For someone who’s deeply into Languages and Linguistics, I started rather late. Although my contact with Linguistics was in Class VIII, when my English teacher taught me how to write the phonetic transcription for English words, it wasn’t until after I had taken JEE that I actually started exploring languages. What began as an activity to pass the boring summer months before joining IIT slowly developed into an almost full-time avocation.
I began learning French and continued it in my first year at IIT, the only ‘freshie’ in the class. I started reading up about languages, and as I read more, my interest in Linguistics grew. I found Michel Thomas Audio Courses, which I almost choked on, as I tried to finish one after another. I started with German, continued onto Arabic and did some Spanish in the way. Though I have almost entirely forgotten the rudimentary Arabic and Spanish that I learnt many years ago, those courses helped me increase my linguistic spectrum and exposed me to a lot of different language paradigms. I also became a regular reader of LanguageLog, the world’s best blog on general linguistics, and have learnt a lot from the posts there.
After that, I took up Japanese and studied it for 3 semesters. It’s not an easy language to keep pace with, especially when other commitments mean that you can’t devote a lot of time to it, but it was a fun experience. I also took a couple of Linguistics courses in the institute, which helped me study this field in a more formal manner. I then decided to take the official language certification exams for the languages I knew to some degree. I got my DELF B1 for French and JLPT N4 for Japanese. I also enrolled in a Mandarin course for a while, but couldn’t continue it because some other stuff got in the way.
Apart from languages, I have a long-standing interest in learning writing systems (scripts). Frankly, there is little utility in it unless I go about learning the respective language too, but it’s something that I find a lot of fun. And when I do go to a city where everything around is written in a script I’ve learnt, it’s deeply satisfying.
This blog is something I wanted to start since quite some time, and it is finally seeing the light of the day. The theme would be Linguistics, of course, and the posts would either be my take on day to day things from a Linguistic point of view, or interesting bits of language trivia, or just about anything that fits the theme and that I am enthusiastic enough to write about! Feel free to post comments and initiate discussions, share/like posts that you find interesting/useful, and spread the word!