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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Acting in a foreign language

Javier Bardem in a recent interview with Andrew O'Hehir at Salon.com had a beautiful way of describing his relationship with two of the languages he speaks. Although he speaks excellent English, he has a very different kind of connection with it compared to Spanish, a much more 'cerebral' connection than Spanish, a language that he has 'lived' more.

Anyways, I thought I'd share with you guys as it's an interesting insight into the different roles a language can occupy in your life:

'Yeah, it makes a difference because it's the mother tongue. You live your life in Spanish and you've suffered and enjoyed and had pleasures and pains in Spanish. Words have an emotional resonance in you, huge emotional echoes, when you're speaking in your own language. You don't think about what you're saying; the words come out of a need to express yourself. When you're speaking in a foreign language, there's like an office in your brain, where people are throwing the words at you. "Give me that word -- I need a verb! I need an adjective!" There's a lot of people working in there, and you have to live with that.'

Thanks to the Daily Dish for drawing attention to the interview.

What's your take on this? Which languages do you speak, and do you have a different 'relationship' with them?