Friday, March 7, 2008

Musings of language and writings

Not much of any thing got done today but I have been able to concentrate a bit more on matters of a linguistic flavor.

One thing that I do like about trying to translate texts between German and English is the challenge of it. For the less obvious parts I can generally use a dictionary to split a sentence apart into its words and gather an approximate meaning from it's context. And even if I do manage to figure it out in my head, to try and express my understanding of it in English adds another level to it. Oddly enough, some times it is easier to understand without trying to repeat in English [as if to explain to another] but I enjoy the effort of it to some extent.

I spent some time for my studies but I'm afraid that I'll never make much headway towards proper comprehension *without* having a dictionary handy... The cost of not speaking a language fluently I suppose. But where I live, it is quite simply you speak either English or Spanish and if you know both, much the better.

Often when I am thinking or speaking, if I know how to express it in Deutsch my mind mentally sub-titles it with the sounds and words. An attempt to form word-associations (German word -> known object/thing) and keep the sounds from drifting to far out of memory.

The spelling is not to hard, although I'm generally paranoid about it. With English, even if I can't spell the word to save my life I can generally approximate either the spelling or the sound well enough -- as long as I'm not using a pencil or pen xD.

The difference is, I have enough grasp of English to fudge the spellings without [unintentionally] changing the meanings. Any way you slice it, short of the Bart Simpson method I doubt I'll ever fully be able to express myself verbally in German... In time perhaps I will be able to do so sufficiently in written form.

Although, I admit it is probably a darn good thing that beyond a keyboard I don't write things in German. With my 'chicken scratch' I don't think I would ever recover from it laugh out loud. A mild curse of using a keyboard at a typing pace which matches how quickly I can think words; the slow-downs are caused my brain keeping pace with my fingers, rarely if ever the other way around... When you start trying to use a pen/pencil to write things afther that it can get very messy. In my case, often around pauses caused by my hands falling to far out of sync with my mind or smudgification around typographical errors while I remember pens lack both the ability to insert words between words the way text editors can and there is no backspace key, only white-out ^_^

Is it a wonder almost all of my documents are written in Vim? I can't read my handwriting two weeks later if it's more then a few bits. The sad thing, before 40-60+ hours a week behind a keyboard became a norm for me, I used to have better handwriting then most people I've met but twice as bad spelling hahaha !!!

And even with how dilapidated my hand writing has become through computing, it is still clearer and more concise then my teachers handwritting :\, hey at least mine can be legible if I paid attention <_<.

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