das Gleiche mit anderen Worten / the same in other words

ich schreibe meinen Blog seit einiger Zeit auf deutsch und englisch. In einem Kommentar zu einem meiner letzten Einträge bemerkte Marjojo, dass sie das Übersetzen schwer findet. Das ist eine Sache, die mir schon lange durch den Kopf geht und sich verstärkt, eben, seitdem ich versuche, mich in beiden Sprachen auszudrücken: man sagt nie genau das Gleiche! Je mehr ich mich im Englischen zuhause fühle, umso mehr fällt mir auf, dass es nicht nur verschiedene Worte für die Dinge gibt, sondern auch verschiedene Schwingungen...eine andere Sprachmentalität.....vielleicht wird man auch ein Stück ein anderer, wenn man sich in einer neuen Sprachwelt bewegt. Das ist faszinierend: oft verstehe ich, was jemand sagt und erfasse aber vielleicht nicht, was er meint...hinter den Worten.
Umberto Eco hat ein Buch darüber geschrieben...wie geht es euch damit?
it's a while, that I write my blog in German and English. In one of the comments to one of my last posts , Marjojo mentions, that she finds it difficult to translate. That's one thing I'm thinking about for a while now and which concentrates with the attempt to express myself in both languages: you don't ever say exactly the same! The more I feel myself at home in the English language, the more I recognize, that there are not only other words for the things, but also a different vibration...a different mentalitiy of the languages... perhaps you also become somebody different,if you move into another language-universe. It's fascinating: often I can understand, what somebody says without coming along with what exactly he's meaning...behind the words.
Umberto Eco has written a book on this....what do you think?


cruststation hat gesagt…
This is such a fascinating insight. I believe that a good translator can translate words in the best way in relation to its full meaning and emphasis. Often words cannot be directly translated from one language to another, and if you did would not make sense. I love this painting.
redredday hat gesagt…
i agree with Crustation and also with what you say about understanding through what's behind the words.
the other day, my bf and i were just in a heated debate about whether words are enough to express everything. i think it is and he didn't. how could they not when books are the best things in the world?!! (well, i think).
so finally, we concluded that it is more what's between the lines, behind the words, as you say, that really does the work. he came up with the metaphor of how it is like the space inside the vase and around it that gives shape to it that could be more telling than the vase itself. smart one there. isn't that we learn in art class? negative space is the way to go, man. ;).

that is true with any languages, isn't it? but i kind of know what you mean about becoming a different person when you're in a different language mode. it seems like there are some things you could only describe precisely in one language and not another. even though my chinese is not as good as my english, there are moments when i just could not find the english words for what i am thinking in chinese. sometimes, it's not really the actual words that you're looking for, but that sense of things, and i think it is because of the difference in vibration of the languages that you mentioned, Uschi. couldn't pinpoint what before but now i think that must be it more than anything else.

and what a wonderful image of the figures in your painting. makes me feel good just looking at it. they remind me of that children's story of the 4 or 5 chinese brothers (forgot the exact title). now i really understand why you like watercolor so much. you do it so naturally and seemingly so effortless!
O L G A hat gesagt…
Dear Uschi,
I wrote here a while ago... but it is not here.

I feel I become another persona when I swich languages.

Wishing you a GOOD day.

I like your painting wich is ...like watching a dance.
Uschi hat gesagt…
Olga, here is the comment you originally made...don't know why it didn't work..:

Lovely painting. It´s like a dance.
I´ve often wondered how come you´re so good at English. Tell me!
Yes I feel very different when I am swiching languages. Not so much when I write as when I speak.
I didn´t think at first that my blog would feel very different when I decided to swich from Swedish to English. But looking back at it, it does. It was better in Swedsh. Had more nuances allthough I was using a very "simple" language there as well...
julie hat gesagt…
Firstly, i love your painting...and with regards to languages...i really understand this thing of being two people..i think about this almost everyday as i live not in my mother tongue. I have less confidence...i also see it with my husband when he talks in English..

Wonderful interesting thoughts xx
Uschi hat gesagt…
Hi! Thanks for the feedback!
Mien, I think, words can be enough, but they're not all. It is much more difficult to express a mood for example in a letter or an e-mail because you cannot use mimic or gesture. Books are among the best things, but two people reading the same book may have totally different impressions or feelings on it.
I like the metaphore of the vase. It's what Magritte meant, painting a pipe and writing "this is not a pipe" onto the picture...
My main point is the vibration, yes. It's difficult to describe, but using English gives me the feeling of a little humour as a base of everything and my own German language occures to me as more "serious".
crusty, it's what I think to: you have to translate this"vibration" of the whole text, not only words!
Olga, it is a profit for me to run this blog in two languages, gives my English a blast. Wouldn't this be a possibility for you, too?
But I recognize, that very few people are commenting in German, which I find, is a pity!
But, one point is: I'm very used to write English now, but to speak, for example on the phone...I'm sure, this would be a disaster..adrenaline everywhere...Julie, I think that's what you meant with less confident??

I LOVE that you like this picture!!!
Caty hat gesagt…
I totally agree with you Uschi! A language is a world!
Different ways to express and different ways of thinking. Different "new" words: languages have words to name not always the same things or actions.

Behind the words are cultures as well, millenniums of experiences. and feelings.

As Olga says, is nuances (so important!) that are very easy to express in your own language and not so in others

Very interesting post!
Anonym hat gesagt…
Schön zu lesen, wie ein Laie durch Selbstbeobachtung ein Gefühl für Sprache(n) entwickelt und dafür, dass Übersetzen mehr ist als das Ersetzen von Wörtern einer Sprache durch Wörter anderer Sprache. Nicht ohne Grund haben sich die meisten Philosophen mit Sprache und dem Übersetzen befasst, praktisch und theoretisch, und sind - vor 2000, 200, 20 Jahren oder heute - zum gleichen Ergebnis gekommen, sei es nun Goethe, Schleiermacher, Schopenhauer oder Humboldt (und natürlich die Philosophen anderer Zeiten und Kulturen, wie etwa Umberto Eco).
...Peinlich ist aber die vor allem im Deutschen allenthalben zu beachtende Tendenz, auf Englisch kommunizieren zu wollen - und dabei genau das zu machen, was man als unzutreffend erkannt hat: Wörter durch Wörter zu ersetzen und dabei ein "Englisch" zu produzieren, dem man sofort anmerkt, dass es inklusive Zeichensetzung nur ein Deutsch mit anderen Wörtern ist. Muss man denn jede Radebrecherei ins weltweite Netz stellen?

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