Friars’ Passions – 10 Laudate Dominum, Omnes Gentes
Languages have fascinated me ever since I was a child: I always enjoyed discovering new words in English, as well as studying various foreign languages at school, and my parents still tell the story of the time when, aged 10, I spent most of my pocket money during a family holiday to Wales on a Welsh-English dictionary! The ways in which different languages work and express various ideas provides a fascinating insight into different ways of thinking about the same concept, while of course being able to speak a foreign language also creates huge opportunities for discovering different cultures through literature and conversation with speakers of that language.
Pursuing my interest in languages, I studied French and Russian at university before joining the Order. I have been able to continue my academic study of languages, since we have to learn Latin, New Testament Greek and Hebrew as part of our training. However, knowledge of languages can also play a further and deeper role in my Dominican life: it improves, I hope, my ability to preach, both by giving an insight into different ways of thinking and of explaining things, and also by increasing the number of people with whom I can communicate.