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Introduction

So, it’s a bit weird to do an introduction as the fourth post on a blog instead of the first, but that’s where we’re at, since I completely forgot to write an introduction when I started this blog and went straight for the interesting stuff. Well, better late than never.

My name’s Rick, and I write about translation, language learning, and linguistics. I recently graduated with a BA degree in Japan Studies, and am preparing for a MA degree in translation. I’ve always been interested in languages and linguistics, and spent hours as a teen looking through Omniglot, just reading random pages. I love learning about languages, as well as teaching them. I’m a tutor for English to middle and high school students, and gave a workshop on basic Japanese at my old high school a few years ago.

My main interest in translation is the theory behind it. Actually translating is a lot of fun, but I love analyzing translations and translation theories even more. On this blog, I will be mainly writing about topics I’ve come across while translating or studying, as well as my thought process behind these topics.

As for my language goals: I hope to one day speak ten languages, and I’m hoping to achieve five languages within the next three years. I currently speak Dutch and English, am pretty good (but not fluent) in Japanese and German, and have just picked up Hindi again after taking a semester of it in uni and then forgetting about it for two years.

I’m always open to talk about translation and languages, so feel free to leave comments and ask questions, I’ll be happy to respond! Finally, I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it.

6 replies on “Introduction”

Hi! I love your blog, and I hereby join it. I too love linguistics, though I am not diving as deeply into it as you (I stopped short of an MA). I speak English, Indonesian, a minority language of Indonesia (Siang), a smattering of French, German, and Latin, and I used to be fluent in basic Spanish but that has been wiped out since by my learning Indonesian.

Also, I have Dutch-American grandparents. Their families were from Friesland. Fresian is weirdly similar to English, I’m told. Between that and having studied German, I was able to more or less decipher the Dutch phrases on one of your other posts.

I am in the process of indie publishing a novel that features a monolingual situation … a man has to live with a group of people whose language he doesn’t speak.

Nice to meet you.

Thank you!

Yeah, knowledge of Fresian and German is enough to at least decipher the basics of Dutch. Fresian has always been weird to me, as I can sort of understand it, but on the other hand, don’t understand it at all.

That sounds interesting! Are you planning to write what those people say in English so the reader can understand, or are you going to write it so the reader, like the main character, doesn’t know what they’re saying?

If I may ask, what country are you currently living in?

I couldn’t write an entire book where most of the dialogue is unintelligible to the reader. πŸ™‚ That might appeal to linguists, but not to the average reader I think. The book uses multiple first-person perspectives so that we can see things through the eyes of the man who can’t communicate with the others, and also through the eyes of the group that is caring for him, so we know what each character thinks is going on. Characters might be confused about what’s happening, but I try not to confuse readers. πŸ˜‰

Speaking ten languages would be an impressive achievement! πŸ™‚
I’m trying to learn basic Arabic at the moment. It’s definitely a challenge to learn a language that has a totally different alphabet. It makes me understand how my Arabic-speaking English learners must feel.
How do you learn languages? Do you teach yourself and use apps to learn?

Learning a language with a different alphabet is a challenge, but it’s much more fun to me than learning a language with the same alphabet.
My native language is Dutch, I learned English and German in middle and high school, and learned Japanese at university. I also took a semester of Hindi at university, but right now I only teach myself Hindi using apps and the textbook I bought for class.

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