- Only Human
The Language(s) of Time
Time flies; it passes; it marches on. Time can be hard, ripe, rough or sharp. It can be saved, spent, managed.
I make dinner reservations ahead of time, and push back deadlines. I look forward to Christmas in New York. My teenaged years are over (woohoo!).
‘Time’ is the most common noun in English, and all of the various ways I talk about time feel…right. But other languages have different (and to me, peculiar) ways of describing the concept. In Indonesian, for example, verbs don’t have tenses: ‘I sit’ equals ‘I sat’ equals ‘I am going to sit’. In Aymara, a language spoken in the Andean highlands in South America, the past is said to be in front of you, and the future behind you.