The Thinking of Speaking
Issue #14 March / April 2015
Letter From The Editor
Breaking with Tradition
by Erik Zidowecki
March / April 2015 | 

When we study a language and a culture, we learn about new customs and traditions. These can be very strange but also very interesting.

For example, every year in Buñol, Spain, there is "La Tomatina", which is a tomato throwing festival.

Meanwhile, each May in Gloucester, England, an enormous wheel of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled down a hill while people try to race it to the bottom.

In Catalan homes at the Feast of the Immaculate Conception every December, the little Tió de Nadal ("Christmas Log") is brought out. It is a log with legs, a face, and a little red hat, and kids leave out food out for it each night, hoping it will poop out presents.

Over time, new traditions are born and old ones die. Sometimes, losing them is sad, but sometimes it is also required to move on to better times.

The tribes in the Nilgiri Hills of India have several traditional trades, such as pottery and leather working, dating back thousands of years. However, in order to survive better in the modern world, they have been learning new trades. If they don't, their people and language may not survive. You can read about them in "The Tribes of Tamil-Kannada" in this issue.

We have traditions with learning languages as well. Probably the oldest is to take classes to reach our fluency goals. But is that really the best way any more? Guest author Olly Richards asks the question and gives us his views in "Are You Wasting Your Money on Language Classes?"

And as we change these traditions, we must make new ones. We can find new ways of learning, like using internet resources to talk with people around the world in many languages using voice chats. Be sure to learn about that in our article "Chatting in Languages Online - Voice Chats".

Traditions are good, and a vital part of our lives, but sometimes, we must break with our traditions to find a path to the future.

Erik Zidowecki

Letter From the Editor
Writer: Erik Zidowecki
Toniher: Tió de Nadal

All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.


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