Sunday Stills – Going Back in time

Going back in time, I found this intriguing photo  amongst my travel memories, It was an interesting way to tell the time, at least in the afternoon.

“In the centre of the Old Town Square in Prague, there is  a line on the cobblestones. At the start of the line, which is called Prague Meridian until 1918 stood a huge Marian Column. The shadow from the column fell on the meridian and locals could check the time. The Latin inscription on the Prague meridian says: «Meridianus quo olim tempus pragense dirigebatur», which means “In the afternoon you can see the exact time in Prague.”

Going back into family history brings memories alive again. Delving through the old photos and memorabilia of earlier times reminds us of how life must have been then back then.  Learning about our history also teaches us how to look forward. The baby in the middle photo is the great grandfather of my granddaughter is holding a photo of the grand uncle who is also pictured in the photo on the wall.

This week Aotearoa/New Zealand has been celebrating Te Wiki o Te Red Maori/Maori Language Week. I thought it timely to share this whakatauki/proverb which is also about going back so you can move forward in strength. 

Titiro whakamuri

Kokiri whakamua

Look back and reflect

so you can move forward

Day 30. Sounds of the alphabet

I just love language and all its eccentricities.

I have sung the alphabet songs, pondered over pronunciation and succeeded with spelling.

I have played around with alliteration – because it trips off the tongue so well. 

I have recited the rhymes inside my head – to speak them out loud would make me sound quite crazy.

I have taunted myself with tongue twisters – because why wouldn’t I?

I have learned four languages and some random words of others. I have even practiced speaking them in foreign countries – much to the amusement of the locals.

And yet….   Still the English language confounds me.  The English has fifteen vowel sounds represented by the letters ae, i, o, and u

But wait – there’s more – what about the consonants?  Let’s not go there!

In the Maori language (Te Reo Maori) – one of the three official languages of New Zealand – the vowels are pronounced the same regardless of the word it appears in. And the sounds of the alphabet roll beautifully off the tongue.

A  - as in Are
E -  as in There
I  - as in Three
O  - as in Or
U  - as in Two

Knowing the alphabet sounds is to begin to know the language and the culture.
This whakatauki (Maori proverb) sums up some of my thoughts about language.

Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria

My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul

And to quote the label on the inside of my tunic ……  

“We all smile in the same language”

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, July Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’