translating my world

this week is full of translations and editing jobs. and while translating can be quite tedious, you really learn a lot about yourself and your cultural ideals in the process.

2 examples:

  • have strained the tendon underneath my foot during icy melty winter. called the nurse today to make an appointment and she did not understand what i had done. i was trying to say that i had slipped on the ice, but she could not hear me. i ended up saying this in many different ways and discovered that for some strange reason, i know A LOT of ways to say that i have fallen or otherwise lost my balance. (a reflection on my lack of graceperhaps)
  • working on translating a policy for gender equality. realized i am unsure how to express how a board of directors put a suggestion into practice. do they set a policy? i know that they can appoint people, but not policy. what do they do to the darn policy? (again, a reflection of my becoming a participant in workplace politics only after my move to sweden. i know that in swedish, policy is fastställt.)

one of the reasons i really love language studies is because of how much of a culture is embedded in a language. we form our worlds with language. all the concepts and cultural ideas we have can only be expressed my signs. i would not go so far as to say that we are only capable of thought through language (concepts need names, sort of) or we would not have things like loan words. but then, maybe that is on a meta-linguistic level rather than a language specific ok, i am getting too into tangents now 😛 time to get back to the translation!