The Future Tense & Our Country
It’s not always as easy as English, where you can simply add “will” and voila— suddenly future tense: “I walk home” morphs into “I will walk home” or “I am going to walk home.” No tremendous conjugating necessary.
It could be that, long ago when I was studying this language, time or money ran out before I got to the future tense. Perhaps it was the fact that I was learning 100 new words every day in a new land and life overtook me, requiring me to start working. I do recall learning the future tense somewhat. But the rest is fuzzy in my memory….
So now I work around it. Upon occasion, I am able to speak of my own future, just not yours: “I am going to see the film. And you?” simply because I cannot say, “Are you going to see the film?” because, as mentioned before, adding a helping verb along the lines of “will” or “going” does not work in this particular tongue. Trying to conduct business abroad, in a foreign language, can be tricky.
Which leads me to rather philosophical questions: What’s it like to live a life where you have no ability to express your future? What does it say about a language or a nation that is more complex than your own? What does our language say about us?
Despite any current indications to the contrary, we Americans, as speakers of English, are fairly welcoming folk. You can concoct your future in our language pretty easily.
Good to keep in mind.