authenticity of voice, books, english, erin moira ohara, ermisenda interview, graphic, language single shade of colour, languages, learning languages, lost in translation, native tongue, perceive world through, quote, raw language, spanish, stories, writing
I was lucky enough to be interviewed by the lovely Erin Moira O’Hara on her blog yesterday (which is separate to the Blind Sight blog tour that just finished). One of her questions was what would I learn if I could learn anything. I replied with learning more languages. I already have English and Spanish, and learning Dutch on the side. So, why more? Well to read and listen to more stories of course!
Here’s an excerpt of my answer: One thing that I have always wanted to learn more of is languages. I would love to learn them more than just chit-chat with native speakers. I want to learn so many languages inside out, to the point I could translate my novels and re-read them from fresh eyes. I find that with every language (and different dialects) there are histories enveloped in the words. My love of words stretches further than English, and even Spanish. I always think of language as a single shade of colour we perceive the world through. While it may be a tad dramatic, I definitely believe that my experience of knowing more than one language has influenced me and my interactions. I can read literature and legends from Spain and even Latin America in its purest form. Nothing lost to translation.
When you learn a new language you are suddenly open to millions and possibly billions of more people whom you can interact with, whose stories you can read and share. It often saddens me to think there are so many stories I cannot know in their original, raw form simply because of language. I would love to be able to absorb and share the world’s history of stories in their full rainbow shades.
What do you think? Do you agree? Am I just being silly and dramatic? Check out the rest of the interview HERE.
– Ermisenda Alvarez
I found this picture and I thought it was pretty funny. With certain individuals you can find this kind of text talk on facebook as well. I’m not a grammar Nazi but I don’t like text talk. I find it can often take more time to figure out what they’re trying to say then it would have taken to write it out properly. When you’re writing in a text message, I understand the desire to shorten, I do too from time to time. But if I have the room, I’ll just write it out properly.
I went to school for so many years so, why throw out all the English I learned? Presumably, despite what the teachers may have liked to think, English’s core purpose (at the very least) during high school was to improve one’s communication skills and confidence with the written language to prepare one for reading and writing (rather than specifically essays, poetry and creative writing skills). So, at the very least I can use full words instead of text speak in everyday life. That’s what I figure at least.
What are your thoughts?
EDIT: Hilarious article, a must read!
“If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.”
– Ermisenda Alvarez
Ancient lovers believed that a kiss literally unites the soul because the spirit was said to be carried in ones breath.
– Ev Glicksman
I wanted to share this beautiful quote on Ermiliablog. I thought it illustrated the beauty and magic of a kiss. Ironically, a lot of words associated with kissing definitely do not evoke the “magic” that this quote does.
I grew up in a Spanish family so my first word for a kiss was ‘beso’ and then in “plain” English ‘kiss’. Growing up in Australia the slang for the act consisted of making out, hooking up and pashing. When I read Harry Potter I was baffled by what ‘snogging’ meant. It reminded me of two pigs grunting and rolling in the mud. To my dissapointment snogging does mean kissing in British slang. I do not know the slang for kissing in America but I believe they use macking, making out, mashing?, smooching? Maybe sucking face?
All those words or slang terms seem to put a crude edge on the act of kissing. If we were to discuss all the words used to describe sexual intercourse we would come across numerous crude descriptions as well. But along the scale of slang terms also lies ‘making love’.
What do you think is the closest slang term for the emotional act of kissing? Has the English language failed to have one emotional, romantic and “magical” word for a kiss? Do you have any funny ‘kissing’ slang terms to share from your culture or social groups? I am not trying to be offensive, I have nothing against the British and have cousins and friends living there but… is anyone else reminded of two pigs rubbing dirty snouts when they hear the word snogging?
– Ermisenda Alvarez
I listen to Spanish audiobooks in my car day to day. It gives me some kind of peace and the stories I listen to obviously fulfill me. I am a Spanish Australian. The blood running through my veins is Spanish to the last drop but I was born, grew up (with frequent visits back to Spain) and was educated in Australia. I have always associated family, home and safety with the Spanish language that my parents have always spoken to me in. Although I speak English significantly better (because of the Australian education) I prefer listening to Spanish of which I understand fluently.