Re: reflection on language
Fri, 31 May 1996 23:16:39 +0000

Ana Catina writes:

>Devi asked what does it mean "I shall never learn to cry in another
>language". (In what language do you wish the explanation, Devi?)

to which the only possible answer is "in the language of the heart". (Not
the head. We sometimes do too much of that!); and her response was
certainly of the heart.

I found myself agreeing with her (as I'd suggested in my earlier posting,
when I suggested that at times, my crying in a second language was simply
"crocodile tears").

As she says, there is a depth of association (and thereby, a breadth of
meaning) in a first language which is missing from another language
subsequently acquired, no matter how good one's technical facility in that
second language.

If only because one learns one's first language at one's mother's breast,
as it were.

Kindest regards,