8.27.2015

Welsh

I have an old Mac G3 computer (beige) that probably belongs in the Smithsonian, since it is such a primitive relic. The only reason I keep it around is because it has one piece of useful software I still use, the Rosetta Stone Welsh language learning application. While computer technology changes rapidly, human languages don't, so this software is still useful for learning Welsh, and the Rosetta Stone approach works well (teaching a second language using the same mental processes that children learn a first language, with no cumbersome translation step). Conversely, when the hell am I ever going to need to speak Welsh? Even in Wales they speak English, as well as Welsh.

I am aware of the low practicality of learning Welsh. On the other hand, Rosetta Stone at one time thought Welsh was a worthy language to invest in for their arsenal of languages (this software is currently unavailable, so this is another reason to hang onto the software I currently have and the heavy lump of metal and plastic I need to use it). So there must have been some valid reason for people to learn Welsh, at least within the last 15 years or so.

For me it is a rather individualistic reason. Welsh is probably the most esoteric language anyone could learn outside of perhaps Latin (although Rosetta Stone still offers Latin, even though they discontinued Welsh). Even Gaelic is more used and well known than Welsh (I can't really back that up, except that I was recently in Ireland, where Irish Gaelic is still used). As an American, I am pitifully monolingual (English) and I want to remedy that, but not by learning one of the common second languages (Spanish, French, or German). No, Welsh is where it is at for me.

Who knows, maybe I will work for a company that has offices in Wales someday and this second language will look great on my resume.

I am clearly playing the long game there.

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