Sunday, September 3, 2023


     My son in law teaches French and Spanish in a large high school. He is very good at teaching languages and learning them. 

    When I talked to him this morning , he had just finished his German lesson. So every Sunday morning he has an hour of conversation in German. He is very fluent in German. 

    Then he told me that he had an hour learning Czech. This is a  new one to me but I wasn't surprised. So I asked him a naive question. Does knowing German help in learning Czech?   Oh no he said. Czech has nothing to do with German. Czech is an Indo European language

    Then I started going through all the European languages to see the relationships. I had thought that all European languages were related. So there are Germanic languages such as Austria, Germany. There are a number if Indo European languages. There are the romance languages that come from Latin which would be France, Spain, Portugal, England. . There are Norse languages in northern Europe. I was surprised that Dutch is the closest language to English. And then I thought oh what about Hungarian. Hungarian is a northern language closer related to Northern languages. This one really surprised me. 

     What he told me makes perfect sense but I had just never bumped into the idea before. 

    I had to take French as a first year class. I tried to become fluent in French but I never got there. Today , I remember very little French. 

    So I wonder what he's going to teach me the next time I talk to him.