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José Rizal and existential crisis

  Tags: Polyglot
 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
Joined 5730 days ago

14 posts - 16 votes
Speaks: English, Belarusian, Russian*, Polish, Spanish
Studies: French, German

 Message 1 of 5
15 August 2012 at 1:20am | IP Logged 
A few days ago I've turned 24 and read a biography of José Rizal by Dr. Frank C. Laubach. It doesn't say a lot about his plitical deals and Philippine's customs of that time (I can compare it with Russian book by Podberezsky), but describes more his personality and his language and chess skills.

And I've got something line an existential crisis after reading it.

Rizal's life (not his death) can be considered remarcable even for our time. Born in the outskirts of European civilisation, he knew it better then the most of people from inside.

In my 24 I'm living in Minsk and feeling myself of being in outskirts too.

There's no because of political issues, that isolated Belarus from EU. The cultural crisis is even worse.

It's hard to believe, but even in Internet age tgere're plenty of things that can be learned only from social circles. When I've been studing, other students didn't understand, why do I study programming languages - you can have office job without it. In Minsk you can find a megapolis where people don't study foreign languages - you need them only to pass exams or to leave country for you relatives that live outside. So, for me, the one without exams and relatives, any language isn't worth learning.

The only languages leaned here are English for IT workers and Belorussian for local natinalists (the every couple of them has its own orthography).

Have you been in such a situation? How did you solve it?

As for me, I've decide to move to Russia.
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Joined 4483 days ago

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 Message 2 of 5
16 August 2012 at 5:45pm | IP Logged 
It’s interesting that reading about Rizal had this effect on you.

It so happens that I’m currently reading Benedict Anderson’s book “Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination.” It’s not so much a biography of Rizal as an explication of the international context in which he lived and wrote, with his second novel “Il filibusterismo” as a point of departure. Anderson mentions that in those days “a wire might be sent around the world in a matter of minutes, but true communication required the true, hard internationalism of the polyglot.” Rizal is really unique in Southeast Asia, and he’s really become a “father of the nation” kind of figure in the Philippines. There are even cults, up on Mt. Banahaw, a dormant volcano on southern Luzon, that worship him as a god. Anyway, he’s a fascinating individual for a number of reasons. Anderson quotes him as saying that if things had turned out differently (i.e. if events hadn’t made him politically aware) he might have become a Jesuit and not traveled at all…

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Bilingual Diglot
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Joined 4305 days ago

172 posts - 240 votes 
Speaks: English*, Tagalog*
Studies: Spanish, Mandarin

 Message 3 of 5
02 September 2012 at 5:02am | IP Logged 
Indeed, the national hero of the Philippines thought well ahead of his times.
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Joined 6847 days ago

4 posts - 7 votes
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
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 Message 4 of 5
21 October 2012 at 11:34am | IP Logged 
Rizal truly was an amazing individual, not only a polyglot (supposedly, Tagalog, Spanish, French, Latin, Greek, German, Portuguese, Italian, English, Dutch, Japanese, Arabic, Swedish, Russian, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Malay, Chavacano, Cebuano, Ilocano, and Subanun) but also a Renaissance Man in many areas of human endevour. I can understand why the Filipinos revere him so much, but it's a shame he is so little known outside his native land. I'm currently reading his first novel Noli Me Tangere (which sparked the Philippine Revolution) as part of a project to try to read something from every country; Noli is well worth reading!
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Senior Member
Joined 4963 days ago

159 posts - 192 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*

 Message 5 of 5
17 December 2012 at 5:52pm | IP Logged 
@Mr. rekenavri... Your case is almost equal to mine. Spoking any foreign languages in my
country is quite rare. In Maringa, the most English-speaking city in Brazil, the fluency
ratio is roughly 25%. Going outside isn´t so easy - Where I live, the nearest country is
Cabo Verde...

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