Thursday, November 06, 2008


To be someone who does not speak the language of the land, is to be stripped clean of the tools of one's wordsmithy. You could well be taking my right hand away for twelve months, or my vocal cords. For one year, my playing field is level with the unlettered, and the mute. I will have temporarily receded from being articulate to inarticulate - susceptible to the abortions thrown up by Altavista's online translating software. Ideal conditions for hibernation :)

Speak in a tongue that is universal, or forever hold thy peace.


hobo said...

I spent the beginning of 6 months in russia with a hastily jotted down alphabet and the equivalent english sounds-One of the most productive and interesting experiences of my life.

It's amazing how quickly one will struggle to speak the few words they know when there is a drunk ogre trying to pound through a wooden door with a metal lighter, erroneously thinking that you have his ex-girlfriend in there with you. :)

thanks, for Kari. wonderful.

Anonymous said...

vocal cords, articulate ?! never knew you had these skills to begin with ;)

amruta patil said...

you come a long distance for this. why.

Anonymous said...

longness is just a perception.
fawlty one at that.
all why's have the answers inside
if one searches hard.

Anonymous said...

oh,a language should not be that big a problem, not too difficult to pick up anyway when in dire need. Be positive :)Never too late to learn anyway.

sree harsha said...

I was in Germany for 2 months. I did not understand any German, so was a bit jittery at first. But most people understood German and it wasn't so bad.

As went by though I felt a creeping sense of alienation. A bit like Augie March I guess. The sea of unknown faces and waves of unknown words were too much to take.

I now feel we are in some way connected to familiar surroundings. A bit psychological umbilical I guess.