Phoenix shares his story of how he found a book in a bookstore called, “The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent” (a book by Lionel Trilling) and how it made him think about how learning languages makes you intelligent BUT it comes at a cost.
They are both painful.
Painful in the sense that it gives you CONFUSION.
The bigger the circle of the known, the greater the contact with the unknown
Can you learn from reading history (as opposed to learning its language)?
Yes, but whose history?
Who is this history written for?
From whose point of view?
If you learn a language, if you care enough, part of you becomes a member of the tribe that language belongs to
The pursuit of knowledge, is by definition a sort of masochism
Phoenix in this video has pretty much exemplified my French language learning journey over these last 15 months to get my level up to a point where I can easily converse with someone.
However, it’s been an eye opener for me because learning a language means that I have more of an understanding of the culture, perspective and respect for that country.
Just like my Greek background and my love for the language, its history, culture, philosophy and ideals (especially Ancient Greek), I am immensely proud of my Hellenic heritage as I wrote in my post It’s All Greek to Me.
By learning a new language like French, and getting it to the point of where my Greek level, I know I’m taking on a new challenge and an opportunity to identify myself with another country. One that also loves, culture, history, philosophy, arts – and one that is also a philhellene.
It’s the least I can do.