Disappointment -- No soul? LO12082

Mnr AM de Lange (AMDELANGE@gold.up.ac.za)
Mon, 20 Jan 1997 13:21:20 GMT+2

Suzanne Sauve wrote in LO12057

> Like John, I too am not worried about english becoming the super lingua
> franca of all the cultures. Having one universal language (whichever one)
> will allow for the peoples of the world to understand one another's
> writing and speech. In my experience, this creates bridges that then
> allow us to further explore the depths of our various cultural
> perspectives, other ways of interpreting reality. It creates an automatic
> bond just in the fact that we can indeed communicate. If English does in
> fact become the common tongue, it will no doubt be influenced and enhanced
> by other languages. It's all very exciting and feels very expansive to
> me.

Dear organlearners,

Suzanne, I agree with you when it comes to what I can get by using a
lingua franca. But when it comes to what I want to give in such a lingua
franca, then it is not the same, especially when it concerns the soul. For
example, we should never let something like nazism or apartheid happen to
humans again. But to understand how such things happen, we need to know
especially the 'soul' factor. And often the soul factor is uncovered by
the poems and not the prose at the beginning of such a abominable era.

Let me use the poem as a metaphor. It is much easier to translate a piece
of prose than a poem. Consider the rhyme, rithm, etc as the soul of the
poem. In the translation of a poem its soul usually gets lost. For
example, there is a beautiful poem Winternag (winter night) by E Marais
which reflect the desolated soul of the Boere after the Second Anglo-Boer
war. It is impossible to translate this poem in English. But one reading
of its few lines in Afrikaans (the Boer's language) will open the eyes
THROUGH THE RHYME AND RYTHM to the Boer's soul and the immense forces
eminating there from, forces which eventually took the wrong course and
resulted in apartheid.

As I have said in my contribution, this worry is only my opinion. I am not
very much reminded by it in my communications, except when it matters
'soul' things. However, almost every time when I have to think of great
civilisations like the Egyptian or Roman empires, "I have to agree with my
opinion" that the super lingua franca of such a civilisation was no
guarantee for its survival.

What goes for civilisations, also goes for lesser organisations, as I have
tried to explain in terms of the 'husband and wife' example in my original

Best wishes
- --

At de Lange
Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education
University of Pretoria
Pretoria, South Africa
email: amdelange@gold.up.ac.za


"Mnr AM de Lange" <AMDELANGE@gold.up.ac.za>

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