We were feeling nostalgic for the pampas last week. So we went to dinner at El Sur a restaurant in the heart of Paris. It’s the real thing. The décor, the wine, and best – the meat – are all authentically porteno (pertaining to Buenos Aires).
We went with our Spanish teacher, son Jules, and some friends. The conversation was in Spanish.
“Jules, your Spanish is very good,” we said afterwards.
“Five years of it in school. But, Dad, I don’t know how much you can learn from these sessions…”
“Well, learning languages is cumulative. You just keep at it. Little by little it sinks in…”
“I wonder if it’s worth all the effort…”
“Sure it is. Languages hide the accumulated wisdom of generations of dead people. Each word is an idea. And different languages have different words…and different ideas… The more languages you know, the more ideas you’ve encountered. The more you know, generally… Besides, if you don’t speak the language you can’t enter into a culture and discover its secrets.”
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