Coke’s “America the Beautiful”

On the most recent weekend, I’d heard about the so-called, “controversy,” of the Coke commercial during the Super Bowl, which involved the performance of the American patriotic song, “America the Beautiful,” in other languages. Only yesterday did I actually see the video for myself, and I am disgusted by the comments on it.

How is it that we, the United States of America, can be so divided in our beliefs on what ought to be a trivial commercial? United under English we may be (albeit for the sake of our individual functionalities in society), but to say that this song should not be sung in any other language but English is absurd and untrue to the American spirit of the virtues of life, liberty, and the right to the pursuit of happiness. It is a blow to life, where the cultural and linguistic lives of our multi-ethnic society are put in jeopardy. It is an attack upon personal liberty, where the immigrants and their descendants are discouraged from freely speaking their mother tongues and thereby forced to abandon their cultural identity and heritage. It is to abolish the right to the pursuit of happiness, to claim that when immigrants come to our country, they must speak English, abandon their own ways, assimilate into our society, and ultimately lose all sense of self, individuality, identity, and self, compromising personal happiness, such as one’s happiness upon their identity fully crystallizing and coming to terms with it.

So I ask you: If you deny the multi-ethnic nature of our society, how can you call yourself American, when you deny this important personal liberty, to speak one’s mother tongue and establish one’s cultural identity? How dare you deny liberty, a virtue that our colonial forefathers fought for!

Updates on Scoprendo l’italiano! (Part 2) and Other News

Scoprendo l’italiano is now available in print on Createspace and Amazon for $43.78! A bit pricy for the first release, but I will be releasing a discount code in the somewhat near future.

In other news, I’ve begun work on Hindi Sikho!, a Hindi counterpart to Italian, with help from my parents, both of whom are much more accomplished speakers than I am. You should most likely expect to see it available in early to mid-March. I hope you guys purchase my book on the Kindle Store or a print version, if you prefer. 

Updates on Scoprendo l’italiano!

So, firstly, I’ve completely revamped the setup of the book on the Kindle, and I’ve also made significant progress in getting a print version made available on Createspace, so hopefully, you’ll purchase one of the two. I definitely hope you enjoy learning Italian from it, as there are many beautiful, high quality photographs, and integrated exercises for practicing concepts.

As for the Kindle, however, the formats seems a little off, and I’ll need to get to learn how to fix that, but you’ll have to live with it for now, if you have a copy. It should still be pretty usable. And even better, it’s been discounted to $3.99!

Scoprendo l’italiano!

My Italian learning guide is now available on the Amazon Kindle Store. It is called Scoprendo l’italiano! You can purchase it for $4.99 in the US. I hope you enjoy learning the language as much as I did!

For people without Kindles, I will attempt to get the book in print using Amazon’s Createspace, and on other e-reader platforms.

Attitudes Toward Foreign Language

It is not entirely rare that I have met those with the idea that everyone should speak English, because most of the world teaches or speaks it. While true, language is a fundamental part of society, culture, and people’s identities, and displacing it would ruin many cultures in the long term.  Feeling entitled to the understanding of others in our own language is what earns one the label of ignorant and self-centered. Taking the time to understand someone else is only the first step. This applies to many things, not just language.

Language Education in the Lower Grade Levels

I feel that language education of any kind would be very helpful for the growth of younger people as citizens of a supposedly cosmopolitan nation. We need to instill in the younger generation the value of reaching out to the world and understanding it on the intimate level of their languages. With learning a language comes the understanding of another culture and another people. How can we expect our diverse population to come to mutual agreements on various issues if they are separated by language barriers? The solution is NOT to encourage them to speak English, to abandon their mother tongues and heritage. We need it to be a nationwide standard for people to speak another language to function in a multiracial society, which sadly, doesn’t seem to be the case, even with the mandatory two years of foreign language in high school in some places. By making elementary school students learn other languages (preferably of their own choice), it would not only make them more aware of the world, but also be more intelligent. Studies have shown that students of foreign language generally have better scores on English-related assessments. Wherever you might be, get involved with your school district or an individual school, and encourage them to adopt an early foreign language education program.

Speak, Speak, Speak!

Every day, I see other students who reject their cultural heritage, particularly their languages. They consciously want to relinquish this part of themselves, and this saddens me to no end. Always be grateful for the gift of language from your parents and culture, for without it, you would be less than the person you are today because of it. Whether you speak a major world language like Spanish, or a minority language like Basque, it’s important to keep that speaking tradition alive, because when a language dies, an entire generation of potential speakers influenced and molded by that language dies with it.

The Foreign Language Study Assocation

If you’re a language aspirant in high school, and you want show others the wonder of the study of foreign language, make a club! I made an organization this year, in my high school, as a sort of pre-collegiate Alpha Mu Gamma, called the Foreign Language Study Association. Another thing: this site will be very helpful when it comes to self-studying languages!

http://www.wordreference.com

Anyway, here’s a quote for you:

学一门语言,就是多一个观察世界的窗户。
(xué yì mén yǔyán, jiù shì duō yí ge guānchá shìjiè de chuānghu.)
To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.

The Importance of Language

No matter where we come from, language is an important part of our lives. It permeates everything we do, from our habits, our personalities, and identities as people. By learning other languages, you can link yourself with others in a way more profound than any other form of communication. As human beings, it is pleasing to hear another speak our own language. People who speak other languages understand others on deep levels, being able to connect with others in their mother tongues, the first and best form of communication.

When I was a child, I was unable to speak my mother tongue, Kannada, as well as I should have, due to a speech problem. It became apparent to me at an early age that language was important, and not being able to speak in Kannada affected how others saw me, behaved around me, and spoke to me.

Now, I am significantly more proficient in Kannada, after years of practice with my family. I have learned Spanish to a reasonably advanced level, and am continuing to study, because Spanish is a beautiful language, and is also widely spoken in my state of California. I also started learning Italian some time ago, as well as Hindi and Korean. Hindi and Italian are still works in progress, but I gave up on Korean some time ago, because of I found its grammar system confusing. However, I recently compiled my notes from these three languages into individual learning guides, in the hope that others might be able to utilize them. I have yet to publish my most recent and hopefully my best version of my book on Italian, due to having to wait for my KDP Select contract to expire. My Korean book is currently under revision by my Korean colleague, and my Hindi book is beginning the polishing process. At the moment, my first Italian book, Impariamo l’italiano!, is available on the Kindle Store for $4.99. Eventually, the better version, with more vocabulary, exercises, and information will be available on the iBooks Store, called Scoprendo l’italiano! On this blog, I will be posting links to the audio exercises that will accompany the text, when I have finished them, and the book is released.