Posts Tagged ‘English’

I love the English language. I think this started when I was very young and we used to watch Fun Factory (thank you!). I love the English language all the way from its crazy spelling and pronunciation (now why is it not pronOunciation?) to its grammar that is just too hard to understand for a non-native speaker, no matter how hard you try. I love the way it has way more words than my own native tongue (Dutch, in case you don’t know) and the way things can be subtle just by adding a word or omitting one (although, admittedly, this may be the same in any other language).

Take this example. When someone says: “I’ve had few distractions.” this means something different from “I’ve had a few distractions.” Discovering something like this can conjure up a broad smile on my face. I just love it. (Think of it. Why does that one word, no, it’s actually just one letter, make such a big difference? Does it make any sense? No of course not! It’s just what language is, totally illogical (and, come to think of that, why is it not unlogical, alogical or inlogical?!?))

I can fall in love with an English word and will use it abundantly (like the word abundant, I love it!). I sometimes have the urge to frame an English sentence, perfect in its composition, structure and choice of words.

But lately, I’ve discovered that my own language, Dutch, which I thought to be too ugly/bland/direct/guttural/whichever other judgment I’ve passed to it in the past, to even mention, is more important to me than I thought.

While in the States for 6 weeks, I kept a blog (http://meinithaca.wordpress.com). There are still a couple of drafts that I haven’t published yet. Most of them are proof of my laziness (mostly having to do with pictures), but there are two that have a different reason. They are called: ‘Words I miss in English’ and ‘Words I miss in Dutch’. I had expected there to be a long list of words I miss in Dutch and not so much in English. The opposite is true. Words like ‘de bedoeling’ (what I meant to do/what was supposed to happen), ‘het klopt’ (one of my favorite expressions, meaning it is right/it feels right/it suits/matches/IS right, and this you know or feel, but can’t always reason with) and ‘geluk’ (with means both luck and happiness) star in this list and I have definitely missed them.

Last week, I tried to translate one of my few stories that was written in Dutch to English. It proved to be much harder than I thought. This is when I decided to be more proud of my native tongue, and that I would not translate it and put it up here anyway. (Go to story written for Buitenkunst to read it) With apologies to my English-speaking readers. I hope this explanation is a good enough substitute.

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