Monday, March 13, 2006

Babel on.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t do well on two or three hours of sleep. That’s a generous estimate for last night.

It’s the fault of language, you see.

Before bed, I watch Cinderella Man and am so fascinated with James J. Braddock’s life that I look online for a birth date so I can see his astrological chart. Then I’m compelled to write excitedly to Mary (of A Breath of Air), who also studies astrology, because I have to share the earth-shattering news that he had a grand square in fixed signs. There was more than that, of course. But even that one sentence, to an astrologer, conveys volumes about the hardness and challenge of a life, and how explosive energy builds up.

I wanted to speak one of my favorite language and be understood. For a woman who claims that words and language lie, I am suspiciously in love with them. After I write Mary, I drift between sleep and waking with the language of astrology rolling through my head…dream-thinking in myth, metaphor and mathematical angles.

I love the sound of spoken Russian, of Spanish, of Irish and Newfoundland accents. I love the English of inner city streets. I like to hear jocks talking sports, musicians talking riffs and keys and nurses talking about operating rooms. And don’t ever get me started with the language of writing…conversation about pushed present tense, word counts, live verbs. You’ll never shut me up.

This morning, checking my various emails, I find a comment on Little Tiny Beads.
Through the grog of the insomniac night, I read:

“Linda, parabéns seus trabalhos são maravilhosos, estou encantada !Beijo no coração !
Marisa – Brasil”

I copy it and haul up Babel Fish Translation. Spanish? No. Portuguese? Bingo.
Babel Fish is a little lax on fine points, but this is what it says:

“Linda, Pretty, congratulations its works are wonderful are magic. Kiss in the heart.”

God. How can you not love language – whatever kind it is? How can you not love how we want so much to communicate with each other.

Kiss in the heart.


Mary said...

Agree with you on language. My favourites, for the sounds alone: Castilian Spanish, Russian, Welsh (on some railways station announcements in Wales they list the stations the trains are calling at in Welsh first, then English - bliss). Irish accented English, Italian. I'm sure there are others as well I've yet to discover.

LJ said...

Welsh. I don't know that one. But I picture it as ... sounding fat bells? Or fairy language. Does it sound like either?

Mary said...

I would describe it as softly guttural. A lot of throaty sounds, but not in any way harsh like some languages

Mary said...

.. as an example - from the recorded station announcements- Cardiff Central station is Gorsaf Caerdydd (pronounced Care-Dith) Canalog. I can't remember what Manchester and Shrewsbury are in Welsh but I know the sounds grabbed my attention at the time ...