pow-wa-ha LO25057

From: John Zavacki (systhinc@msn.com)
Date: 07/09/00

Replying to LO25048 --

Ray makes an important point. They who speak English as a first language
have a tendency to find it adequate for all communications in all
countries. Even in my own organization, which is growing in learning by
leaps and bounds, the language of business is English.

Part of my work is to spend time in each of the locations in my division.
Fortunately, they are all located in places where I have fair to good
competency in the language. I learned a few languages between the ages of
eighteen and twenty because of my military service. I was, to start with,
a 'listener', trained in Slavic languages (one of which was my first
tongue), so I had a leg up. I learned the language of each country I
served in, not so much for intellectual purposes, but out of respect for
my grandmother, who tried very hard to learn English until she was mocked
by the Anglo-Saxon Protestants of the ruling class in the PA coal mines.
She believed we should learn the culture in which we live. If I expect to
be somewhere for more than six months, I will immerse myself in the
language, because the language teaches us much about the culture. I am,
perhaps, a bigot, in this respect. I had a lot of problems accepting
other young GIs who wouldn't even try.

I know very little about native american languages, either north or south,
east or west. Most of my understanding of the cultures is from either
John Wayne movies or readings in anthropology or linguistics. I have
lived in this country for over fifty years.

Think about it.

On another level, however, the original story said that the whites'
schools didn't teach anything a man could use, such as running, awareness
of sound and smell in the forest, and all of the other skills needed to be
one with the land. At least I got that part right.

John F. Zavacki


"John Zavacki" <systhinc@msn.com>

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