March 30th, 2008

“Why are you studying Germanic Languages?”

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Meeting lots of people here in Tuebingen, I often get asked why I chose to study German, Dutch, etc, especially considering I have creative ambitions and no aspirations of becoming a translator or interpretor or professor or similar.

A Javanese proverb (that I found quoted in the same book I mentioned in my last postLearning By Heart) sums up my reasoning quite eloquently:

When asked what makes a good dancer, the master replied:

First, to be a good dancer, one must know the music as well as the dance.

And what else?

To be a better dancer, one must understand the stories and be able to interpret the characters being portrayed.

Is there more?

The best dancer is the one who has all these things I have told you about and is a farmer.


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