By Arachne

Elephants out of the room

Something I've been working on for a while, that should have been a win-win-win, turned into a lose-lose-lose today. Very dispiriting. I might have been able to rescue it if I'd been dishonest. And I might have got away with it. But I won't ever know that for sure.

This evening we went to an event publicising the work of an inter-university research project called 'creative multilingualism - investigating the interconnection between linguistic diversity and creativity'. 2½ hours filled with talks, activities, encounters and mini-lessons related to translation and multilingualism. Right up my street except... except somehow it didn't hold together. The sessions were rushed or vague or poorly planned or abstruse (like, if you write a poem as a result of your reaction to someone else's poem, that is 'extreme translation'? Um, no.). 

I enjoyed trying to pronounce Turkish and learning that, unlike English, it has a letter representing a schwa (the most common vowel sound in southern-English English, represented by the 'a' at the end of camera or the 'e' in taken or the 'i' in pencil or the 'o' in memory or the 'u' in supply or the 'y' in sibyl or the unwritten sound in rhythm between the 'th' and the 'm'). I enjoyed 'translating' a Bodleian library rule into a poem.

And I was surprised and sad that no-one was exploring language and gender.

Ah well... Happy International Women's Day. 

Black and white in colour 182

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