Languages are for Exploring
Today, I'm going to talk about getting into the culture,
Steve Kaufman here and today, I'm going to talk about, know, getting into the culture of the language that we are learning. Uh, remember if you like these videos, please subscribe, click on the bell to get notifications and come and join me at LingQ to learn languages. Now, in my last video, I talked about the need to want to sort of penetrate that other cultural world, to not hang back when you're with people from that language group.
But also I think part of that is to want to learn about that language group about their culture, their history, uh, as you may realize, I like learning languages. It's kind of my hobby. There are people who go skiing all the time. I like to ski, but I don't go that often. Uh, people who go fly fishing and I like learning languages.
So when I go after a language, I also buy books. So I finished my 90-Day Challenge in Arabic. Uh, and I did show you some of the books that I had bought for Arabic, but not only did I buy books about the language, you know, uh, Spoken Standard Arabic here, uh, you know, Advanced Media, Arabic, these I'm going to get at these, The Travels of Battuta... they're all too difficult for me, Modern Arabic Short stories.
I tend to go, you know, wild you he. Indulging my interest. I also got this book about the history of Cairo, which was fascinating. In English. Of course, I'm not going to show you all of these, The History of the Arab Peoples. So that's kind of my, I'm indulging my interest in things related to Arabic and the Arab world.
Well, I'm off Arabic now for the time being, go back to it. It's there. I've got it. It's on the back burner. It's it's somebody... it's like an old friend. I can go back to and renew my relationship whenever I want, but now I've decided to move on to Persian. So, uh, what have I got here? Uh, not only have I got this, I've started reading this History of Iran.
And, uh, also in LingQ we have, um, you know, Sahra in, in Iran has created the series of 26 episodes, which I'm now going through. I've gone to episode seven, uh, of the history of Iran with circling question. So I'm listening to that, learning about the, uh, (Persian) I have so much trouble with that word.
(Persian) ...or whatever. Uh, (Persian) talk to the gem sheet, you know, Persepolis and all this kind of stuff. And so I learned it, I hear it in, uh, Persian. I look up the words and then I'm going to be reading about it in this book in English, which is a little easier, but it's all part of engaging with the culture.
Uh, she has also created a series on, uh, Iranian or Persian food, Persian carpets, uh, the different ethnic groups in Iran, all of these are separate, um, you know, courses that she's created. And of course we have the series The Iranians were, um, You know, we hear different people in Iran talk about their lives and what they do and things of that nature.
So that gradually I'm sort of getting into it. And it is so fascinating because the fact is that in our education system in Canada, which is probably similar in the Western world, we don't learn a lot about let's take Iran or Persia. Uh, what we know of Persia is they were, the bad guys were at the Battle of Marathon.
And the Greeks were the good guys. And yet you read about the history of, of Persia and you realize that 2,500 years ago, you have this very enlightened ruler, Cyrus, (Persian pronunciation) who had, um, sort of, uh, almost like a Magna Carta of rights and privileges for, uh, different religions, different ethnic groups after he captured Babylon.
Whenever that was roughly 2,500 years ago. We read, I read, um, it, you know, Sahra mentions it in her, um, in her a series on the history of Iran. And it also comes up in the book I'm reading that, twenty-five hundred years ago...and, and really throughout the history of Iran, up until the arrival of Islam, women had a very high status in Persian society, uh, were often senior managers were allowed to travel alone on business.
And, and the in fact they were, they got extra pay, like they worked and they got extra pay when they had the, you know, were bearing children and, and this kind of thing, and pay in many cases was extra food and whatever. So it's interesting to explore this. I mean, Persian and, and also to understand that there was this whole world, which if you look at the map, so Persia, Iran, Persia not only was Baghdad and large parts of, sort of.
Mesopotamia, which originally was Elam and Sumir, that was part of the whole Persian world. You know, the, I guess the border moved back and forth, uh, when Baghdad became sort of the capital of the sort of Arabic, um, Caliphate in, in today is Iraq that the capital was right next to what used to be a person capital.
And so you'd follow then the Persians up North of the Caspian Sea um, East through Afghanistan, where half the population speaks today some form of Persian. Um, and of course the intermingling of Persians with Turkish speakers in central Asia, uh, Persian influence on India. I mean, there's just a whole world there that we're kind of unaware of and, and the same is true
of course, of the Arabic world. Uh, you know, taking Egypt from pre-Islam through when they were, you know, the had the Greek and Roman influence there and, and, uh, through, uh, you know, and therefore we have the Coptic Christians and stuff. There's so much history there that we don't hear about. We only learn about
western Europe, the Kings of England, uh, you know, and all this kind of stuff, you know, the explorers that discovered the Canada and, and, um, you know, uh, developed the fur trade, uh, which is important to Canada, but. All I... the point I wanted to make was, I mean, I could show you, Oh, one other thing...
I do buy grammar books. So I occasionaly leaf through this, uh, Persian grammar and it typically refers to things that I'm already familiar with and therefore helps to kind of sock it in a bit, but learning languages is indulging an interest and exploring the world. Discovering the world, which we do both in the language, in the case of these, uh, um, you know, uh, the course on say history and other things, uh, that relate to Persian culture that, uh, saw her has created for us at LingQ.
But evenbeyond that, reading about the history in English, which is easier for me. And eventually one day traveling to the country and exploring some of these places, exploring Persepolis and Shiraz and whatever, all the things there are to see and in Iran. And of course, when you read about it and I can remember feeling the same way when I was learning Japanese.
To want to explore more parts of Japan and learn more about the country or France or China or Russia or any place. So language learning is kind of like a key that opens the door to all kinds of interesting things that broaden our sense of the world we live in and also give us a better understanding
of different cultures and therefore makes it easier for us to sympathize with that culture and penetrate that culture. So I just wanted to follow up my last video, where I talked about the need to sort of force your way into this, the culture or the in-group of the language you're learning. But also there's many things you can do on your own to bring that world to life for you.
So there you have it, just thought I would talk about that today. Bye. For now.