John McWhorter: 4 reasons to learn a new language
John McWhorter - Linguist
Linguist John McWhorter thinks about language in relation to race, politics and our shared cultural history. Full bio
the world's universal language,
is spoken by more people,
are learning English
are learning Chinese.
in China right now
that at the end of the century
that exist now --
instant translation of live speech
but it gets better every year.
those things to you
that we're getting to the point
is going to start being asked,
learn foreign languages --
happens to be foreign to one?
when it's getting to the point
will be able to communicate in one?
most likely to have heard of,
dangerous than you might think.
and the grammar of different languages
a different kind of acid trip,
for some reason, marked as feminine.
you just have to deal with it.
of one of those languages
than could possibly be an accident,
with a high and feminine voice.
to you, a table is kind of a girl,
are an English speaker.
will tell you that that means
if you speak one of those languages.
put us under the microscope,
who speak English natively.
let's take an English speaker.
of the English language.
three people have in common?
the English language that unites them?
that language can shape thought,
obscure psychological flutters.
a different pair of glasses on the world.
the way you think,
want to imbibe a culture,
if you want to become part of it,
the language channels the culture --
happens to be conducted in.
illustration of this.
but really you should seek it out.
film director Denys Arcand --
to an Anglophone hospital.
they have to speak English.
but it's not their native language,
that you've fallen in love with
they're shadows of themselves.
through that kind of skrim curtain
of languages will be left,
to being able to participate
who speak them,
that it is their code.
dementia is less likely to set in,
a better multitasker.
lessons in another language.
Arabic: "kataba," he wrote,
in the middle like pillars.
dance around the consonants.
that around in their mouths?
main language, Amharic.
with different word order
of a street if you go to certain country,
put Witch Hazel around your eyes
we all often return to,
"Do you know where I found him?
He was eating cake in the tub,
in Mandarin Chinese,
for years and years at a time.
not some baker's dozen of vowels
in the Cambodian mouth
easier to teach yourself another language.
to go to a classroom,
some diligent teacher --
in there at certain times
you had something called a record.
that didn't work,
any language that you want to
such as Rosetta Stone.
the lesser known Glossika as well.
pleasures in various languages.
languages every single morning;
any language you wanted
to very sophisticated people.
other than the one that I'm speaking,
a better time to do it.
About the speaker:John McWhorter - Linguist
Linguist John McWhorter thinks about language in relation to race, politics and our shared cultural history.
Why you should listen
John McWhorter is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, teaching linguistics, Western Civilization and music history. He is a regular columnist on language matters and race issues for Time and CNN, writes for the Wall Street Journal "Taste" page, and writes a regular column on language for The Atlantic. His work also appears in the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Aeon magazine, The American Interest and other outlets. He was Contributing Editor at The New Republic from 2001 until 2014.
McWhorter earned his PhD in linguistics from Stanford University in 1993 and is the author of The Power of Babel, Doing Our Own Thing, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, The Language Hoax and most recently Words on the Move and Talking Back, Talking Black. The Teaching Company has released four of his audiovisual lecture courses on linguistics. He guest hosted the Lexicon Valley podcast at Slate during the summer of 2016.
Beyond his work in linguistics, McWhorter is the author of Losing the Race and other books on race. He has appeared regularly on Bloggingheads.TV since 2006, and he produces and plays piano for a group cabaret show, New Faces, at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City.
John McWhorter | Speaker | TED.com