Saturday, December 29, 2007

The power of words

I am trying to learn Hawai'ian language. It is another "window" into the world, as each language has its own biases and reflects beliefs of people who speak it. Hawai'ian language has some powerful concepts, like ALOHA. That one word has volumes in it, a whole philosophy of life.

A fun way to learn the language is to listen to 940AM Hawai'ian radio station. Most Hawai'ian songs have verses that repeat twice, so: they say it, then you say it! Very convenient. I can sing along and even repeat some words, and then look them up in the dictionary.

So, at first the language is foreign to me, and my logical brain tries to visualize what the words look like on paper. Of course, that makes me flop in saying anything.... plus, my Hawai'ian comes out with proper Serbian accent.

Recognizing that we need to shift gears, I start learning like a child, like I learned other foreign languages that I speak fluently: by just listening and repeating like a melody.

THAT is powerful. All of the sudden these new sounds come out of me and I can feel their vibration in the throat, in the mouth, in the whole body. All of the sudden, this magical window appears where it is OBVIOUS how sound carries power, the intent of the words, the intent of the person speaking the words. Wooooowww....

Then I start learning Hawai'ian too well and words just roll out, and then... the magic is gone. The words are taken for granted and they just roll out too fast.

****But that moment of realizing that the words carry power and how amazing it is.***

That moment is remembered and makes me cautios with any other words I speak - in English, Serbian, ... if I remember, that is :) We mortal humans mostly do not remember. We kinda fall asleep and forget :)