Lost in Translation

Just a little food for thought…

Spanish teachers (and I’m sure all language teachers) always advise their students, “Don’t use online-translators…you can’t translate directly from Spanish to English! (or vice-versa)

And it really is true…expressions are not the same, or the meaning of some words and phrases.  While in Argentina, I learned that humor and sarcasm do not translate well either.  The movie JUNO (one of my favorites!) is full of sarcasm and witty comments…and believe me watching it in the theater over there was a different experience…it seemed like my friend and I were the only ones laughing.

But, I think that this is also true in reverse…Finding Nemo was great in English but I thought it seemed much better in Spanish!

Learning a Language….

This is a theme I return to often, but I feel that it is very important.

I’m aware I’ve said this before, but a language is more than just words, it’s a new world…it provides the speaker with a new means of expression, a broader mind, and a fresh perspective.

A few years ago I met someone who told me, “Language is just a skill, you translate from one to another so people can understand each other….Learning culture and literature is not necessary.”

I think that my jaw hit the floor after that comment.  Language is so much more than “just a skill” and if you’ve ever tried to translate or interpret from one to another, you know there is much more than just words.

So, after that I’ll leave you with some words….

A different language is a different vision of life.  ~Federico Fellini

Learn a new language and get a new soul.  ~Czech Proverb

(I may be setting myself with this one, but I’ve noticed it’s true…)  If you can speak three languages you’re trilingual.  If you can speak two languages you’re bilingual.  If you can speak only one language you’re an American.  ~Author Unknown