While jogging this morning, the spinning kaleidoscope of thoughts stopped on "language". I thought about how my family communicates amongst ourselves. All understand English and German (others are fluent; I muddle along), which means that we use words and grammar interchangeably. Whatever word works best gets plugged into a sentence, regardless of language. A simple example might be There's a Stau on the A3 (Stau meaning traffic jam). Anyone overhearing our conversations might think that we arrived from a different planet...or are uneducated, ignorant fools. Language is for communication, and it works for us.
That thought got me to thinking about the Dutch language. I travel to Amsterdam frequently, so hear and read Dutch often. At some point I noticed that understanding both German and English helped me to decipher Dutch. I could figure out the thrust of an article or conversation, if not every detail. Why is this? If you study the history, you learn that the House of Orange used to control much of the land along the Rhine that now is Germany; they were also connected to England by virtue of ruling the country. This could have led to a mixing of tongues, with the two languages evolving in current‐day Dutch.
Over time, as my family expands and keeps up our babble, we may have our own language. Of course, it might help to rule a country or two, but who knows?
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.