Living in two worlds, but with just one language

This discussion belongs to Translation news » "Living in two worlds, but with just one language".
You can see the translation news page and participate in this discussion from there.


Olga Adler
United States
Local time: 14:19
Member (Apr 2018)
English to Russian
+ ...
Born to be a foreigner May 27, 2013

I understand what it means to attribute yourself to two worlds but to feel sort of an alien in both. My parents and grandparents are Russian, my father is a military officer and my family moved to Crimea when Ukraine made part of the Soviet Union. My native city, Sevastopol, still houses two military fleets - Russian and Ukranian and the absolute majority of locals speek Russian, so I only learnt some Ukrainian at school but I am not fluent in it at all, I can only read in it. So I may say that I am a Ukrainian girl who doesn't speak Ukrainian.

 

NataliaAnne  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:19
Portuguese to English
Yep May 27, 2013

My parents gave the same reasons for not teaching me Hungarian as well as saying it’s not a ‘useful’ language; as if cultural heritage should be measured by degrees of usefulness! (Yes, I’m obviously still bitter about not speaking Hungarian…)

 

George Hopkins
Local time: 21:19
Swedish to English
'Useful' language May 27, 2013

Every language is useful, and the most important language in the world is the first language spoken by any and every individual...

 

NataliaAnne  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:19
Portuguese to English
@ George May 27, 2013

George Hopkins wrote:

Every language is useful, and the most important language in the world is the first language spoken by any and every individual...


Can I give you parents’ phone number so you can give them a lecture?icon_smile.gif

I’m possibly being too harsh on them, though, as they were just trying to spare me the humiliation they felt. Luckily the education system has improved and children are no longer beaten or told they’re stupid when they don’t speak the language.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:19
Hebrew to English
Poem about this.... May 27, 2013

Mother Tongue by Dean Atta

Our mother has swallowed her tongue

Though selfish is never a word I could call mum

I feel she has been so by swallowing her tongue

To make it worse, our family holidays are always to her motherland

She forgets to translate even though she knows we don’t understand

My sister and I, make do and get by on the meaning we can infer

From gestures and inflection, can never look to mum for direction

Mother has swallowed her tongue, shows no regrets on reflection

Stubborn, she refuses to see that she has wronged us not to teach

To give us the option, the basic right, of freedom of speech

With our grandparents, our aunts, uncles and our cousins



There are few shortcuts to understanding

Common language is a good paving stone

So when you can’t speak the language of love

You realise you may be walking this path alone

Made in England, we’re half this and half that

But they could more easily overlook that fact

If we could speak with our mother’s tongue

Not let our skin speak for us

But join in the family chorus

I can’t tell you why she would wilfully deny

Her daughter and her son

But she has swallowed it

And we are struck dumb

Our mother has swallowed her tongue.

http://www.jcwi.org.uk/2012/01/20/dean-atta-two-tongues-are-better-than-one


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Living in two worlds, but with just one language

Advanced search







CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search