Sur les langues
I will try this site to be multilingual. Powerful tool, it boosts my expression, but is also a statement on my values, both in art and life.
TRANSLATE OR CREATE
It’s the economy, stupid!
I can’t translate this into Catalan, Spanish, French. I can`t find equivalent purpose and meaning for all the implications it carries on (the ones I can understand). For me, languages are not translatable: I just use them my way, accordingly to mood, people and background. Every language flows naturally and it changes at each situation, even at a same conversation or sentence. I guess this happens depending on where and when you used it first; maybe the frequency you use has some to do.
When speaking, writing… I think we do never really translate: every time we do it, in fact we are creating a new sentence with our own and personal referrals. It is clear for me than, when you “translate” or “google” something, you are just performing an extremely poor creation. So… I will try to create, and not translate. Have you ever read “Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote”, from Jorge Luis Borges?
Example: my best friend is Catalan-speaking, but we knew at 3 in Spanish. So, I talk to him in Spanish, and I cannot talk to him in Catalan, I feel extremely uncomfortable: for me, he will always be Fernando, not Ferran, despite everyone calls him this way. It always happened with many people in my life: despite their native, we always talk in the language used when we met firstly.
I say: every part of your life is linked to a specific language, and if you love your life, you will love all your languages.
In this website:
- You may find mixing languages, no matter the language of the menu where the entry is located.
- I will rewrite the ideas in every different language, accordingly to the specific mood about them. Probably in the same entry you won’t find the standard translation, even ideas or metaphors may change. Occasionally, some entries can exist in some languages and not on the other.
- Languages will be English, Catalan and Spanish, as they come to my mind without effort. French, I’m not fluent, I have limited background, but it’s very special and challenging to me, so I’ll do the work on it, too.
WHY THESE LANGUAGES
Mom and dad knew each other in Spanish, so they spoke between them in that language. But they decided to speak children in Catalan! Mom came to Barcelona at 7, and she has always been grateful to the land that gave her work, respect and culture, so Catalan speaking was her way to hommage this country. On top of that, my parents worked 3 years in Germany in the 60s, so both of them learned German the hard way, and became were very very aware of the benefits of being multilingual. As Mom said: “speaking several languages can only be good”.
So, I use Catalan as the intimate language. I was brought up in it. It naturally floods for love, secrets, complicity; for family, even when getting angry with them…
… and politics. For me, discussing on public subjects is also personal as I word out my inner feelings and conception of the world; plus, in my early youth I strongly lived fight for freedom, democracy and human rights through the movement for freedom in Catalonia after Franco death.
So, at home, sister Blanca and I spoke Catalan and heard dads in Spanish. But in the rest of the world, the dominant language was Spanish: school, books, newspapers, TV… so you usually started speaking with people in Spanish, if it happened to know someone in Catalan it made her/him very special…
The offical language: school, maths, science… I always count, multiply and solve scientific problems in Spanish. Can’t add or multiply out of Spanish, I must force myself. It’s also the language for authorities and all the “serious” matters that appear on TV and press. Ideal for power and fight, cant explain why but swearwords, rudeness and any kind of high energy is expressed fantastically in Don Quijote’s language.
But it’s also the language of books and… comics. Not only el Quijote, but Asterix, Mortadelo and Tintín speak to me in Spanish. And it’s incredibly funny. A good humorist using properly Spanish can drive you int tears laughing. Andalusians turn me into cheerful mode just speaking.
Photography. Business. Travel. It’s precise, simple and mind-clearing. So, for me it’s the language of progress, opening, optimism… The technical language, but not only that: the whole world opens to you in English; with it, I’ve known really interesting people, connecting with them all around the world. And of course, there is Hamlet.
A pleasure. Self – learned, what means I dont’ really know it, but Catalan is at half way among Spanish, French and Italian, so it’s easy for me to turn it into an understandable French. It’s the language of art, philosophy.., and revolution!!! My aunt and uncle exiled to France after the Civil War, and they came back after Franco’s death, they were outstanding, illustrated people, driven by idealism. My cousins remained in France, and they were became hippies: trips to India, art, happenings, social revolution… and I was there at march 68! My second cousin married, mom and I went to Lyon to the wedding, and then frontier was closed as the demonstrations started. We remained there for 3 months, I had my 5th bithday there, and I lived all the electricity and excitment of all those days through all the friends and colleagues coming in and out home like a crazy vaudeville.
Yes, every language holds its own echoes, and they jump out to help me to express my mood.