Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dear English, why are you so lame?

Sometimes I wish I spoke a different language. As if somehow that would make my writing better. As I sat grinding out more writing this morning, or trying to at least, for whatever reason I found myself remembering things I'd learned long ago. Words and phrases which exist in other languages, but never quite seem to be able to be encapsulated by English.

It started with nakama. Nowadays just used to mean a companion or friend, traditionally nakama was a word for a bond so close no other language could ever hope to adequately describe it. And there was a Portuguese word I learned once. I know how to pronounce it but not spell it, and considering the very odd rules of Portuguese it is definitely spelled differently from how it is pronounced. But it was a word they use to refer to a feeling of something lost; that sense of what we had then can never be again.

Even Latin, a rather basic and simplistic language, has phrases and words like these. But English doesn't. And attempts to reconcile them into English always fall flat at best or spend forever never coming anywhere near the target at worst. I think maybe that's why I like learning other languages, despite the fact that I have always been bad at learning languages. Maybe it's because English is essentially a gradual assimilation of all other languages, but something about it is just so dull. Not even just in terms of things like Italian or Portuguese sounding nicer. Russian and German certainly aren't easy on the ear, but compared to English there's something so incredible about them.

Maybe I'm just weird.

(Definitely rambling here. Oh self.)

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