January 11, 2016 | Pashto
Cheating on Pashto
I keep studying Arabic instead.
I love the Pashto I’ve encountered so far, but I have a confession: I have been temporarily tempted aside by Arabic. Just as I was about to finish the first 30 audio lessons that Pimsleur offers for Pashto, I realized that Pimsleur had added 60 more lessons for Modern Standard Arabic. When I studied it six years ago, there were only 30, so this is a major major windfall.
Now, there are Arabic influences in Pashto, so it is not totally irrelevant. And the writing system in Pashto is based on the Arabic alphabet.
Still, in figuring out how to organize this blog, I can see my challenges keeping a single linguistic focus at a time are growing. I belong to the Polyglots group on Facebook, with posts all day long on all different languages, and I love it and end up there daily, and am constantly being seduced away from whatever language I am working on, but it is totally fun and totally worth it.
Today, for instance, while reviewing the Polyglots feed in the company of a copious quantity of espresso, I came across a beautiful, poignant post written by group member Drita Isufaj. She is an assistant professor of literature in Albania, and what she wrote brought tears to my eyes. With her permission, I am reposting it here.
Linguistic Memory, Albania
For the citizens of an isolated country such as my country Albania that was for 50 years, under the regime of a wild communist dictatorship (very similar to the North Korean one), this two small words, meant a window to the world.
They were written in the foreigner products coming from abroad (there were very very few of them); we used to pronounce them literally m-a-d-e i-n; we did not know what they exactly meant, all we knew was that they were to us a sign of the free world.
After the communism fall, when I started to learn English during the ‘90-s, as a child, I was amassed to discover the exact meaning of this two “magic” words, but it was difficult to me to pronounce them correctly, cause they were memorized in my mind differently. - Drita Isufaj
Words containing worlds!
As for Pashto, my neglected but lovely friend, I will put up an entry shortly on all the books and materials I have amassed for that language, some of which I have begun reading and some of which I am still merely admiring from afar. I think I have pretty much covered the market for materials on this one, but as is always the case, unread books remain considerably less informative than read ones.