I wonder how you say ‘jet lag’ in Italian. There should be a more beautiful word to describe why I am awake at this hour of glittering sunlight in a quiet city of red tile roofs and wrought iron balconies. I listen to conversations that sound foreign, yet familar, filtered through my understanding of Spanish, rather than any true grasp of Italian. It seems an odd translation. Not one of language, but it feels instead like a shift through a spatial transformation matrix, as if all languages could be visualized as surfaces in some n-dimensional space.

2 thoughts on “language transformation

  1. “as if all languages could be visualized as surfaces in some n-dimensional space.”

    Couldn’t they? I see n=2: free-flowing multilanguage glyphs on the page surface, implying a chorus of vibrations underneath.

    The Mayan language, like Japanese, includes iconographic glyphs as well as phoenetic glyphs and numbers. Maybe word vibrations naturally clump in the mind and produce pictures. Phoenetic (phoenecian?) languages like English settle for word-icons, which Hrant Papazian calls ‘boumas’ – nonpictorial but recognizable.

    I’m just saying, a return to iconized vibrations wouldn’t kill anybody. At this point, different clumps for spanish/english/arabic/japanese do more to separate us than to aid communication.

What do you think?