- Posted 1 week ago
Start of TimeGabrielle Aplin
“In English,” Professor Austin said, “a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn’t a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative.”
A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”
Diagnostics might have more in common with law than science. Legislatures of disease exist in expert panels, practice guidelines and consensus papers. Some laws are unimpeachable, while others may be inaccurate or prejudiced. The same is true in medicine; consider the antiquated diagnosis of hysteria in women. Those affected by unjust diagnoses — like those affected by unjust laws — should protest and help redefine them.Blake Charlton - Defining My Dyslexia
As I sit here and procrastinate from the work I should be doing, I am googling Chinese words and phrases that cannot be translated into English.
In one of my classes yesterday, my professor asked everyone to come up with phrases that cannot be translated. Sounds easy right? Especially for a Chinese speaker, where there is a wealth of characters and phrases that simply do not exist in English. It should not be a difficult task.
So why did I find it so difficult to come up with just one phrase?
As I see the lists that people have posted, I start to cringe and berate myself for not thinking of these earlier and being able to share with the class.
There are so many wonderful words.
Just to name a few.
And possibly one of my favorite words in the Chinese dictionary: 缘
But as I sat there in class…there was a blank in my brain. I couldn’t even think of one word. And as I sit here, procrastinating from my real work, I start to wonder why.
Perhaps it’s because I switch between Chinese and English so seamlessly that it never occurs to me that there are words that cannot be translated. I simply find the phrase that’s closest in English given the context, and I substitute words in a way that I think gets the meaning across best.
And perhaps it’s also because I never really translate between my two languages. There never is a need for me to. If everyone speaks English, why would I suddenly think of a Chinese phrase that cannot be expressed in that language? Similarly, if I’m speaking to family, I tend to turn off my “English brain” and Chinese comes tumbling out.
There are so many more thoughts that are tumbling through my head right now. But I have more work to get to rather than try and write all my thoughts down - maybe another day. But I’m so glad I’m taking this class as it is making me think and reflect on what I know and what I speak. I just wanted to blog about this before I forget everything tomorrow.
And as a person who never shuts up and loves talking, I’m glad that I’m starting to think much more about the words that sometimes simply roll off my tongue without much thought.
- Posted 2 months ago
Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school. They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.
The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.
The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming. The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running.
The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.
At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.
The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.
Does this fable have a moral?
- Posted 2 months ago