“Hi all, just donated a kidney to my cousin 2 hours ago! I feel hopeful my gift can make the recipient better”.
Another member replied:
“You are a true hero. I can’t wait until I donate on July 15.. Hang in there, get well and keep us posted.”
And then another member said:
“Welcome to the real life super heroes club, bro. Speedy recovery.”
Now these are heroes. Super heroes indeed. Giving life, looking forward to taking out part of themselves to offer it to someone else. These are heroes. Let’s use the word where it is appropriate and deserved.
Nothing is more difficult than defining linguistic knowledge. What does it mean to “know” a language? A language is not a finite or clearly defined mass, which you either possess in its entirety or not at all. You do not “know” a language in the same way you know a theorem or poem by heart. You can only know it more or less thoroughly. Some speak two languages with perfect ease, yet have a very limited vocabulary in both. Conversely, philologists or authorities on theoretical linguistics, for example, who do not study languages for the purpose of speaking them, may have a very thorough knowledge of the languages they study, but would be unable to use them to communicate. Their knowledge is thus also limited.
Anyone who has to deal with the realities of today’s world has some knowledge, however minimal, of a foreign language, either because his job requires it or because he comes from a country where the language is not widely spoken beyond that country’s borders (the Dutch, the Swedes, the Poles and, increasingly, the French are finding themselves forced to learn another language). But neither the scholar with his literary or theoretical knowledge nor the expert with his specialized knowledge, nor the polyglot can be considered to have an exhaustive knowledge of the language, but merely a working knowledge. Acquiring a foreign language is so difficult that few specialists in linguistics are at the same time practicing linguists.
Seleskovitch, Danica. Interpreting for International Conferences. Pen and Booth, Arlington, VA 1998. (Translation and adaptation of L’interprète dans les conférences internationales – problèmes de langage et de communication, published by Minard, Paris 1968).
“The simple is the seal of true.And beauty is the splendor of truth.With the words above, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, popularly known as Chandra, concluded his Nobel Prize lecture on 8 December 1983. Toward the end of his talk, he was describing black holes in the astronomical universe, explaining the simplicity in the underlying physics and the beauty of their mathematical description within the framework of Einstein’s theory of relativity. ‘They are,’ he said, ‘the most perfect macroscopic objects there are in the universe.’ […]For newspaper journalists and broadcast interviewers, neither the simplicity of the physics of the black holes nor the mathematical beauty of their description was of major concern; the pronunciation of Chandra’s full name seemed to present them with an astronomical difficulty in and of itself.”