1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

English is the language of Spirit August 10, 2009

English has never been my favourite language.

I have been in love with German since my childhood. Luckily I was moved to Austria by the hand of destiny and now, since many years live surrounded by German-speaking people. I learned Italian and love its melody and joy-giving nature, and yet it has not become my favourite. My native language – Russian – is neither my best. I appreciate its richness and flexibility, but I am still most comfortable with German.

Despite all that, when it comes to the spiritual matters, either it is blogging about my experiences or a prayer, I want to express myself in English. The words then resound in my heart, touching the very depth of it…. I ask myself why?

Probably because English, lacking the poetical richness and linguistic ornaments remains so crystal-clear, so absolute, so perfect, as only the Spirit can be.

LOVE, axinia

(image by me)

 

38 Responses to “English is the language of Spirit”

  1. Ajay K. Yadavalli Says:

    I tried to teach myself German but it was too tough for me.. I do agree however that English is best for expressing oneself..

    • axinia Says:

      thank you Ajay, however I did not mean English is best to expressing oneself – for example, I consider English too poor to express the sweetness and tenderness of love. Russian is very rich on it, also Urdu, as far was I know.

      I meant English is good to express the deepest Self, the spiritual part of the being. For other things – not really 🙂

  2. Abstraction is crucial feature of language. Language, I feel, can not express the emotion so profoundly. How ever, I think english is quite rich in its vocabulary,enriching day by day with new words, at least more rich than Hindi(my native language). That’s why I feel english is quite good to express…

    • axinia Says:

      Apparetnly English contains about 1. Million words by now (indeed growing day by day through borrowings), however its analytical straucture (see my post here -https://1000petals.wordpress.com/2007/03/16/the-confusing-easiness-of-english-language/) does not allow it to be really soft in expression.

      Imagine, in Russian you can have at least 34 (34!!!) positive variations of the name Maria + some negative ones… can’t be compared to English!

  3. Kiran Says:

    I love your blog 🙂 First timer! I have a sis and her hubby, they stayed in Germany for quite some time and moved to London. But their German tongue stayed on 🙂 It’s a tough language but it has its own charisma 🙂

  4. Veni Grig Says:

    Great point dear Axinia! The same is happening to me when poetry comes out of my meditations. My Mother’s language is Bulgarian, but interestingly enough my SY poetry comes in English. And you are so right, it comes clear, not fancy, but loving and loving as only the Spirit can love…

  5. bernard Says:

    although english is not my mother tongue, i was always attracted by its ability to express things in such an elegant way
    that’s why i write my poems in english language (agreed veni grig). funny, but i cannot think of writing poems in my mother tongue 🙂

  6. Nita Says:

    English to me is the richest language around and it also sounds good to hear. I love it far more than my mother tongue marathi and certainly more than hindi. I don’t know german at all but it always sounded kind of rough to me.

  7. radha Says:

    the depth of my spirit i like to express it in italian or also Spanish sometimes coms natural, i feel italian language it is incredibly cool and soft for these kinds of matter. english sounds too technical to me but i still love it and go quite comfortable with it anyway.

  8. English is definitely one of my favourite languages!!! 🙂

    Other favourites include my mother tongue Tamil which has a “multiple nature” to it since it’s a highly agglutinative language. I also like melodious Telugu (called “the Italian of the East”) since every word ends in a vowel sound, just like Italian. Languages that have a high vowel-consonant ratio (like Italian, Spanish etc.) have an in-built natural melody.

    I also learnt some French. I had the option of shifting to German for two years, but chose to stick to French since I wanted to master it. Unfortunately, I didn’t 😦

    Watching German television (though I don’t understand the language), I realised that English is far more similar to German than French though it sounds otherwise. I guess its because English is Germanic in structure but has a vocabulary that’s massively inspired and borrowed from the Romance languages.

    • axinia Says:

      In fact English is a West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian and Lower Saxon dialects brought to Britain by Germanic settlers and Roman auxiliary troops from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the northern Netherlands[citation needed] in the 5th century. One of these Germanic tribes was the Angles,[19] who may have come from Angeln, and Bede wrote that their whole nation came to Britain,[20] leaving their former land empty. The names ‘England’ (or ‘Aenglaland’) and English are derived from the name of this tribe.

  9. swaps Says:

    Also, without English south India would be doomed.

    • While what you say is true to a large extent, Swaps, I think it would not be off the mark to say that without English, India itself would be doomed! 😐

      Whether we like it or not, the Brits united us and long after they’ve left, the language introduced by them keeps us going. But of course, all this talk of “their language” is sheer nonsense now. English is as Indian as any of our other languages!

      • swaps Says:

        Exactly, but for English the so-called national language would have reduced us to slaves and India would be a failed state.

        @Axinia, I am talking about language as a tool for domination. English helped South Indian prosper and escape having to eat out of Central Govt. hand.

        • You’ve hit the nail on the head, Swaps dear! 🙂 I’m glad that so many people are beginning to realise this belatedly. The notorious central government scoundrels 😡 were/are bent upon pursuing a policy of “linguistic imperialism” where they want to thrust one particular language down the throats of everyone else instead of treating all the national languages of India equally (including English). They should fail miserably if India is to progress or even remain united, for that matter.

          By the way, it’s not just South India that would have suffered. So many others, like the Maharashtrians, Bengalis, North-Easterners etc. have realised this belatedly.

          The crooked central government and political parties have to realise that India was, is and should remain a multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country if it is to remain united. The sooner those scoundrels realise it, the better it would be for India and humankind. Otherwise the unfortunate fate of the USSR, Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Czechoslovakia etc. come to mind 😐

        • axinia Says:

          Language is a powerful thing anyway, and yes, it can be a tool for domination!

        • As the events of the past two days in Maharashtra have shown, if there is one language that can unite India, it can only be English!

          The blatant lie about one particular language being the so-called “national language” received a tight slap on its face. That language will only shatter India completely, it can never ever unite India. The filthy central government and the goons who are bent on imposing that language on the people of other states don’t realise the damage they are doing with their nauseating behaviour of linguistic imperialism-cum-fascism. It’s great that many Maharashtrians have belatedly realised the damage this kind of linguistic imperialism-cum-fascism is doing to Marathi in its own state and are resisting the vile agenda of the filthy goons who want to turn India into a failed state.

          Of course, the worthless “mainstream media” will continue to lie and brand those who oppose the linguistic imperialism-cum-fascism as “chauvinists”. When has the disgusting Indian media ever spoken the truth? Along with the filthy central government and the voracious boot-lickers of the linguo-imperial-fascist goons, the media are responsible for promoting the blatant lie about one particular language being the so-called “national language” and want it thrust down the throats of all Indians.

          The filthy goons of the central government never learn from the experience of other countries that either broke up or turned into failed states because of following policies of linguistic imperialism.

          The barbaric goons want remove English completely and replace it with one particular language that can then be used as a tool for domination and fascism. Those criminal goons even stated openly that they want to take India back to the Stone Age by removing English and computers. India happens to be the only country in the world whose filthy central government spends huge amounts of taxpayer money in trying to prevent the use of English, despite English being the only language that can unite India.

          The filthy forces will keep trying to turn the whole of India into a failed state. Unless their vile plan of linguistic imperialism-cum-fascism of thrusting one particular language down everyone else’s throats is not stopped dead in its tracks, India’s fate would be sealed and it would mirror those countries on the “erstwhile” list 😐

  10. lostworld Says:

    That’s an interesting insight. I think English language is lucid .. there is a lot of clarity.

    I do agree with you that languages like French allow more room for expression. Lets just say those languages have a stronger personality 😉

    • axinia Says:

      stronger personality? – that is an intresting perpective…I think I know what you mean. But generally I guess any language has a strong personality. 🙂

      • swaps Says:

        But but, what about the amazing similarities among languages from geographically and culturally separate places?? Human history is bizarre.

  11. There are several reasons why English has naturally become the de facto lingua franca of planet Earth.

    First, English uses the Roman alphabet. This is a real masterpiece. It has only twenty-six simple, stand-alone alphabets that make up a massive vocabulary. The Roman script is also used by other languages, both European and non-European (like Malay, Indonesian etc.) and many of these languages are widely used lingua francas themselves like French, Spanish, German, Portuguese etc. which means English can be learnt easily by the speakers of these languages. Also, the Roman alphabet is written from left to right (unlike Hebrew, Arabic, Persian etc.), does not use compound characters (unlike Indic scripts) and is simple (unlike the Chinese script).

    Second, Britannia ruled the waves. Even after the Sun set on the Empire, its offshoot took over. So did many other Empires but their languages never became popular outside their respective spheres. Clearly, English has got something more.

    Third, English has the uncannily ability to enrich its vocabulary by absorbing words from different corners of the planet. More than one million words is an amazing feat and way, way ahead of the next few languages with large vocabularies like French, German, Russian etc.

    Fourth, it’s a natural language unlike artificially constructed ones (esperanto, interlingua) which can never become too popular.

    Fifth, it’s an egalitarian language by nature, used widely in multiple fields and can be used freely and voluntarily by anyone.

    Sixth, it’s very easy to learn. It has to be since it became so popular in the first place. Even a few days/weeks effort will give one a basic understanding of the both the spoken and written word. I wonder how long it will take a person to get a basic grasp of, let’s say, Mandarin 😕

    Seventh, I’m quite sure, but I don’t have enough proof, that English is a relatively easy language to learn to think in. This is what gives this language its amazing property to spread and like wildfire and become so popular. Normally, it would take years and years to master a second language as the language of thought. I feel the time required would be significantly less for English. This is completely in accordance with the title of this post “English is the language of Spirit” 🙂

    With so many advantages, the quirks and pecularities of English completely fade away. In fact, the name English itself would be more accurately represented by the word Globish because that is what it has become – a truly global language that has no borders 🙂

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globish

    If an alien needs to strike up a meaningful conversation with any Earthling, all (s)he now needs to do is to learn Globish 😉

  12. Ldinka_108 Says:

    I hear ya, Axinia, on loving German. I would say – untypical for majority of the people. Though, I do love it, too. When we had a choice in the school between English and German – I have chosen German – many people would just don’t understand my choice. And it is unexplainable 🙂 In University, being a programmer by profession, I had my diploma defense performed in German language… When I speak in English here, in US, people often ask me if I’m from Germany because of the accent… When my friend speaks German to her son around me, I get frozen just to absorb the language… Even my dog breed is originated from Germany 🙂
    But by my surprise, my family ended up in USA, and English completely replaced German in my brain. This unexplainable love is still a mystery to me…
    I love pure Russian, not mixed with Ukrainian or any other language or slang, for its flexibility and ability to deliver emotional colors. Love reading Russian classic literature for that. I can actually drink the language from Tolstoy, Chekhov, Pushkin masterpieces. But I love English for being so structured and diplomatic at the same time… Gaining better English, I notice that the language has many similar idioms with Russian, too. And another interesting thing to me: many words in German, English, Russian, are very similar. For example the word “no” in English, “net” in Russian, “nicht” in German – all starts with “N”. The same with night and milk, them all start with the same sound… of course, English and German belong to the same language group, but Russian? Isn’t there some deeper connection?

  13. swaps Says:

    But the downside is that English is becoming Globish – a global language that is less beautiful but only utilitarian. I wouldn’t want that to happen to my mother tongue….or any language.

  14. It’s interesting to read that English has its roots as a Germanic language introduced by settlers in the British Isles, Axinia. Then why did the Brits and Germans hate each other so much in the 20th century at least till steps were taken to form the EU 😕

    Also, the fact that English is a “gender neutral” language helps a lot. Many languages have a “neutral gender” or “common gender” for things, places etc. like English. Many others like French classify things as either masculine or feminine. Its difficult enough for a person to learn a new language without having to worry about finding and remembering the gender of every word they learn.

    What about German, Russian and Lithuanian, Axinia? Are they “gender neutral” like English or “non gender neutral” like French?
    ——————————————————
    I wonder if native speakers of English really mind Globish developing into a highly popular language, Swaps. I personally think Globish is a great addition to the humankind. Think of a situation like this: a Peruvian who speaks Quechua and Spanish meets a Malaysian who speaks Cantonese and Malay in some city in Africa. Earlier, they would had to resort to sign language (highly ineffective and energy sapping) to make each other as well as the locals understand what they want. Now, all they need to do is speak a simple universal language called Globish and everyone can be understood perfectly by everyone else 🙂

    I personally think Globish is a great stepping stone to learning full English. Those who have no need to learn the complete version of English can stop with Globish while others can go on to study English if they want to learn about the beauty of the language or its literature. I certainly wouldn’t mind if my mother tongue develops a form called “Glomil” 😉

    • swaps Says:

      Glomil is possible! 🙂

      The problem with English is its myriad tenses, I always want to get my tense right.

      • axinia Says:

        as far as I know, there 12 main ones (3 Simple, 3 Progressive, 3 Perfect and 3 Perfect progressive). And then…
        each modal can be used with the 4 aspects and 2 voices. Typically only the modal will is included in the count (I don’t know why! would seems equally useful, for example, in indicating time relationships.), so this adds 8 more tenses for a total of 24 tenses. If we extend the count by including the 8 tenses which can be formed with would, we have 32 tenses in all. :))))))))))

        When you lean them, you understand the beauty of that 🙂 As I mentined in my other post, the true beauty of English can be only understood if you really comprehen the analytical nature of this language.

      • So is Glonada! 🙂 Since our languages share so many root words, I would certainly find it easy to learn Glonada. Like this…

        🙂

  15. Veni Grig Says:

    It looks like we all have fun with this topic.
    Thanks for giving us an opportunity to dig deeper within and to open a new petal through it dear Axinia!

  16. Hicham Says:

    English is my 2nd language where I feel I can express myself clearly. Of course I do with my native tounge “Arabic” however for universal posts as my blog, I go for English 😀


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