Why Am I Writing A Blog?
A Brief Defence
Hey folks, Harry here! This is only a small blog, so chances are fair that if you’re reading this, you already know me. If not, I’ll quickly list the reasons why I’m writing this…
– I enjoy writing, and up until this point, I’ve been lacking a suitable outlet for observations, thoughts, advice and general literature-based output. No more!
– Through music, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a lot, so a blog is a more convenient way of allowing friends and family to see what I’m up to – in far more depth – without having to over-spam Facebook or Twitter.
– I believe that life’s main purpose is learning new things, and having a blog is a great way to document whatever I’m choosing to focus on at any given time. Not just that, but other people can, hopefully, benefit from anything I manage to pick up, and it also serves as a great way to keep a detailed track record of what I’ve been studying, for both future reference and current accountability.
– I love reading other people’s blogs, and I’d also like my shot at doing the same. Plus, several people have requested that I get around to starting my own blog, so for those people – here you go. Sorry it took so long!
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a lot and see some of the world. As well as getting to spend some time with very cool people, I also got to enjoy awesome views like the one on the right here!
My native language is English (of the British variety) and I also have various capabilities with Dutch, German, French and Spanish. Some I can hold a full conversation in, but my knowledge of others may be considerably less (for instance, I studied Mandarin at school, but it is currently extremely rusty, not having used it in 9 years!)
All of my languages, naturally, are at different levels. My French, for instance, is stronger when listening and reading compared to speaking it, whereas I feel more comfortable with German and Dutch in a conversational situation. None of them are yet completely fluent, but it’s something I’m working on.
I would eventually love to add more languages to this list – the mystery of Arabic, the intrigue of Russian and the beauty of Finnish come to mind – but for now I believe I should focus on bringing the abovementioned four languages to a much higher level before spreading myself even more thinly. Living in Holland will no doubt bring my Dutch to a much better level!
I’m humbly aware of my vast array of shortcomings as a linguist and would-be aspiring polyglot, but as I work on adding more languages to the list and improving the quality of my current ones, I’ll update the chart – and of course, I’ll blog about it as I go. It’s a lifetime journey!
As far back as I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with foreign languages. My uncle has lived in Germany for 30+ years and my dad has lived in France for 6+ years, and I’ve also been lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel around a bit and be exposed to lots of different languages throughout my life.
When I was at school, I took the opportunity to study several languages. French and German were compulsory and I later took them to A-level, but I also got the chance to take Spanish and Mandarin Chinese for a brief period of time and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love the process of learning languages, where meaning and understanding emerges gradually from the fog of confusion, where previously nothing made sense. The first conversation with somebody whose mother tongue does not correspond with your own is scary at first, but after that it becomes a “buzz”, and after that, it’s almost like a linguistic drug addict trying to score different “hits” of understanding.
I really admire polyglots (people that speak multiple languages) such as Benny Lewis, Stuart Jay Raj, Tim Doner, Luca Lampariello, Richard Simcott, Steve Kaufmann and Alex Rawlings, and historical figures like Emil Krebs, Cardinal Mezzofanti and Nikola Tesla – all of whom are/were fluent in several languages and conversant in many more.
I’m pretty sure this blog won’t just be confined to languages and music – I’m too interested in a huge variety of different subjects. Amongst many other things, I’m also interested in (and will be writing about):
Every time I’ve travelled, I’ve learned something new. The more I travel, the more this is the case!
Learning and Philosophy
The healthiest way to react to life is to constantly re-analyse our thought processes and preconceptions and break them down when needed. That, to me, is philosophy.
I’ve always been a sucker for cutting-edge technology. The potential, for me, is completely compelling.
Great design transcends industry and, to me, is a constant source of wonder: houses, websites, furniture, art, instruments, fonts, gardens, architecture. It’s all good.
Science: the mode of thinking that can put man on the moon, connect the entire world via the internet and eliminate disease, bit by bit.
Business and Finance
A recent interest. I’m finding myself reading books and blogs about bookkeeping, investing, economics and entrepreneurship, and trying to absorb it all!