“Gregorius was never to forget this scene. They were his first Portuguese words in the real world and they worked. That words could cause something in the world, make someone move or stop, laugh or cry: even as a child he had found it enigmatic and it had never stopped impressing him. How did words do that? Wasn’t it like magic? But at this moment, the mystery seemed greater than usual, for these were words he hadn’t even known yesterday morning.”

Night Train to Lisbon, Pascal Mercier


2 thoughts on “Words

  1. It’s magic the other way ’round too: perceiving meaning in sounds that formerly had no more significance than crying or laughter.

    Like a passport to a new, previously hidden world.

    • Adam, I love how you compare understanding a new language to gaining a passport to an unexplored world! I definitely agree: being able to perceive meaning happens suddenly and there is a taste of magic in that.

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