Dead?

02.08.2011

What for Latin, Greek or any ancient language in such a world when nobody uses them for communication? What for to learn anything when you cannot use it?

 

I can only believe that most of us realize how important these languages are to understand the history, the  culture and the tradition of our civilization, not mentioning  how useful they are regarding logic and mind exercise. Anyway, I mean something more. For ancient Greek philosophy ‘getting to know’ was the most important life rule. And the book by Giorgio Colli explains it  very well. Only this way through learning and experiencing you can get a sense of your life and whatever you have or achieved is important, but it is only a step to go ahead to knowing  yourself. And in this sense knowing Latin, Greek, studying ‘dead’ languages let us climb the higher level of ‘to be’, because here is a pure knowledge and here is everything written about human life and emotion.  From a practical point of view, such knowledge gives you a completely different perspective what is essential in life and it also offers a great comfort of distance to this super speed and consuming world.

I must admit that for me as a person who spent several years dealing with Greek and Latin, it is hard to stand the phrase ‘ dead languages’. To my mind, we are dead ourselves if we only focus on how to develope our practical skills to have more. Such getting more and more means losing , because whatever you really posses, you always have got with yourself (omnia mea mecum porto). In your mind and in your heart. And in this sense these dead languages let me be alive. I am writing it listening toYasmine Levy who sings in Ladino a Romance language derived from Old Spanish and which is influenced heavily by Hebrew  and Aramaic , but also Arabic, Turkish and to a lesser extent Greek and other languages where Sephardic exiles settled around the Word.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someone