On Language

If you know me, you know that language study is a strong interest of mine. I am preparing myself with digital books and long distance Skype partners to keep my Spanish level from falling too much. If I have any free time outside of that, I also want to dive into German again. Unsurprisingly, with life distracting me I’ve failed to study Albanian to the degree I intended before moving to Kosovo, but I’m excited to take it on full time soon.

Recently I went to a used book store in my small rural city and found this:

img_0073.jpgIt’s a like-new Albanian textbook with a CD! It even had an invoice inside which showed it was shipped directly from Tirana. I browse the language section of this bookstore on a monthly basis, so I knew this book was a “new” addition. Looking there is habitual for me, but I never imagined I would find an Albanian book in my city. Curious, I started Googling. Although Albanian is not named, census data indicates there could be about 500 speakers of “other Indo-European” languages in Asheville. While Asheville has far below the national average for non-English speakers, I am encouraged by the variety of languages that are listed in this data. I can’t explain the presence of this book at the time and place I found it, but it’s a testament to the boundless possibilities of a used bookstore.


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