BLS Adult Spring Term Language Courses 2020
“Learning a new language is like growing a new head”, a European friend told me long ago. “You see with new eyes, hear with new ears, speak with a new tongue.” Neuroimaging has proved her right: the mental gymnastics of groping for even the simplest words in a different language ignites brand new clusters of neurons and synapses. And so I, lacking a single drop of Italian blood, can nonetheless claim something utterly, wholly, irrevocably Italian as my own: the language hot spots that have been growing steadily deep within my brain for more than a quarter century.
Italian as we know it was created, not born. With the same thunderbolt genius that would transform art in the Renaissance, writers of fourteenth century Florence-Dante first and foremost-crafted the effervescent Tuscan vernacular into a language rich and powerful enough to sweep down from heaven and up from hell. This priceless living legacy, no less than Petrarch’s poetry, Michelangelo’s sculptures, Verdi’s operas, Fellini’s movies, or Valentino’s dresses, is an artistic masterwork.
written by Dianne Hales, “La Bella Lingua”, Broadway Books, 2011