RECEIVED CARD #4 – Escaping a wolf,…

Dear Friends,

I knew I would come across the topic languages again, as Postcrossing attracts many people not onyl interested in different cultures but different languages as well, but I hadn’t though it to be so soon. The fourth postcard I received was written in German! It was send to me by Helka-Maija, a teacher in a small Finnish town called Varkaus. Besides Finnish, English and German she also speaks Swedish and Russian.

All this writing about foreign languages and language learning had me thinking. What are the top 3 languages I want to learn before I die? It came down to…

… (1) Italian,
… (2) Romanian,
…and (3) Japanese.

The explanation for my choices is pretty simple because Italy, Romania and Japanese are countries I’d like to visit one day (I’ll tell you more about my travelling plans some other time…) and when I travel to a certain country rather than soley relying on English, I prefer to converse with people in their native tongue. I think it somewhat removes the glaring tourist-tag, is more polite and the natives are more inclined to show you the tracks off the beaten path. You get so much more out of your stay if you at least try to use the country’s native language! As I’ve said before: Language reveals a great deal about the people who speak it and the country they live in.
I’ve also done some research concerning language-learning-methods and stumbled upon this great post by Timm Ferriss: How To Learn (But Not Master) Any Language In 1 HourHis way of approaching and evaluating the new language you decided to learn is mind-bogglingly easy and logical. Just check it out yourself.
And then I came across a website offering the most common phrases for postcrossers translated into many different languages: Dictionaries for Postcrossers.

Back to Hilka’s postcard. If it weren’t already amazing enough that she send me a card written in German, she also added this great Finnish quote…

Finnish:
Kun menee sutta pakoon, tulee karhu vastan.
German:
Wenn man vor dem Wolf flieht kommt einem der Bär entgegen.
English:
When escaping a wolf, one will run into a bear.

…and picked a card with a beautiful art printing, showing an olipaniting by the Finnish artist Pekka Halonen. Hilka-Maija wrote that he is most famous for his winter landscapes but she likes the colorful paintings better. I think they are all wonderful. Just look at those two: “Ensilumi” (First Snow) from 1931 and “Talvinen Iltarusko” (Winter Sunset) from 1899.

Hilka-Maija’s postcard travelled 925 miles (1489 km) in 6 days until it reached its destination: My mailbox 🙂

So, what languages do you want to learn?

Bye! Tschüß! Näkemiin! Ciao! La revedere! さようなら!

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