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Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Lingusitic Smorgasbord

There's so much to cherish about our National Parks. Aside from the traditional reasons, one additional thing that invariably juices me is the variety of languages I can hear in just one day. It's like being at the UN, outdoors.

The first people we met today were Swiss; I learned this asking where they were from after overhearing what sounded like German. Then during our first activity - a ranger-led hike through the Everglades - in just our group of about twenty people there were folks from China, Denmark & Germany as well as several US States. Later, on a short afternoon boat ride I heard some kind of Slavic language, French, Japanese & Spanish all being spoken.

Among my favorite memories visiting London the first time was when my wife and I sat in Hyde Park for a few hours and tried keeping track of how many different languages we thought we heard people speak as they passed by. In my experience, the National Parks offer a similar rich diversity. Even as someone who has spent a lot of time in multi-cultural NYC, the linguistic smorgasbord at the National Parks still dazzles me.

1 comment:

  1. That's a great memory - Hyde Park. Interesting that a woman from Wisconsin just mentioned to me TODAY that one of her favorite memories from New York City was standing in Times Square and listening to all the different languages being spoken there.