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Welcome to Stuff You Missed in History Class A production of I Heart Radio. Happy Friday, I'm Tracy Wilson, and I'm Holly Fry. This week on the show, we talked about Esperanto and one of the things that I mentioned in the episode that I didn't go into great detail on is that over and over while I was working on this episode, I kept finding people being like, yeah, Esperanto is really neat, but English has really become the shared second language of.
And I was like, not really, though a whole lot of people don't speak English. And part of the reason that Zamenhof wanted to create a language from scratch was he didn't he didn't want this international language to be associated with a major colonial power that kind of went against the whole thing he was trying to accomplish. I mean, I, I, I recognize that, you know, thankfully, when you travel to other places and I say this thankfully for my own lazy self, like often in foreign countries, they are fluent in English.
But really, that's not because English is necessarily universal. They're trying to accommodate things like tourist trade. Yeah. And again, it's associated with, you know, a whole lot of problems. It made me laugh, as it did in the episode, that, you know, this is the same thing France was doing years and years and years ago, going, no, French is the language. Of course, this is what you just use that again.
Like, well, is that because you have a bunch of colonies or because you honestly think everybody could just pick up French? Right. Which is sort of I mean, you know, I love French. I don't think that's any secret. But like, I was reading a funny thread on Twitter. I don't even remember who posted it where they were like, I've studied French. Am I still when I meet a French speaker, I don't know what the heck you're saying.
Yeah. Which is one of the tricks with any language. French can be very tricky that way, but it just made me laugh especially hard, having just come off of reading that over the weekend within the last couple of days to everyone speaks French.
Is that. Yeah, I, I kept thinking about how being the son of a language teacher and being immersed in the society where the people around him are speaking in so many different languages, really set Zamenhof up to become really multilingual. And how how different that is from my own upbringing, because I grew up speaking English and all my neighbors spoke English and my school system did not teach any other language until middle school. I think middle school, I got a tiny bit in third and fourth grade because I was in the gifted program and I got a teeny teeny bit of Spanish, which was only for gifted students.
This makes no sense. It's not a great way to to raise people with any kind of familiarity with languages. And then when I did switch to taking French, I went through a series every year. I had a different French teacher and only one of those French teachers. What I say was actually good at teaching French. And so after having, I think, three years of high school French, six hours of college French, like my French is still terrible.
It was terrible. When I finished that I took a break from studying French because I had I had taken the six hours that I needed to take to graduate. And then I had this idea that I was going to go to graduate school and I learned that I was going to need to take more French for graduate school. And I attempted to take six more hours of French in a semester that I also really overloaded myself with courses and immediately was absolutely in over my head and was like, I can't I can't do all this.
So anyway, that's that's why I like the one other language I've really tried to study.
I am still very bad at, um, I had a marginal level of fluency in French when I was little, but it ran away. It went other places. I don't know where that lives now. Hopefully someone inherited it.
Did you also tell me that since you had learned you had learned from your grandmother, right. That you had learned kind of like a country French? Yeah. Yeah. And I didn't know until I had like a really good French teacher who was like, your vocab is pretty good and your pronunciation is not bad, but the things you say sound. Really, like you are a hick, and I was like, what? This surrounds me of how my my spouse has studied a lot of Japanese.
He he'd lived in Japan for a while when he was then. I can't remember what was college or graduate school, I think graduate school. And so he has been a person that I have gotten help with on Japanese pronunciation sometimes. And I remember getting a note from somebody that said we had pronounced something that sounded like we were from the country. And then he was like, oh yeah.
Actually, where I was, we had to take trains to get into like a major city.
And I was like, OK, sure, yeah. I mean, I do think there is a little bit I hope it's changing. But certainly when we were in school, I feel like in most schools in the U.S., there was a bit of failing in terms of really trying to give kids the opportunity to learn a lot of languages when they're young. And I know from friends now that have elementary aged children, there is a lot more language learning than I certainly ever had at that age.
So I'm hopeful. But yeah, I feel like every time I learn any language there or any, like, tiny bit of a new language, I haven't really learned any new languages.
There's like this huge initial hurdle to get over of just like, OK, what my mouth doesn't do those right. I got to wait. What?
And it's tricky. And the funny thing is I suddenly remembering a discussion that I had with a friend of mine whose parents were German.
And we're learning English for the first time, and he was like, you have no idea how hard English is compared to other languages like train wreck complete. He's and it was stuff that I mean, this was years and years ago, like 20, 25 years ago, that we had this conversation. But he was like, you know, think about like even something as simple as what is the plural for mouse? It's mice. OK, well, what is the plural for house people learning for the first time might very well guess Heisse because of these rules are consistent or make sense.
And I was like, oh, that is true. Like when you grow up speaking, you don't think about it.
Yeah, well, and a lot of the things that little kids say when they're learning English that sound hilarious to people is like because they've intuited that pattern and applied it to other words that they haven't learned the irregularity for yet, which I think is pretty cool and fascinating. Yeah. Don't know, maybe we should start doing the show in Esperanto. I have been trying to keep up with with a couple of Duolingo courses and I did have a good time plinking away at a little bit of Esperanto, but I don't know if it's feasible for me to keep up with it.
My brain feels full.
Yeah. I know that feeling. Full brains. Yeah, so this week we talked about Buddhism, Castle, huh? This is a castle I have not been to, but it's on my list when I was getting very big. My list is so big and I'm so ready to start traveling again. So look out. Podium Castle, I. I wanted to do this one in part because it is kind of a fun, little bit more lighthearted thing, but also because it contextualizes a lot of things right.
When you realize that Edward Delling Bridge was connected to the Hundred Years War, that he was also one of the people who put down the peasants revolt. Right. Which isn't often talked when when you discuss things like, hey, this person built a castle and it's like, yes, but why? I love that a lot of castle historians and medieval historians have really kind of turned to this one as something to kind of pick apart and look at the cause and effect of like, why would someone want this to be built?
Why? Why exactly. And put that in the context of history. I do. You want to give a shout out to the National Trust website on Biodome Castle? We mentioned at the end of the episode that right now the interiors are not open to visitors because of covid. But one of the cool things they've done is they have put some of the material that you would normally see inside the castle online. So, yeah, there's a video that you would normally see about the history of the castle.
And they're like, no one can see this right now. So we're just making it available publicly, which is just a really cool, nice gesture in a way, for people to learn. I imagine this is one of those places that schoolchildren sometimes have to go to and report on, and that's now available to them. So, yeah, I just thought that was marvelously cool.
I feel like earlier on in the pandemic Faci did something similar where there was like a virtual tour of Faci um which was really cool because you and I, you and I, we went to Rissi on our, our trip to France back in. What was that. Twenty nineteen.
It's all blurred together and it's so really shoulder to shoulder packed in there.
Yeah. That it's, it's really hard to see things. So having this virtual tour online, even having been there, met, seeing things I had not noticed before. Yeah.
You don't get a lot of time to linger and hang out. Definitely like move through the hall of mirrors. There are a lot of people behind you and they all need to see it too. So it is I'm very happy that a lot of of historically and culturally significant sites that have had to close have done similar programs where they. Yeah, they're making their content available. It's a huge help. And like I said, I'm sure there are a lot of students who are benefiting from that.
So it's a big thing. I, I will tell you this, and this may sound strange. Are you one of those people, because I know you have a fondness for medieval history at a level that is beyond mine.
Are you a castle person? I know that sounds weird. Not as much. Not as much. I I've been playing a lot of a game called Balham lately and there's a weird a weird gender dichotomy in the people that I play Balham with, whereas I have made these little wooden.
Homey kind of structures, and the men are all building these gigantic stone castles with turrets and moats and just all kinds of gigantic things, and I've been like, but I like this little hut where I have all of my crafting table.
And what I am incredibly into, though, is although which marks I love the which marks. I love the witch bottles. I love the Walling's shoes up in the wall to try to show yes. Spirits. I am way into all of those things. Yeah. Yeah. That was I found that information on that study. And again, it's they talk about it on the National Trust site. I came into that information kind of late in the game and I was like, whoa, hold on.
There's a whole other thing going on here, votive castle, which makes perfect sense because, of course, I bet a lot of castles have these same things, but they don't always have, you know, the an actual study done of them to really identify.
And it's one of those things, again, we say, which marks and it sounds really like Woo. And we even mentioned that there's like a compass sometimes in a pentagram. Just as a reminder, in case anybody doesn't remember medieval Aare era pentagrams, sometimes used in Christianity, not necessarily having anything to do with, you know, the evolutionists or witchcraft in that sense, but really it's part of a prayer.
So I also love that I love the use of symbols as prayers as well. Like just the value we place on the visual medium is always going to be fascinating to me. So now I want to put which marks all over my house.
Thank you so much for spending time with us this week. And we hope as you head into the weekend that it is as enjoyable as possible and that if you are obliged to do things like work, that you have an easier time as possible.
And everyone is super nice to you. And we will see you back here tomorrow for Classic's and next week with new stuff.
Stuff you missed in history class is the production of I Heart Radio for more podcasts for My Heart radio visit by her radio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Hi, I'm host Robin Roberts, and on a new podcast from I Heart Radio covid-19 Community in our community. We'll hear from Americans on the front lines and the doctors and medical experts who convinced them and their loved ones to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated. Listen to covid-19 immunity in our community on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast.
We can do this. Learning from mistakes is important, but don't you prefer to learn from the painful mistakes of others? I'm Tim Harford, host of Cautionary Tales, the podcast that looks for valuable lessons from great crimes and disasters of the past. You'll fly on a doomed airliner hijacked by idiots, witnessed the world's worst bank robbery, and uncover the deeds of a doctor who paid friendly house calls to his patients while really planning their murders. To subscribe, head to the I Heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you like to listen.