Showing posts tagged language.


writer // curator /// stockholm // new york
hej [at] jenniferlindblad [dot] com

"I’m sensing that literature — infinite in its potential of ranges and expression — is in a rut, tending to hit the same note again and again, confining itself to the narrowest of spectrums, resulting in a practice that has fallen out of step and unable to take part in arguably the most vital and exciting cultural discourses of our time. I find this to be a profoundly sad moment — and a great lost opportunity for literary creativity to revitalize itself in ways it hasn’t imagined."
Kenneth Goldsmith, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age (via
— 1 year ago with 16 notes
#writing  #kenneth goldsmith  #language  #digital age 
"Words were how she persuaded herself […] She could not, however, permanently secure herself with words […] She wanted more than words could give her."
Carl Rollyson, “The last days of Sylvia Plath" (HT to Alix for the link)
— 1 year ago with 2 notes
#sylvia plath  #poetry  #words  #language  #writing  #security 
"I love the right words. I think economy and precision of language are important."
Chelsea Clinton

(Source: Vogue)

— 2 years ago with 6 notes
#Chelsea Clinton  #language 
The forms of a language... →

The forms of a language inevitably have repercussions upon the speaker, it is they which mould his face, his land, his habits, where he lives, what he eats. The foreigner learning Finnish distorts his own bodily features; he moves away from his original self, may indeed no longer recognize it. This does not happen studying other languages, because other languages are merely temporary scaffolding for meaning. Not so for Finnish: Finnish was not invented. The sounds of our language were around us, in nature, in the woods, in the pull of the sea, in the call of the wild, in the sound of the falling snow. All we did was to bring them together and bend them to our needs.

— Diego Marani, New Finnish Grammar

(Source: invisiblestories, via titat44)

— 2 years ago with 108 notes
#language  #finnish  #language acquisition 
Salon:Do you think the rise of Google Translate — and astonishing iPhone translation apps like Word Lens, which allows you to automatically translate signs on your phone — means people are going to stop learning other languages?
David Bellos:That could happen in the way the generalization of the pocket calculator means my grandchildren don’t know how to do arithmetic. That would be a sad result. Obviously it removes the motivation for language learning for all sorts of minor, everyday trivial tasks. But I think that people in positions of responsibility in the educational system and in schools and public life should know full well that the existence of Google Translate in no way reduces the educational need and the utility of acquiring foreign languages. We should struggle ever harder so that some of the next generation have a proper understanding of a variety of other languages — not just French, but Chinese, Japanese or Arabic.
Salon:In some parts of the world, foreign movies are dubbed over instead of subtitled. I remember watching dubbed TV shows and movies when I was a kid, and even then I thought it was very strange. In the U.S., we clearly prefer subtitles.
David Bellos:Even among the countries of the European Union, there are very different traditions. When sound came into movies in the 1930s and the industry de-internationalized, different countries established traditions and expectations that remained quite firmly fixed. France, for example, dubs its foreign films — except for films considered as art — while in England and America that’s unheard of. The way America treats subtitles says a lot. In Germany and France and Italy, the people who produce the local versions of foreign movies, whether dubbing or subtitling, are respected professionals with a public profile. Here they are a completely obscure network of guys who do it for a few dollars an hour in a garret at night. And I’m hardly exaggerating actually. And these are some of the most difficult operations you can do with language.
Salon:Does that suggest that Americans just don’t care about translation as an art form?
David Bellos:Twenty years ago, if you were an academic and also a translator you never put your translations on your C.V. because they would count against you when it came to promotion time. Translation was seen as second-rate. But I think that is changing. I think there is much more respect now for translators in the academy and elsewhere.
— 2 years ago with 4 notes
#language acquisition  #translation  #language  #literature  #film 

When you use the word ‘flummox,’ for instance, your tongue is rolling across the same territory of every person who has ever spoken that word. It carries every sentiment every person has ever meant when speaking that word, plus your own. They say that every third breath you breathe contains at least one of the same molecules Caesar exhaled as he was dying.

Muriel Rukeyser has said, ‘The world is made of stories, not atoms.’ Think of the words, then, the same words you breathe that have been inhaled and exhaled throughout history. If you’re looking for a link, there it is. They are only shapes and noises formed into meaning. How many shapes and noises have crossed the tongues of those who have come before? And this exact shape and noise has crossed centuries to come to you, fully formed … Words say simultaneously too much and too little. This is why they are perfect for communication, most people’s lives operating in the uncomfortable balance between too much and too little. Nothing more precise.

B.K. Loren, from “Word Hoard” in Parabola, v.28, no.3, August 2003 (via apoetreflects)

(via awritersruminations)

— 2 years ago with 304 notes
#words  #language 
Stephanie Nikolopoulos:Are official languages or a universal language signs of social progress?
Bob Holman:Nope. Not that I believe in Progress! I believe in Poetry, in free expression. Why vote for an official language except to force people to use that language? France has a national language, and that’s making the revival of Breton and Alsace just that much more difficult. Esperanto is a Utopian idea; I love it! But languages are not ideas; languages are physical and real as bodies. So learn Esperanto, learn ASL, learn Klingon—I’m learning Welsh. But the important thing is to speak to your children in all the languages you know—knowing Alsatian and French is no more difficult for a child than being monolingual. It will enrich their lives, and keep their culture/identity alive to help humans figure out how to live on earth. And it has the side effect of actually raising your IQ 14 points, according to a study in Alsace.
— 2 years ago
#language  #poetry  #language acquisition 

I know this message is only going to make sense to a very small percentage of my followers here but… am I the only one who has a crush on Fredrik Lindström and the new series Svenska Dialektmysterier? So poetic! And has a great directory of photography. 

— 2 years ago with 4 notes
#fredrik lindstrom  #sweden  #svenska dialektmysterier  #language 

Polari is/was an argot, a kind of secret language, a language that exists within another language for various purposes. Like Verlan in French is an example of an argot, or creole, pidgins may be examples of argots. Polari was a very specific argot, that originated 500-700 years ago, it came out of Romance and the Roman-egypsi languages: the language of travelers, of fairgrounds and carnival folk. And in the 19th and 20th centuries it became, in one example (the Polari we mostly think of) it became the secret language of gay men who were working in the theaters, who needed a language in which they could converse.


There’s a reason we have Polaris, there’s a reason we have these argots. The point of an argot, and the point of Polari very specifically, are two- and they are opposite and interacting. The first one is that it’s a language in which only you can speak about things of which only you can speak and there may be a danger of speaking to others about, and that sometimes it’s necessary to say things in secret and not to have them understood by outsiders. And there’s also a group identity - that by speaking in this way you assert an identity.


James Bridle’s talk “We found love in a coded space”

Super interesting topic I previously knew nothing on.

See also: Wikipedia entries for Polari, Argot, Verlan


— 2 years ago with 4 notes
#polari  #language  #secrets 
"I love these dudes. I follow mostly spambots on Twitter now. Because I love the way they speak. I love who they are. […] If we keep killing them they’re never going to achieve sentience, and that will be a shame, because we share the world with these things. […] And what we need to do is to be sympathetic to them, to ask them into our life, to try and collaborate with them rather than shut them down. Because they are all looking for love. They all want to speak to us, they all want to be a part of the world, and all I ask is that you look at them with happier eyes, and invite them into the world, and speak to them."

James Bridle’s talk “We found love in a coded space” 

Total nutter but he might have a point here.

See also: Bridle’s site


— 2 years ago with 5 notes
#James Bridle  #language  #spam  #collaboration  #love 
Happy 7th birthday to the letter W! →

added to the Swedish language March 3rd, 2005.

— 2 years ago with 4 notes
#sweden  #language 
"Unlike most Americans, who speak as if they were sipping gruel, he chose his words like bonbons, so that his patients, whose lives were a poor meager business, received the pleasantest sense of the richness and delectability of such every-day things as words. Unlike some analysts, he did not use big words or technical words; but the small ordinary words he did use were invested with a peculiar luster. ‘I think you are pretty unhappy after all,’ he might say, pronouncing pretty as it is spelled. His patient would nod gratefully. Even unhappiness is not so bad when it can be uttered so well."
Walker Percy, The Last Gentleman
— 2 years ago with 5 notes
#walker percy  #the last gentleman  #books  #novel  #language