i'm honestly not trying to pick any fights.

a lot of folks equate music to language. there are a lot of parallels.

as you know, my mother tongue is english, but i've also mastered french, german, swiss german and spanish.

i don't "study/practice" those languages any more, because i don't have to.

i still retain full command of them. i can speak, understand, read and write in all of them. i can carry on conversations in any of them for days.

how did i gain that mastery? years of long and hard study coupled with total immersion - the same way i learned my instruments.

can i recite from memory don quijote or the brother's grimm or hundred of french poems? no. do i sometimes make mistakes when  i speak? yes.

nonetheless, i have mastered these languages according anyone's definition.

nobody knows every word in the english language either. a "complete" english dictionary is thousands of pages long!

if you don't know every word in english, does that mean you haven't truly mastered the language?

i supposed those same hecklers would find it impossible to believe that anyone (including me) could ever be completely fluent in several languages, anymore than they can believe i'm completely fluent in several instruments.

it's amazing how much you can accomplish if:

a) you don't work a straight job, and

b) you're willing to accept poverty as a condition of fulfilling your life's goals

my definition of mastery of an instrument is pretty much the same as for mastery of a language.

of course, you have to stay in shape. i thought i stated that clearly with my juggling metaphor.

oh well, anything that can be misconstrued will be. sigh...

thanks for listening.
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