Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Twisted homonyms vs. Californian Spanish? - Jill Binder

Twisted homonyms vs. Californian Spanish?
©2008 Jill Binder

There is a man on stage from California. (I just noticed you’ll never read my handwriting so I better print—it’ll be interesting how it changes my writing.) Half of his poems are in Spanish. Just as he says there is a richness to the language. There are sonorous sounds, melodious trebles, a fluidity to the rush of tongue. English, our Canadian English, sounds chopping in comparison. Not choppy like Cantonese, and certainly not one steady stream of water like Mandarin. We are the in-between. We re the bastard child of many fathers. We have Latin, Greek, Italian, French. We have strange tenses and twisted homonyms. I hear that learning English is one of the most difficult things to do. Why would anyone want to? When they could instead have the soft ballad of Parisian French, or the deep bass of this man’s Californian Spanish. I blame globalization. The U.S. media making American drinks, sneakers, movies, and television cool. English is—what was that European amalgamation language they tried to instate?—English has become that … the language that is not its own but a child bred in back alleys with many dirty lovers.

It has grown up to be the rock star everyone wants to be.

I want to be this man’s Californian Spanish.

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