Articles in English, Blog

A short note on language

I ended up doing translation work because I looked for an additional way to earn my living. But in fact there is nothing accidental about it since it fits perfectly with my recurrent obsession about language and how it works. Oftentimes when I translate a text my mind becomes blocked and I experience some sort of cognitive dissonance. All of a sudden I don’t understand the connection between one word and another, although in a “normal” state of mind it would make perfect sense.

I’ve said it before, that language strikes me as a bunch of gibberish, and that there’s actually nothing logical about it. I find it extremely abstract and in many regards arbitrary. It only works within an accepted framework, but the framework itself, along with its rules, is very arbitrary. Because I could very well come up with a whole new language, with a whole set of different rules – and it would still work. Language only works because we charge it with certain commonly accepted meanings, but in itself it has no meaning. Between language and life there is a chasm, which the mind and its mechanism of abstraction (which is its modus operandi) covered with an equally abstract blanket.