Model Essay: If I Could Speak Any Language
I have always considered the knowledge of a language an invaluable treasure, as the mastery of a foreign tongue opens the door to a world of culture and communication. If I could learn any particular language, I would learn Italian in order to obtain a more profound understanding of Italian music and movies in their native form and to facilitate my travels within the beautiful country of Italy itself.
Italian music and cinema have always fascinated me, and I would love to enjoy them in their original form. I am enchanted by the beautiful, soothing songs of Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti – if only I could effortlessly understand the mesmerizing lyrics! Each line of text is melodious in and of itself, independent of the flawless instrumental accompaniment. Though I can read English translations of the lyrics, I cannot help but feel like every decrypted word detracts a sliver of fundamental meaning; only in the native language can I experience the music’s full effect. In addition to Italy’s music, I also love the films, such as the one and only La Vita è Bella. La Vita is filled with historical and cultural meaning, as the plot follows the heartwarming yet inevitably tragic tale of a charming father-and-son duo. Because so much of the film’s charm emerges as a direct result of its inherently Italian characteristics, it is a travesty to experience it through the distorted lenses of subtitles and dubbed dialogue. Especially considering the expressiveness of Italian speech, I think it is essential to hear a story the way in which it was originally told. If I were fluent in Italian, the music and movies would possess a whole new level of significance for me.
My exposure to Italian art forms has triggered my interest in traveling throughout Italy in order to fully immerse myself in all aspects of the culture. I hope to ride in Venetian gondolas, daydream in the Sistine Chapel, feed pigeons at the Piazza, gawk at the statue of David, and savor decadent gelato. I want to effortlessly communicate with the native people I meet, hearing their tales, which I imagine are so different from – yet, in many ways, quite similar to – my own. I wish to experience the cuisine, art, and landscape of Italy not merely as a tourist but as an integrated part of its rich world.
Italian is a harmonious language that beautifies its subjects, and attaining fluidity in it would greatly enhance my experiences of Italy’s music, cinema, and homeland. I vow that I will one day be able to speak it nearly – if not fully – as well as I speak English.