Nelson Mandela on Learning Language

 
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – On Nelson Mandela and Learning Afrikaans
Well, Nelson was very serious about… learning to understand the Afrikaner… [I]n his mind… the Afrikaner was an African… [W]hatever solution there was going to be on the political issues was going to involve Afrikaans people. They… were part and parcel of the land… [T]hey had grown up and… had a history in the country, which [Nelson] wanted to understand. [He] put a lot of work and effort in learning to speak Afrikaans and to use it… He had absolutely no qualms about greeting people in Afrikaans and about trying his Afrikaans out on the warders. [Nelson] wanted to really get to know Afrikaners, as part of the people who belonged to the country.

Now that you’ve learned about Nelson Mandela’s motivations for language learning, your next step is to process your own thoughts about the subject.

From Peace Corps training materials.

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