February 24, 2004

Passing Time

Chores done at Mom's house, not much is left to do except a little business over the web and some surfing. Here's something by Nelson Archer of Europundit, on the difference in thinking and writing in English versus the Romance languages. For we, who are about to immerse ourselves in Spanish/Catalan, this might be the keys to the kingdom:

"The truth of the matter is that, unlike what happens in English, we, who use a Romance tongue, do really appreciate long tortuous periods and, yes, huge paragraphs. A short phrase ?subject, verb, object ? is considered barely literate in Portuguese. But that?s no just a matter of elitism. While most of the advantages that the English language has are, I think, in the realm of semantic adequacy, with the ability of its speaker to find the right adjective for a noun or the right adverb for a verb, since our Romance languages are not so semantically rich or precise, we compensate with the richer nuances made possible by our own richness: that of verbal tenses. But while the advantages of English become more evident in as short a space as possible, those of Portuguese and other Romance language need a wider or longer space to unfold, to show themselves."

(emphasis mine)

Posted by Dennis at February 24, 2004 4:57 PM

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