Swedish For Immigrants – Week 8 Part 2

The End Is Near
Part 2

I’ve become interested in language as a thing in itself, the spoken sound, the origins of word. Carl Jung wrote some interesting observations of language. This from Symbols of Transformation, II. Two Kinds of Thinking. “Language is the registrar of tradition, the record of racial conquest, the deposit of all gains made by the genius of individuals. . . the social copy system thus established reflects the judgmental processes of the race, and in turn become the training school of judgment of new generations.”

Then further on:
“Jodi rejects the identity of language and thought on the ground that the same psychic fact can be expresses in different ways in different languages. He infers the existence of a ‘supra-linguistic’ type of thinking. No doubt there is such a thing, only it is not logical thinking.”
Interesting thing to think about . . . or not. Memories from other language classes, mental fragments, come to mind uninvited. I find myself suddenly remembering how to ask what time it is in Japanese, and Spanish . . . one or two Italian words from Army days in Eritrea. German from a college class I dropped.

I haven’t learned as much of the backgrounds, stories, of the other students as I’d hoped. Only the basics, ages, marriages . . . . politics. They keep telling me how much they like George Bush. Hard for me to respond to that one. “Obama, not so much,” they say. Whatever. Of the twelve who started with me, eight remain. Class size has stayed about the same, a few new students added over time. I’ve no idea where my missing classmates went. They might have taken low pay jobs, which would mean more money than they are being paid for attending these classes. There might have been family problems. Most are married and have kids – more than one kid, and a few with more than one wife.
The student from Vietnam is gone. She had a child, almost a baby, and family here. Every moment not in class was spent on her cell. I frequently glimpsed her family on its screen, excited, animated conversations, laughter . . . no idea what about.

I’ve finished the book I’ve been reading on class breaks these past weeks. We’re in mid-Fall . . . leaves turning. Still some nice days. Freezing at night sometimes. Time to start clearing the deck.


About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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5 Responses to Swedish For Immigrants – Week 8 Part 2

  1. fascinating thoughts Bruce… and what tantalising glimpses of other lives and cultures……

  2. Like your musings on language and languages, Bruce. i can ‘find my way’ in a few and i like the internal play i can go through. Keep up the Swedish, each has its own rewards.
    Best wishes

  3. I’ll miss your classes. I’m sure you’re looking back to see how far you’ve come.

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