June 1, Sunday afternoon -- Reading Rumi

At the Nervous Dog Cafe in the Mission District

Reading Farsi. This, above, is a poem by Rumi. It says this:

Unknown existence

undiscovered beauty
that's how you are
so far
one dawn
just like a sun
right from within
you will arise

Somehow, just by looking at it, I knew that it was going to be a beautiful poem.

He studying it at City College. It's a frustrating experience. First he has to translate it phonetically to the Roman alphabet and then write it from left to write and right to left, before he can put it into his mind the way it's supposed to be.

He wishes he had more time to practice it, but here in the Bay Area, where it's usually spoken is in family environments, it's hard to invite yourself in. Everyone else in the class is Afghani and are taking the class for an easy credit--the two languages are similar.

Why is he taking the class? For something new.

His favorite book, Charlie Wilson's War, by George Crile.

What language do you want to study?


Lydia said...

Lovely poem and in Farsi it looks like art. If the reader you profiled checks in here: I noticed your favorite book is Charlie Wilson's War. You would find this blog post fascinating, written by one on my blogroll, who served in Congress with Charlie Wilson for many years:

Ronnica said...

Turkish. I love the country and would love to be able to speak the language, though it's hard. At least it's written in Western script.

leafless said...

I know several languages, but not fluently for all but two. I'm better off making sure I'm fluent in all of them.

Anne-Marie said...

I would like to learn to speak te reo Maori, the language of the indigenous people of New Zealand, properly. I know bits and pieces, but not enough for a conversation.

SARAHSPY said...

just stumbled upon this blog & am loving the idea. somebody (not me) needs to start one up in nyc for sure!!

girl with the mask said...

It drives me mad that The Boyfriend can speak French and I can't... that is the competitive side of me!

Lori said...

I would love to learn Gaelic! So impractical, but primal and lyrical.

Ms. B. said...

As an English teacher, I would love to study (well, actually would have loved to study) Latin. (too lazy now)

I had no idea I was going to be an English teacher. I am one more for the people than the subject. I love it, but I wish I could just tear apart words like real English majors can.

Anonymous said...

right now i'm a double major in French and Japanese, I just returned from Japan two days ago :)
In the past I've studied Latin for about 4 years.... Ms. B, Latin would be extremely helpful language to learn in your field of study!!!
The three languages that I'm longing to learn are Sanskrit (for reading pleasure only of course), Hindi, and Italian. One of my dearest friends is from China, and she's begging me to learn Chinese, so I may give that a whirl as well.

Farsi is an absolutely gorgeously scripted language, however, I've never heard it spoken so I'd love to look it up!!!!

Lydia said...

Re: my comment earlier-- just realized that the link I left about Charlie Wilson's War for your featured reader was cut off due to lack of space. After the "2008/1/2" key in the rest:

Noor said...

I'd love to learn and study Spanish, I know a few words and can cover the basics with a conversation but I'm very much eager to learn it fluently.

TootsNYC said...

I think I'd like to study German in more depth.
i'm just too lazy and overwhelmed at the thought of it, to try to learn a third language.

(not that I can truly say I "learned" German; I studied it)

Sonya said...

Alyx P,
....Sanskrit for PLEASURE? I'm not sure if you're joking. Isn't it supposed to be painfully difficult?

Ms. B. said...

Alyx, I'm sure Latin would be most helpful. Unfortunately, we're in our last three weeks of school. I teach 8th grade up on the top floor of the building and it's been in the 90's here in upstate NY. ANYTHING would be most helpful to my profession now.

The kids are great kids who want out. They are reading The Red Pony right now to use on their final. At least we are done with state testing and they are reading (and being a little quiet and productive).

In my next life I promise to try Latin....or maybe when I retire.

I wish I could have you come and speak with my students on all your languages (and, of course, if you teach them some objectionable words, you'd be the hero for them! Every once in a while I teach my students what assume means and they are scandalized that I have even done that!!).

azza said...

i took french in university because i thought it sounded so romantic :)

Anonymous said...

sonya, sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this comment, but no way, i'm not joking!!!!
sanskrit is one of the hardest to learn mainly because it isn't spoken in very many places, and isn't used for conversation at all really, but i'm sure you know all of this.
i enjoy doing yoga and many of my favorite poses names are in sanskrit, which is what originally interested me :)
i actually am on a wait list for a sanskrit class in the fall

Ms. B-it would be such an honor to speak to your class! thank you for even saying that!
however there are many many people who are far more advanced in many more languages than i. i won't conceder myself a "linguist" until i learn at least 5 languages that are spoken in the present day :)
and yes, latin in your next life may be of help =D!!!

Ms. B. said...

Alyx, it's my first official day of vacation and to get a comment from you is wonderful.

The last three weeks were....great and awful. Maybe I should learn some objectionable words in other languages and then, teehee, use them when the kids don't get how mad I am at them!!

No, seriously, it was a tough ending just because they were kids who were ready to be done. They did some wonderful poems and essays. I plan on getting them on my blog this summer.

I love to hear of people who love learning just because it's wonderful. I try to tell my students that all the time. Learning should be for the sake of learning, nothing else. Reading and writing too.

Thanks for thinking of me. Enjoy your summer and keep learning!

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