I've been studying Lithuanian for exactly 1 year and 8 months and I've had up to 300 hours of private lessons. Not to mention, the time that I've dedicate myself to the same without being in the presence of my teacher, such as: listening to music; listening to the radio and watching television shows; reading news on blogs, newspapers and social networks; and so on. This effort has encouraged me a lot in order to continue to deepen in that language and to achieve even more advanced levels. I can say that this is the first time that I've dedicate so much to a new language and the feeling is very good and satisfactory. Lithuanian is a language that I consider to be very complex and that among the languages that I've had contact to date is undoubtedly the most difficult. I already dedicated two posts in this blog to this topic, as you can see in: LITHUANIA - An Epic throughout a Mysterious language and in LITHUANIAN LANGUAGE. I think I'll still write a lot more about it, but let's get back to the subject of this post.
Many people have asked me why I study a language so little known. The answer is simple, why not? We live in a world that values the speed of events and information, but people haven't realized that this unbridled search for results in short periods of time only demonstrates that these same people have failed to understand a number of elements that are fundamental to the our own development as human beings. Nowadays, we see a plethora of advertisements that offer and even promise someone to learn a language in 3 months or learn to play an instrument without effort. But what really do people who seek these almost magical and miraculous effects do not understand? The answer to this question is also simple, they didn't understand how they learn something and how they really need to devote themselves to become good at something.
We live under the aegis of this is USEFUL. The uncontrolled search for knowing and understanding what is "useful", makes people restrict themselves for knowing only what is necessary to achieve better results in their jobs and who knows, to make more and more money. But during this process, they didn't realize that by knowing and understanding something more deeply or something that sets them apart from the majority, they can enjoy the professional possibilities that only few of us can achieve. What is the secret to unveil this? We cannot allow ourselves to be just what society wants us to be, but to be able to free ourselves from our comfort zones and personal bubbles that we regard as the safest thing in the world. We cannot be naive in thinking that security really exists, especially in a world that lives within a capitalist regime. I'm saying all of this to emphasize the importance of defining what is useful and what is not. This is based on what?
In Brazil, people search for alternatives to learn English and this search makes them feel personally fulfilled by speaking the universal language. But these same people, in my opinion, limit themselves for knowing only English, because with that language they can work and travel. For me, there is no more or less important language. What exists are new languages and cultures that I have the need to know. People try to learn a language, but they forget to wonder how that particular people think or act, what their history and customs are, what their beliefs and desires are. Every language carries an emotional and rational charge. As we study a new language, we aren't only communicating with other peoples, but expressing ourselves, feeling, thinking and dreaming about ourselves. I don't want to limit myself for learning only one language, but several. I expect to know at least 10 very well, or maybe 20 or 30. Lithuanian is known as the oldest living Indo-European language in the world. Imagine only the emotional and rational charge of that language. The effort I've made to be able to communicate in this language has shown me surprising results. I'm not saying this only for personal satisfaction, but for the possibilities that a little studied language like this can offer me.
Many people learn a language because of its usefulness, I learn them and apply them in some way in my personal life and then, professionally. I work as a language teacher and as a translator. With each passing day, I've seen people offer me interesting proposals simply because I speak more than 2 foreign languages, regardless of which languages they are. In July, I'm going to Lithuania and stay there for almost two months. For 2 weeks, I'll be working as a language teacher for Lithuanian children and teenagers. This experience will undoubtedly teach me a lot. I'll also do a two-week Lithuanian language course, to further my understanding. I feel that because I've learned in such a short time to speak a complex language like this, it helps me to understand even faster, other languages that I'll have been studying. People don't understand that if they learn more languages, faster they'll be for learning many many others..
Many are the benefits of learning a foreign language, just knowing what immediate benefits each of us can detect and with the passage of time, glimpsing new possibilities. To conclude, I don't know if it will be possible, but the Lithuanian consul in Sao Paulo has told me that when she has some translation work in that language, she'll hire me.