How I Met Your Mother’s Language Posted by Malachi Rempen on Nov 13, 2017 in Archived Posts
Once upon a time in the Southwest, I fell under the spell of an Italian and her…Italian.
This comic is based on a true story.
My wife and I were only dating for a few months when I brought her to the USA for the first time to meet my family. I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico – not exactly the first stop for Italians visiting the United States. And that’s why she loved it. She didn’t want any part of the stereotypical USA that she saw on TV. So my family and I took her out to our cabin in the desert, where we enjoyed cider and burritos and Indian fry bread and played German board games by candlelight. It was a thoroughly un-American experience.
But we wanted some Italian flavor as well. My wife-then-girlfriend didn’t speak very good English back then, and none of us spoke Italian, but we loved the sound. So when she dug out her university textbooks, we had her read from them. And not the interesting stuff, either – she just read the copyright page. We sat there, drinking our cider and watching the fire crackle and listened to the melodic sound of Italian copyright legalese drift into the night. Either I fell in love with her that night, or I fell in love with Italian. Maybe both.
Sadly, I’ve learned how to speak Italian since then. I love speaking it, and I love Italian culture and the people. I only say “sadly” because there’s something magical about not understanding a language. Your imagination takes you on a journey far more beautiful than the content of the actual words could ever do. I don’t regret learning the language. But I do miss the dreamlike enchantment of that night, when Italian seduced me with that particular book’s date of print and rights permissions.
Luckily, there are other beautiful languages of which I do not understand a word: Japanese, Swahili, Quechua, Finnish and Maori are just a few examples of languages I find stunningly beautiful to hear, but don’t follow a single syllable. And maybe it’s best if I keep it that way – to preserve the magic.
What about you? What languages have seduced you?
Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.