Lost in translation

22 juillet 2016,
par Romy Têtue

Mots-clefs associés à cet article :

I will not write my blog in French only. Please come lose yourselves in translation with me !

I’m coming back from Nowhere, a multicultural festival that brings into the desert a few thousand people of 40 different nationalities. While I was afraid of the language barrier, because of my poor English, I took a masterly lesson in inclusiveness. I got lost in translation, lost in sound, lost in meeting people, and so happy to lose myself. Happy to be suddenly so close to the rest of the world.

There are no borders between us. Not even language. Not even cultural. Borders are an illusion.

I don’t want to leave this unlikely place, at the crossroads of so many languages, the “playa” — this is the name of the central place, in this festival — sort of a tower of Babel achieved. So I think my next — this one — blog post will be in English. Not translated from the French, but written — and thought — directly in other language. The following in Spanish. Or even Arabic. Or Japanese. And so on. Because I can’t go back to locking me down into Francophonie : it became too narrow for me.

Since my return, I’ve hated speaking French, this language too pinched, which lacks body, lacks nasal, lacks guttural. So precious, intellectual, more cartesian than sensual. Not alive enough. This language controlled by an Académie of dusty old men, vestiges of another time, who deprive us of the words to think the contemporary world. The language of the pays des droits de l’Homme — but not yet of “Human rights”, yaayaya —, country of the century of Lights, who discovers itself homophobic and racist today, now plunged into darkness of the terrorism that it spawned, always giver of lessons when it’s no longer been exemplary in such a long time. Shame.

Now you must make efforts to read my blog. Open up to other languages — or open a translator tool ! it will not be so difficult ;) —. Open your mind.

I want to continue to speak “franglospanish”. Yes, all mixed. All inclusive. Happily. I fell in love with this lingua franca, this basic and bastardized English, that brings us closer. Please, gentle friends, next time, do not speak to me in French. Get out of your language. Please, try. Come lose yourselves in translation with me !

I’m not back here, among you. I stay on the playa. Join me.



Vos commentaires

  • Le 22 juillet 2016 à 12:07, par Stéphane Deschamps En réponse à : Lost in translation

    One thing I don’t agree with (hi, polemic !) is this :

    So precious, intellectual, more Cartesian than sensual.

    I love the preciousness of English as much as French. Both can be colloquial or precious, none is more “broomstick in the ass” than the other.

    I’d add that the more I learnt English when I was younger, the more, by reflection, I understood the subtlety of French and how beautiful it was, too. Maybe you’re having a linguistic teen period ? ;)

  • Le 22 juillet 2016 à 12:30, par Romy Têtue En réponse à : Lost in translation

    Ooooh, yes ! You’re right : I’m in a linguistic teen period, exactly :)
    But in fact, I hope to learn English enough to, one day, love it as much. You know me : I like words ;)

  • Le 22 juillet 2016 à 16:43, par Bertrand En réponse à : Lost in translation

    I would like to go further on Stéphane’s quote : how can you consider French as a cartesian langage, as long as it’s probably the less logical language in the world ? More exceptions than rules, unspoken letters, weird figures of speech, unexplainable sound and writing dychotomia like « les oies du couvent couvent »...
    Don’t think I don’t love it by the way :D

    Anyway, that’s a pleasure to read you, as usual, and I totally relate to your point of view of opening your mind with other langages. A language is a philosophy, a way of thinking, which means each of them is just one point of view.

  • Le 23 juillet 2016 à 00:03, par Romy Têtue En réponse à : Lost in translation

    You are both right : it’s less the language that I hate, than the spirit it represents. I’m fed up with l’esprit français preachy in which I can’t recognize myself. France, its lights, its exception, its Droits de l’Homme not human…

    Period of linguistic teenage rebellion ? Not only. Go out of my language to discover others is my way to resist terrorism.

  • Le 23 juillet 2016 à 18:15, par Nico En réponse à : Lost in translation

    Try to learn italian, it is french, but really simpler. ;)

    The « dictée » in french can be difficult, in Italian, it is quite easy.

  • Le 9 octobre 2016 à 13:55, par twitter En réponse à : Lost in translation

    Theresa May : “If you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere.”
    Nelson Mandela : “We are citizens of the world.”

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