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Friday, February 23, 2007

"That is not true"

Yesterday during an interview for my masters project, one of the students I'm interviewing said something about writing in a second language that kind of blew my mind:

Me: If I write in English, I can feel very confident that I am really expressing myself, that this is me, this is who I am. But if I try to write in Spanish, I almost feel like this isn't really...
Her: It's not true. That is not true. You don't feel that is true.
...
Me: when you turn in your assignment to (your teacher), it's almost like, are you turning in something that...
Her: it's not true for me.

3 comments:

gwen the monster said...

hey joel, i really like this blog. it's a good read!! i like what you said in a more recent post about losing all sense of the word "culture"- i've been stuck in that place for a long time. hopefully reading more of your thoughts here will help me out, or at least make me feel less alone in that sentiment.

as for this post- i don't get it... i'm curious if you can explain what she meant with her original "that is not true" statement. how did she mean that isn't true for you? was she implying that you were lying about how you felt about writing in your mother tongue? i am confused and curious.

Joel said...

howdy Gwen,

"That is not true" in that context was her referring to how she/people in general might feel about second language writing. She meant that writing something in your second language, although you may be trying to get your thoughts across, isn't actually "true" because it's not being written in "your" language -- you can't really express how you feel because you're using someone else's words, if you will. Later she talked about how her English was improving and that perhaps eventually she would be able to feel like what she wrote in English was "true." Makes more sense, I hope. Thank you for reading!

gwen the monster said...

Ohhh, yeah that makes a lot more sense. And that is a very interesting way to put it.