(Syn)Aesthete, or a brief explanation of some top secrets of my freaky brain.

While I’m blind, so visual value of things around me isn’t always of great importance to me, I still consider myself an aesthete.

A language aesthete. It particularly applies to my mother language, but also in all the other languages I know it is important to me to write and speak possibly aesthetically – which doesn’t always mean very seriously, politely or flamboyantly, but above all just so that it is nice to read or listen and doesn’t make other innocent individuals cringe too much. I also like when other people speak or write aesthetically, and when someone messes up with spelling a lot or uses words like they don’t know what they mean, it often drives me crazy, or close to it.

I am a total language geek and besides being an aesthete as long as I can remember, I am also a synaesthete.

Since my very early childhood, I’ve had some weird connections in my brain between sounds/words and touch, or taste, or something else sometimes. For many years I was convinced that this is just how our brains work, not just my own quirk, and that everyone perceives things the same way as me. That led to many weird, and often funny nowadays, misunderstandings, for example when I tried to describe things to people.

It was not until I was like 6 that I started to see others don’t necessarily think in shapes, textures and tastes and other things like this.

Many years after I got to this conclusion I realised it has to be some form of synaesthesia, although as far as I know this form isn’t very common, that your brain transfers sound stimuli into touch related associations. I know only one person who has it similar to me in some way, and he is also blind, so I guess it has to do with my blindness, and maybe also a little that I still am somewhere on the autism spectrum apparently.

If you don’t know or don’t understand how synaesthesia works, it’s like there is a correlation between two (or more) of your senses. Most people of those who have synaesthesia seem to have auditory-visual corelations, for example they hear a sound, and see it in colour, or see numbers in colours, or even people may have their own colours apparently, or words, or colours may have particular textures/temperatures for them, etc. etc.

For me it is so that if I hear or think about a word, at the same time I sort of feel what I associate with this word. It’s not like a delusion, I know I don’t feel it, I’d rather say it’s like when you hear a song in your head. You know it isn’t playing, but you still hear it in your head.

For me it’s not only words that I associate with shapes/objects/textures/tastes, but also many separate sounds, like sounds of particular instruments, people’s voices etc. And these aren’t always sound to touch or sound to taste associations. Sometimes it’s much more complex and not always on just sensual level. Sometimes, hearing a particular word or phrase makes me feel in a very particular way, or I may even sometimes associate words or phrases with whole scenes or lots of different, unrelated things, etc. Some words I associate with objects that I can’t recall ever seeing, so I guess they have to be made up by my brain or something. I associate many words with edible things, which is quite fun, or with things that have to do with nature. I often can associate many words that aren’t objectively similar to each other with the same thing.

it’s very complicated.

I think it’s also synaesthesia that helps me understand the colours in some way, anyway I don’t know what else it could be. I am blind since birth so have no practical idea about colours, but I’ve always had some imaginary idea about colours, and even many distinct shades. It’s often very hard for me to describe them, it’s hard to put it into adequate words, but when I was in integration school years ago, I learned that my understanding of colours isn’t that far from how they really are as I could think. My classmates were doing something with one of Picasso’s paintings during art class, and since I of course wasn’t able to do the same, the teacher asked me questions about all the colours, just out of curiosity, like very speciffic questions about colours – whether they’re calm or vivid, dark or bright, warm or cold, etc. And both her and me were incredibly surprised when I said all of them right. 😀 Of course I’d already got some basic understanding of colours, like that the sun is yellow or the sky is blue, but no one had taught me about how to actually define colours nor described them for me since it’s rather impossible.

I don’t know any other person who would be congenitally blind and have it like that, people usually don’t care about colours, or have to learn about them from others, like have to memorise what colours fit together when they choose their clothes, but I am lucky and I just somehow get it, despite that I see literally nothing (and no, it isn’t black! It’s just nothing). It’s just so so weird, but I like it. It often helps me with writing for example short stories, and describing people, one of my blind friends told me that “Wow! you write as if you were sighted!” hahaha whatever that means, I guess it was just it, that I can create people and nature that looks naturally and is colourful, some blind people tend to understandably forget about visual details or sometimes make them feel not matched or not very precise.

And yet another thing that my synaesthesia helps me with are languages. So many language learning experts and teachers say it’s good if you associate every word you learn with something. I don’t have to think about the associations. They just come to me on their own. That makes things easier to remember, I guess. And more fun, and interesting. And if you have it like this it’s just normal and obvious that you’re fascinated with words. Some of my associations may be scary or something, but most of them are very positive, creative and quirky. If I’m learning a language that is a bit out there for me (like Welsh was for quite a while, despite my love for it), forming associations may take some time, you need to listen to the language a lot and immerse in it, familiarise your brain with it, and then it comes naturally. Though there still are words – even in Polish – that I don’t have clear associations with, sometimes the shapes I see in relation to them are sort of blurred, or hard to describe, or like a few unrelated things strangely and not very harmoniously stucked together. It is not a perfect strategy for learning a language, because as I said there are many words that I associate with the same things, and I may confuse them. Normal people may confuse words that are similar in sound or meaning or something and it happens to me too, but usually I confuse words because I associate them with the same/similar things and then my statements can seem a bit enigmatic for an uninitiated  person, if the words aren’t objectively too similar. 😀 I’ve had lots of awkward situations in Swedish like that, and my poor teacher couldn’t figure out what I am talking about sometimes. 😀

 

I’m thinking about what example to give you to show you how my synaesthesia works. OK< let it be my Mum.

My Mum’s voice sounds like a piano to me. She has a rather dark voice, and when she speaks quieter/lower it reminds me of black, melted chocolate, the shade of her voice then is just similar, it just feels similar to black chocolate and I guess it is my dominant association with her as a whole. Also when I hear my Mum’s voice I feel as if I was touching the black keys of a piano. The word Mum – in all the languages I know so far, makes me think about a little plastic hat that my favourite and oly doll that I ever played with – named Eliza – had when I was a kid. 😀 That’s very weird. The word Mum as it is written in English, I associate with a little baby sleeping soundly with a dummy, and this characteristic smell of a sleeping baby. The same smell always surrounds Misha when he sleeps or is freshly awake. My Mum’s name is Anna, and the name Anna I associate with a horse – its hair, the sound of a horse galloping, the smell of horses, etc. As I mentioned in a few of my previous posts I also have other types of special associations with names, and looking this way Anna is a pure essence of femininity to me, but I won’t go into details about how I imagine a typical ANna – her appearance, personality etc. that would be way too long, I might write name characteristics some time in the future on my blog maybe. Other things I associate with my Mum are the colour black and the sound of the French language, but these aren’t only about synaesthesia, because my Mum loves black, and was learning French at school, though she doesn’t speak it now.

any other synaesthetes of any kind out there? How does your synaesthesia manifest? 🙂

Or maybe anyone would like to know what things I associate with something? Some people seem to find it quite entertaining for some reason. 😀 Feel free to ask if you’re curious about anything, be it any word/sound or any questions you have as for this thing in general, I know it’s pretty rare and I realise how weird it is, so I’m open to your questions if you have any. 😀

 

Swnami – Gwenwyn (Poison).

Hi guys. 🙂

This is one of the first Welsh language bands that I’ve ever heard, and one of my most favourites. They are an indie rock band from Dolgellau, and I think they’re really good. “Gwenwyn” is my most favourite song by them.

I actually like the word gwenwyn a lot. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you how I once fell in love with the word gwanwyn, which means spring in Welsh. I was like “Oh wow! That would make for such a beautiful, fresh and unique girl name. I don’t think it would be usable anywhere else than English-speaking countries, as it is pretty easy to pronounce for an English native, but still I really liked the idea, even as a character name. As you may know, there are lots of -wyn names in Welsh. The -wyn ending is traditionally reserved for boys as far as I know, and -wen is for girls, but since it’s gwanwy, not gwanwen, I thought it should stay in this form, and that it would be better for a girl despite a -wyn ending, because a name that means spring, in my opinion, is more usable on a girl than a boy.

So I even used Gwanwyn as a name of one of the characters in one of my Celtic mythology inspired short stories. And then I discovered this Swnami song, and again, was like “Wow, gwenwyn! Wouldn’t it make a brilliant baby name? Kinda modern and with a Celtic twist to it. It’s even way better than Gwanwyn!”. I really loved the word. Quite foolishly though I didn’t even look up its meaning lol. I wrote about it to one of my Welsh friends, how I think Gwenwyn sounds fabulous, and could make a briliant girl name, that it’s gonna be my most favourite Welsh word. and he was like: “Well but, do you know it means poison?”. It was ridiculous, but I was sorta disappointed that such a beautiful word has such a negative meaning. Now I think though, that the meaning ads even more spice to the word, however I wouldn’t name anyone Gwenwyn just because it sounds beautiful. 😀

The song is very cool as well, and I hope you enjoy it. 🙂 Here are the English Lyrics:

Step by step
One by one the pieces fall in place
The perfect picture to fill the void
Before the door opens to the crowd
Don’t make the mistake
Don’t believe for one second
The hollow words you have been fed
The hour is coming
You’ll be ready to fight
Don’t lose your hold on yourself
And don’t descend into the water too fast
You must let go
But the deceptive claws hold tight
While the poison still flows through the bond
Turn your back on the voices you drag behind you
Break the link that joins you
And walls demolish the wall
Don’t make the mistake
Don’t believe for one second
The hollow words you have been fed
The hour is coming
You’ll be ready to fight
Don’t lose your hold on yourself
And don’t descend into the water too fast
You must let go
But the deceptive claws hold tight
While the poison still flows through the bond
You’re trying to let go
But the deceptive claws hold tight
While the poison still flows through the bond
You must let go
But the deceptive claws hold tight
While the poison still flows through the bond
Just turn your back, scatter the cards, fall back

Question of the day.

What are you currently reading?

My answer:

Recently apart from reading all the other stuff I like to refresh some Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book from time to time. But now I read them in the original versions. Montgomery’s books have a lot of different translations in Polish, and I’ve read all of those which I was able to get in any accessible format, many for a few times, but now I am reading her books in English. This time I decided for a collection of her short stories called “Along The Shore”, which has two titles in Polish, of which one can be translated as Scent Of The Wind, and the other as Traces In The Sand, so it sounds completely different. I often like to read books in different translations, and then in their original version if I can, and compare different details from each of these versions, sometimes you can notice really interesting or bizarre differences. Like if you’ve ever read “The Blue Castle”, you know that its main character’s name is Valancy. But in some old Polish old translation, I guess 1920’s or something, the translator decided he will rename her and he called her Joanna. I’d read another, much newer translation before where she was just Valancy, it was a very good translation and I loved the name Valancy, so, you know, with my name geekiness it was for me like I was reading about a completely different person, she wasn’t Valancy anymore, he was someone different. And also another character named Barney was renamed to Edward. I can somehow understand renaming Valancy to Joanna – her middle name was Jane, and Jane is Joanna in Polish, while there isn’t any equivalent for Valancy, and I guess people in 1920’s didn’t have that much of an idea about how to read English names – but, OMG, why Edward? 😀 It’s neither similar in sound to Barney, nor in feel, nor fits the character, so I couldn’t figure it out at all, the more that the name Barney doesn’t seem to be that complicated to read. And that translation was f***ed up overall, with large parts of text completely cut out and lots of weird stylistic errors. There is also a popular translation of “Emily Of New Moon”, not that bad, but with some errors as well, and one that particularly made me laugh was how the translator decided to describe one of Emily’s cats – a grey-eyed cat with ebony black eyes. 😀 I guess she had to be very sleepy while writing. 😛 So that’s to give you a little idea what such a translation, or mistranslation might look like at times. 😀

But, coming back to reading books in originals, first and foremost if you really like an author and if only you can read their books as they were originally written, it is in my opinion a much closer contact with what they really wanted to show you in their literature. Even the most accurate translation can’t express it fully since every language is so different and, first and foremost, everyone of us has a different style of writing, and everyone interprets things differently, so if you read something in its original version, you have the possibility of interpreting it more on your own and you don’t have to base on the translator’s interpretation of what the author wanted to say, even if it’s just a pretty universal ad easy to read shortstory. And, obviously, if you read books in their original versions, in languages that aren’t your mother tongues, the benefits for your linguistical development and your brains overall are significant.

And what are you reading? 🙂

My fav word *long post*.

Another challenge I’d like to take part in this week is #WYF hosted by Eve over at Revenge Of Eve

What’s my fav word?

As I saw Eve’s post, my first thought was “But, in which language?”. 😀 Guys I have so many favourite words, in so many languages, not only in thesE i am able to communicate in but also other my favourite languages which I didn’t start to learn seriously yet. I even had a time in my life when I was doing a yearly ranking of my favourite words. I am a lover of words and languages and linguistics so this is a damn hard question to answer and I am afraid I won’t be able to answer with just one word, it’s simply impossible, but I’ll try to narrow it down somehow, although am not sure if I’ll manage lol.

OK so in Polish, my mother tongue, my all time favourite word is kulka (KUWL-kah). It means a little ball. I just find it very charming. When I was a little girl, I was playing a lot with glass and metal balls, I just liked them a lot and I liked the word kulka equally. I like how flexible it is. The big ball is kula (but not the ball you can play sports with, this one is piłka), a bit smaller is kulka, smaller than kulka is kuleczka, kulcia, kulinka, kulisia, whatever, the case of your creativity.

My other favourite Polish word is mózg (muwsk) which means brain. I am very interested in brain in general, but none of the languages I love and know how brain is called in them, has an equally nice word for it. I just love to use it whenever possible, even overuse it in some eccentric ways, I use it more than I realise. I can even say when I have a headache that my mózg is aching. Sometime ago my Mum was washing her hair and someone rang to our door, I opened and the person wanted to see Mum, and was quite astonished when I informed her that Mum is washing her mózg. 😀

From some more international words that exist in Polish I love miszmasz or mish mash, it’s so funny and nice to hear. It means the same in Polish in case you wondereD

From some older, a bit colloquial and maybe even archaic for some people words I absolutely adore wydudlić (vi-DUWD-leech, or something close to it any way). It’s an old, underused word meaning to drink something very quickly and greedily. We also have wtranżolić (vtrahn-ZHAW-leech) which means to eat something quickly and greedily, although it doesn’t have this slightly childish feel as wydudlić has.

For swear words my favourite is pierniczyć (pyer-NEE-chich, well English phonetics can’t manage it!). It’s an infinitive, often used in an expressions like “Ja pierniczę (a bit of an equivalent of fuck it or something). THe word pierniczyć or the phrase ja pierniczę doesn’t have any particular meaning as far as I know other than being a swearword, but it’s related (at least etymologically) to the word piernik – ginger bread. It’s such a fantastic swear word, although rather light. Cholera (haw-LE-rah) is one of the words I use in more harsh situations and literally it means the same as in English, as a swearword it’s an equivalent of damn. Cholipa (haw-LEE-pah, the same swear meaning, but not so expressive) is also funny, or its charming diminutive cholipcia.

Recently I’ve come across a deliciously old and archaic, very colloquial word – pitigrilić się – for having sex. I just felt in love with it, pity it seems to be no longer in use.

Oh, and I can’t resist to not mention a very modern, every day word, which doesn’t sound like it originated here, but I don’t know where it did. It’s gites (GEE-tes). Someone asks you how you’re doing and if it’s like really really cool you can just say it’s gites. Or simply git.

OK, that’s for Polish.

The word that would climb very high in my yearly ranking if I did one last year would be glimpse. I love this word more and more. It sounds a bit magical. I like many simple words in English, for example I’ve been in love with the word sleep since early childhood. It’s so soothing and… I dunno, sleepy lol. But in a nice way. I love the word hijack. It sounds so ridiculous like “Hi Jack!”, but I like it for that. I like the name Jack, you know. 😀 From more sophisticated words (oh yes, I love sophisticated!) I adore mellifluous. It’s so mellifluous, I guess we don’t even have the exact word for it in Polish, I mean like a literal translation of it. And there are so many more, but I don’t want to bore you and make this post longer than necessary. But I need to mention one more word which is cringy.

Now let’s talk about Swedish words a bit.

My favourite Swedish word is krim kram. I guess it also exists in other Germanic languages like Dutch or German, although I’m not sure. Krim kram means pretty much the same as English knick-knacks. But krim kram sounds more lyrical and funny at the same time in my opinion. In Polish krim kram are called bibeloty, and this is also a fantastic, old-fashioned word. There are loads and loads of fascinating Swedish words. As for my absolutely favourite Swedish swearword, well if you speak Swedish it won’t be anything very exotic – I love skit. Skit is pronounced similarly to the word sheet, but sk is quite a weird sound, although I can make it I don’t know how to explain it to other people. It means shit, but I love how creative Swedes are with using it. First of all, it is milder than shit, and heard almost all the time among young people. It’s not like a normal word you’d use in any situation, but a very mild swearword. ANd it may also mean dirt of any kind. It’s a bit like English fucking, you can just throw it in a conversation to strengthen the negativity of what you’re talking about. But they also use in in a positive context, like “Det är skit bra” (This is shit (very) good), Du är skit kull” (You are shit cool). ANd that was kind of new to me and I liked it a lot, to use skit to accentuate something positive. It’s just such a skit cool word.

Then another language I speak a little bit is Welsh. I love, love love the word pilipala (simply pee-lee-pah-lah). It means butterfly and omg it’s so charming, isn’t it? I like words that have pil in them, they’re cute in some way. It often makes me wonder how different impressions this nice little insect might make on people in different languages. We in Polish have motyl – which sounds pretty elegant for me, like a butterfly slowly unwinding its wings and majestically soaring over the meadow. Swedes have fjärill – it’s also a cute, little word, but in a different way than pilipala. Pilipala is funny and kinda mischievous, but fjärill is very lyrical and almost poetic, it has some nostalgic vibe for me, don’t know why. Germans have their schmeterling (don’t know how it’s written as I’ve learnt German only for three years at school, so excuse me if it’s wrong) and it sounds so heavy. I mean, many people don’t like harsh languages, I like them a lot, but schmeterling just doesn’t match with what it means, imo. I’m not a big fan of French and other ROmance languages, they just don’t speak to me, but French papillon is adorable and when I hear it I feel like this word somehow flies, is light and smooth, just delightful. Dutch vlinder is cool, but it’s hard for me to picture something particular when I hear it. But oh gosh, as much as I love English, I don’t like the word butterfly. What I see in my mind when I hear it and focus on it, is definitely not a butterfly. It is simply a fly, desperately wagging its wings in the butter. Ew… Yuck! I don’t know who created this word, but it’s a little bit weird.

Oh gosh what a long digression!!! but well, I’ll leave it… you can always skip it if you want, but I’ll leave it to show you how freaky my mózg can be at times haha.

ANother Welsh word I like is hiraeth. I’ve mentioned it smetime before on my blog. Hiraeth means a longing or yearning to something that basically doesn’t exist. It’s usually in context of your home country, when you’re an emmigrant, and you’ve seen your motherland years ago, idealised it, but it’s not like in your mind. It has changed, plus as I said, the picture in your mind is idealised. But it can also regard anything. I very often experienced hiraeth as a child, that’s probably why I resonate so much with this word. Also I’ve heard from my Welsh friend that hiraeth is a longing for something you can’t precise for some reason. And that’s also a thing I’m familiar with.

I would also like to mention a very expressive Wenglish phrase here. It’s actually Wenglish. Wenglish is easily enough a combination of Welsh and English, mainly spoken in the south of Wales, in the valleys. Actually, in the form I like it the most, it apparently isn’t seriously used. They have three words for describing the feeling of rage, anger, madness… These are: tampin’, fumin’ and ragin’. I love them all! And I’ve heard that there was a series in Wales called “The Valleys” and one of the characters used to say “I’m tampin’ fumin’ ragin'”! I loved it immediately as I’ve heard about it. ‘Cause when you like all these words, why make a choice or compromise? Use them all! I love how accurately they describe it when you’re super mad. It doesn’t happen often to me, but when it does, it’s really hard and overwhelming, and it’s really like tampin’ fumin’ ragin’.

Lastly (I promise!)  I want to tell you about my favourite Finnish swear word. I don’t speak Finnish, I know some basics, and my Finnish friend who is also blind taught me a lot of swearwords and other handy expressions like that, but that’s all I can say in Finnish for now. Nevertheless I love this language. It sounds so cool and calm, or at least it seems so, it seems to me just like Finns, but because they always accentuate the first syllable, in my opinion, their language sounds like what you say is very significant. So it’s perfect for declarations of love, or hatred, or releasing your silent anger. You don’t have to scream when you swear in Finnish, just put enough expression in what you say and the rest will come on its own. My favourite swearword of all those I know in Finnish, is vittu, which means cunt or pussy and it is used like fuck in English. For some reason I like it much more than English fuck. It’s also the most popular Finnish swearword apparently. I also like to use perkele, which means devil, or helvetti for hell, or even Swedish helvete with the same meaning, also used in Finland very often.

If you speak any other languages than your native, do you like to swear in it/them, even if not in the country where it’s spoken? I like it a lot and it’s fun, although of course not in all circumstances, sometimes I guess it may lead to pretty awkward situations. 😀 I’ve had a few, but they turned out to be pretty funny. My school friend used to joke I have to be possessed, because she heard somewhere that when people are possessed they swear in multiple languages. 😀 I doubt it though, that would be a rather weird sign for me and sounds like taken out of some paranormal book. 😀

OK, sorry for making it so long, but really wanted to share with you my at least a few most favourite words, and maybe hear what yours are, and what you think of all these i mentioned.

 

Reasons why I’m learning Welsh. *long post*

I decided to make a whole list of reasons why I’m learning Welsh.

I wrote them in my diary at first, but then posted it also on my Polish blog, which I had until December. They aren’t in any speciffic order, I just wrote them down as they were coming to my brain.

So I decided to put this list here as well, and maybe continue it in future with writing lists of reasons why I’m learning all the other languages I’m learning or why I want to learn those I plan to learn in future. The list might be longer than the one I published on my Polish blog, because some time has passed and I found some new reasons. Unfortunately I didn’t write them down anywhere so it depends on whether I’ll be able to recall them all. I might add something to some of them to make them more clear for you.

1. I extremely like it.

and it belongs to the group of my favourite languages, in case of which I have a constant feeling like I just should not even learn them, but have contact with them and moreover to speak them.

2. Because I want to read the Mabinogion in Welsh in future.

As well as other books about the Celtic culture and Welsh folklore, there are so many great Welsh fairytales and I want to read them not only in English, but in Welsh too.

3. I like Welsh music.

Especially Welsh language music, as you surely know well, if you have seen my song of the day series.

4. My current musical crush is Welsh, and he makes Welsh language music.

I started to learn Welsh before I got to know Gwilym Bowen Rhys and his music, but still it is a very important reason for me, even if not direct, and it makes me somehow even more motivated. And it is a direct reason why I chose a North Welsh dialect over South Welsh. Because Gwil is from North Wales. And because people say northern Welsh is more difficult.

5. In a bigger or smaller degree, I have some sense of bond with all the nations which languages are my favourite.

Of course when it comes to Poland and the Polish language, it was rather inversely, because of the fact I’m Polish and via my bond with Poland as my motherland and the Poles, I’ve naturally started to like Polish very much.

Anyway my bond with Celtic nations is quite speciffic and strong, I guess even stronger than with Sweden or Finland or others, which I consider also as a reason in some way, because I’d like to know more Welsh-speaking people and see, if seriously I haave any reasons to feel so much attached to the Celtic countries and if really me and them have as much in common as I feel. As for now, I have one Welsh-speaking pen pal, with whom I’m getting along really well and we seem to have loads of things in common, and I know more or less some people from the online community in which I am learning Welsh. They are learners like me, but most of them are Welsh. With some of them I talked a bit more than with others and I like them.

6. I think that the Welsh themselves – ptui! a large amount of Welsh people – still don’t appreciate their language as they should.

Although in the last few decades situation of this language has significantly improved, it’s still listed amongst endangered languages and it’s mostly in North Wales where it is in everyday use. So… someone has to show them somehow, what a unique language they have. 😀 Although ENglish is also an undenianbly beautiful language, nowadays almost everyone can speak it, so they should be proud that they have their own, in my opinion.

7. To make people ask why and feel amazed. 😀

And to make a good conversation starter of it. Very useful if you have social anxiety like I do and when you are introvert and hate smalltalking about the weather, school etc. Like I do too.

8. To develop my brain and not become intellectually senile  and not to go even more crazy at my old age.

I certainly have kind of obsession about developing my brain, I am terribly afraid of neurodegenerative diseases and all that reduces brain efficiency. And multilingualism definitely lessens the risk of reduced brain efficiency in future. For the same purpose, I eat food which improve my brain and as i have Mum who is a lifestyle expert, it isn’t difficult. For example I don’t add lemon to the tea, only ascorbic acid, or sodium ascorbate, Mum always has a lot of it, and it tastes just the same as if you had it with lemon, while when you add lemon to warm tea, you’ll get aluminum citrate and will storage in your brain, so… umm, no, thanks. 😀 But seriously, I’m really sensitive for brain well-being matters, probably more, than the standards anticipate, if there are any. 😀

9. To be able to write something so that noone undesirable should get what it is on about.

I mean such things like my diary for instance, or other notes like that. Right now, my personal diary is a mix of Polish, English and Swedish, sometimes I put some Welsh if things I’m writing about aren’t overly complicated, but I suppose that once I get Welsh well enough to be able to express my thoughts clearly, I will use mainly Welsh. I’ve already told you I am slightly paranoid about my privacy, so, I think that’s a great idea.

Or if I feel like swearing a bit. I think it sounds better in Welsh than in Polish or in Swedish, or even in English. I am not one of those people, who have a habit of swearing on every occasion, but sometimes… can’t resist. And then most often I do it either in Welsh or in Finnish, as it’s also great.

Last year in June there was a situation when some guests came to us for a night. It was my cousins’ First Communion. Mum wanted them to eat the supper first. While I was in my room, but wanted to go downstairs, challenge myself and socialise even jjust for a while. So we went downstairs with Misha, to see what’s up. But they had all they suitcases spaced out around the corridor and one was so perfectly placed in the middle of my way to the living room, so that I hit it with my tibia with a lot of rumble and before I could form any logical thought, I pretty automatically swore in Welsh, (not sure if I should quote it 😀 )

My Mum got a bit scared and screamed “What happened?!” while my Dad only asked me from the kitchen: “Which language are you swearing in?”, loud enough to be heard by the guests, so I said that in Welsh, and so I provided a topic to discuss again and people asked why Welsh. But usually I don’t make such big performances as it was then, it’s way too embarrassing. I just swore almost involuntarily as I hit my tribia really strongly and it hurt badly. 😀

10. To talk to Misha in another language and check if he reacts.

Misha is a very clever creature and knows many things, sometimes such things that I wouldn’t ever think he may know anything about. The idea about talking to Misha not only in Polish came from my Swedish teacher, who talks to his cats in Swedish and he says they understand. I was rather skeptical and thought it’s just his autosuggestion, but decided to try, as I already noticed that Misha responds when you call him Mishka, Misheczka, Mishątko and with other nicknames like that, for example when he sits somewhere high and you just say Misheczka, even talking to someone about him in a rather normal tone of voice, he’ll turn to you. Of course it works only when he isn’t absorbed by something else, more interesting, people also don’t always do what you expect them to do at the moment. So I tried and it turned out that Misha comes to me when I’ll call him “Misha chodź” (in Polish), or “Misha, chodź tu” (come here) or “Misha, come here” or “Misha, kom här” (come here in Swedish). Other than that, we rarely call Misha “kici kici” (which is Polish for here kitty kitty or something like that) or if we do, it simply doesn’t work. My Mum has read somewhere, that everyone automatically would call the cat kici kici so he’ll come to anyone, hence Mum came up with an idea that we can whistle to call him, but then Zofijka and me started to call him Mish Mish Mish. 😀 So since both Misha come and Misha kom work and Misha seems to get what’s going on when I just talk to him in another language, so that when we for example go to sleep and he goes behind me upstairs, I decided when I felt a bit more comfortable with my Welsh, that I will try with Welsh too. “Misha, tyrd yma, melys” (Misha, come here, sweetie). And Misha – although very slowly and offishly (he isn’t very responsive overall and, as my Dad calls it, tends to “freeze” easily, so it took him some time) – but came to me and got immediately that I want something from him. So I talk to him in Welsh too, even though I can’t say much and am far from fluent. And I rather talk to him in any other language when we’re alone. I really like to talk to him in different languages.

11. Because I want to see how it is like to learn a non germanic language.

Until now, I’ve only learnt English and Swedish, and a bit of German at school, so I didn’t have any idea about how it is to learn a Celtic language. Needless to say, it feels brilliant!

12. To understand Wenglish better.

If you don’t know what  Wenglish is, it’s simply a mix of Welsh and English, the Welsh English dialect. I love it and Welsh English accent too – as all the British accents and dialects.

13. To understand what they chat about in Radio Cymru and S4C (Welsh tv channel).

I listen to them a lot, so it would be reasonable to understand it, wouldn’t it?

   14. To have a laugh at Tolkien’s fans and talk to them in Sindarin. 😀

While creating the Sindarin language, Tolkien apparently was inspired with Welsh and actually if you can read Welsh (know its phonetics), you can as well read in Sindarin. at least that’s what I was told.

15. To scare my gramma.

My gramma is a bit obsessed with theology. She isn’t a bigot, like many elderly ladies, she was just always interested in theology, she even studied it. She insists that Welsh surely is a Pagan language, because the Celts were pagans and those Welsh people who speak Welsh are too, that all the Gaelic languages are pagan languages and that they are nazis, because Celtic cross is a symbol of nazism. She always asks me different things about Celtic spirituality, the early, pagan one and the Christian spirituality, when all those monks started to arrive to these lands and she still can’t believe that Christian people seriously pray in Welsh, Irish and Scottish, that they had their own, speciffic, Christian spirituality. Indeed, with some elements of their old traditions, but we Slavic people also have traditions that are post pagan, but they are a part of our spirituality.

16. Because I want to watch Rownd A Rownd series in which my crush had apparently played.

And I want to know what it is about obviously.

17. Because I want to be able to do something niche.

Niche things are often interesting just because they are niche, and I want to be able to do something interesting.

18. Because I love to hear people switching languages easily.

I love to hear people talking in English, then switching to Welsh, then back to English and I want to at least be able to do so.

19. To scare strangers.

No, not all strangers. This is another idea brought to me by my excellent Swedish teacher. He liked to tell me stories and once he told me that he had a situation when a drunk guy came to him and started to talk bullshit to him and also asked him for some money. And my teacher, who also speaks Latin, started to talk to him in Latin. 😀 Poor guy looked confused and scared and looked at him like he was insane, and walked away. Isn’t that a great way of dealing with intruders? 😀

20. Because I want to challenge my social anxiety.

My social anxiety is very strange. It comes and goes in different situations and sometimes I can’t predict when it will come. Sometimes I might chat freely with my extended or close family and be unable to talk to strangers, sometimes I find myself feeling very comfortable around someone I’ve never seen before and have trouble talking to even such close people like my brother. It’s very flexible and it’s hard for me to notice any patterns of it. One thing it amazes me with is that I am often a bit less anxious when I speak to people in another language. I’ve never had those kind blockades while talking in another language, which many people do have and I suppose my love for my languages is bigger than my social anxiety. So, when I get a chance of talking with someone in English or Swedish, most often my language obsession wins, and although I may be anxious, I jump on it. And it gets better while I’m speaking. My most hardcore experience is staying in Stockholm for a week with my family. My family speaks no English, and no Swedish too. So I was like their translator. I was literally scared. I wanted desperately to go to Stockholm, I planned it for so very long, but finally when I knew it will happen for sure, although I still wanted to go there, at the same time I wanted to escape and not think about it anymore. But I got there and although talking on behalf of three people was extremely challenging and just knackering, it was also very rewarding. So, I want to have another language to help me with my social anxiety. As for now, I’ve never talked to anyone in Welsh, only have written emails or other kinds of messages, and I get anxious when I think about it, but I also want it to happen. So yeah, languages seem to be the only thing which can lessen my anxiety in social situations for a while. And I have a quiet hope that maybe someday I will be able to go to Wales and test my skills. The thing is not with organisation, as I think it wouldn’t be hard in my case, but I need to feel emotionally ready, which may take a lot of time.

21. Because it helps me with depression and all the other kinds of anxiety I experience.

Social anxiety isn’t the only kind of anxiety I struggle with, I very often experience pretty general anxiety and have a bunch of speciffic phobias. When anxiety hits me, it’s rather hard to focus on anything else besides the object of your anxiety, so you won’t absorb any new languages. But you need to distract. Even if all your thoughts are full of anxiety, you can switch to another language in thinking. English doesn’t work, because I already think a lot in English during the day along with Polish and it doesn’t need as much effort as with Swedish or Welsh. And then, when I start to think in that other language, in my case, my thoughts  slow down – because I usually have to have more time to form them – and I can gradually distract from feeling anxiety, without desperately trying to find some activities or other topic to think about or something to focus on. I often write down my thoughts then as well. I just let my thoughts go, but in another language, and then they just change their paths and I realise I’m actually thinking about something different that isn’t anxiety provoking. This strategy doesn’t work always, it depends on how severe the anxiety is and how much I can focus right now, but it works usually, to a varying degree. It happens that I can distract from the anxiety completely and it just passes away.

Same is with depression. Or low mood in general. Right now, I am rarely so depressed that I feel really anhedonic, that nothing can make me happy just at all. I’m very glad about it. All my language achievements really boost my mood and I try to celebrate even the smallest ones (although my linguistic skills are the only one area I’m a perfectionist in and it’s always not enough for me). If I feel very depresed, I can listen to music in my favourite languages, write something in one of them and it often lifts me up a bit. I always feel like my favourite languages correspond with different feelings. So when I feel a certain way, I prefer to write in a language that represents this feeling for me, although of course I now only know 4 of those languages so my possibilities are limited. But as for the Welsh language, I feel like the feelings of anger, longing (in any sense of this word), frustration, enthusiasm and joy, like the kind of joy when you see something beautiful, correspond with this language in my mind. But anger and enthusiasm seem to correspond the most. Besides, I always set myself some goals as for what I want to reach in a certain amount of time. So that gives me some routine that I should stick to, something I can go to in life at least short term, so the life doesn’t seem so extremely pointless when I feel very low. When I feel like severely depressed and do  have some anhedonia or feel like I just can’t drag out of bed or do just anything, I try to motivate myself to do at least a bit of practice with my language, but if I can’t do it, I don’t punish myself for that. Sometimes the only thing I feel like doing is sleep and I think everyone has the right for feeling this way and it’s OK, even if not nice and even if people may not get it why you’re so non functional at all.

22. Because I want to learn to pronounce…

Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch

and in order to pronounce it properly, I need to know at least basics about this language’s phonetics. In fact, I actually achieved it and I can read it as it should be, but my main goal as for that is to learn to pronounce it by heart. Why? JUST for fun. On a Polish site called Nonsensopedia they wrote that you’ll faster get diarrhea than pronounce it. I just wanted to test.

23. Because so many people think it’s difficult.

It is. But Polish is too. And English, in some ways is too. It all depends on your autosuggestion.

 

WOOOOOOW!!!

23 reasons! Quite a lot, huh? Exactly. So now I’m even more sure that it’s a job worth doing.

Are you learning any language? Why do you do it?

Let me know if you want me to do it as a series and write reasons for my other languages too.