Friday, 8 January 2010

CARLA BRUNI: "La Possibilité d'une Île"

Would it be a coincidence if the first song you play randomly from your MP3-player is written in the language of the place where you just arrived at that very moment? The place is called Mauritius and the language is French. The mystical lyrics are a poetic welcome note to this tropical holiday island, a cultural melting pot where also English and Creole is commonly spoken.

I always get some joy from having the chance to converse in a language I have been studying before. As a child, you can’t foresee any of those situations in your life where that language knowledge will effectively be used. You struggle with vocabulary lists and always seem to forget that third category of exceptions on one or another grammatical rule. You don't realize yet that a language is a drawer in a cabinet, which you can open any time at your convenience, and pull out what you thought you no longer had. You may not find every piece you ever put in, but it should be sufficient to get dressed and move around.

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