group of people or with music.

  • It’s actually quite similar to musical phrases.

  • sometimes in the context of practicing musical scales, it can be really boring and even if you do it a lot,

  • you don’t memorize it unless it’s in the context of a song, and something, especially if it has words to it.

  • Damir is a professional musician and that’s why he was teaching me Bosnian through music.

  • And Damir plays sevdah music which is traditional music from Bosnia.

  • The thing about sevdah is that it’s traditional music from here, with influences from Turkish and Ottoman music, and Slavic songs, rural and urban music.

  • It’s a mixture of aesthetics. It was very popular in the former Yugoslavia in the 1950s and 1960s. It was almost like pop music.

  • But today, this entire scene of sevdah singers went into this awful folksy (music) stuff and today I feel the same thing about sevdah that you say about language.

  • I definitely needed to surrender to it. To really immerse myself in it in a way that’s not just about knowing the songs.

  • I really needed to do apprenticeships with older people. And it’s not only about listening to recordings, it’s about meeting people.

  • And I definitely feel the difference form singers who sing solely from records or when they pick up a song from records

  • or when they pick up a song from a living person who gave them the song and explained the meaning and they sang together.

  • In terms of audio, when you receive it from a CD or record or whatever audio recording, you receive it only with your ears.

  • But when you receive it personally from a person

  • Personally from a person

  • ,you receive it with all your senses, with vibrations that are not coming through only your ears but the whole body. I totally agree.

Actually Bosnians are pretty surprised. When I meet anyone from the former Yugoslavia in California.

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著迷一種語言並學好它(Surrender yourself to a language and learn it)

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    Why Why 發佈於 2013 年 04 月 11 日
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