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68
by Nataly Kelly for language addicts
My name is Nataly and I’m a linguaholic. my act when I got to university, but no to a new job as an analyst for the
I’m not alone in my struggle. such luck. My academic advisor only fed translation industry, I was suddenly
Languages have an irresistible appeal the addiction. I began to binge regularly surrounded by enablers. Before I knew
for many travelers. Whether it’s on French, Italian, and German. it, each day was a vicious cycle in which
exchanging a few words in the local It wasn’t long until I moved onto the I would sleep, breathe, and dream about
tongue with native residents, admiring hard stuff – like Japanese and Arabic. language-related issues.
the street signs splattered across a new The problem grew more obvious when It was clear that I needed an
city in unknown characters, or simply I began to trade whatever services intervention. I declared that I was quitting
enjoying the music that plays over I could for even the smallest of hits, cold turkey and flying to a remote
the local airwaves, opportunities to like a few new words in Swahili from location to undergo rehab. Somewhere
understand culture through its language my Tanzanian friend in exchange for far away from temptation. A place where
abound. proofreading his school assignment I could suffer through my withdrawal
But this isn’t a story of occasional in English. symptoms in complete anonymity.
indulgence. It’s the story of addiction. The pressures of entering the Next thing I know, I find myself
My linguistic dependency started at workforce only made me turn to booking a trip to Southeast Asia.
a young age. Relenting to peer pressure, languages more frequently, as a
I let a friend convince me to try Spanish. means of stress relief. Working as an Speaking Like They Do
Before I knew it, my once innocent use interpreter, I devoured pages and pages in Singapore
of castellano turned into a daily habit. of terminology each day, savoring
A 16-hour flight from Heathrow brings
I promised myself that I would clean up every new word. Then, when I moved
me to Singapore. Walking down the
avantoure
|
homo ludens
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