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[personal profile] foudebassan
From [ profile] esperanto :

Extract: "In esperanto, you can be yourself. In English, non-natives have to imitate a foreign model, knowing that they'll never succeed perfectly. The miracle of esperanto is that you can keep your accent and your way of forming your sentences and yet everybody understands everybody. And no one ever feels inferior, inadequate, or simply foreign." (Claude Piron)

This rings true to me. It's not only about the language, its about the culture behind it. I've had serious trouble with Native English speakers in the past because they linked a word to their own understanding of a peculiar concept, without comprehending that the cultural baggage behind that concept cannot automatically be translated into another language. I believe that on that occasion, they didn't even get what a cultural baggage was - they'd never known anything else than their own limited universe and couldn't possibly translate to another worldview (don't get me started on the consequences of monolingualism and ethnocentrism). And that's when I feel brazen and try to actually assert my Frenchness - usually I just adapt to the mental patterns of English speakers - Brits mostly, as that's where the cultural gap is smallest. Of course, there are those individuals with whom one gets on no matter what and who make it all worthwhile, but on a systemic basic it can get really, really tiresome - not talking to others, just having others take it for granted that you think like them and have you conform to their own mental patterns and take their cultural baggage into consideration. Until I started reading on esperanto, I never occurred to me that communication - provided one took the first step and reached out for others - could be anything else than twisting oneself until one doesn't quite recognise oneself any more. I know better now.

I also need a green flag with star icon.
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foudebassan: (Default)

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