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Ayesha Sayed

Student, UAEU

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As a trilingual or bilingual, what role does language play in the creation of your identity? Which language do you think in?

I've grown up speaking 3 very diverse languages, I feel that they've created three distinct worlds in me. I find myself moving in and out of not only languages but cultures as well.
What role do languages play in your life? Do you find yourself thinking in more than one language?

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    Jan 15 2012: I am bilingual and think dream and speak in my adopted language (Italian). I have trouble writing in Italian however, and am often blocked (like today), unable to get the stuff out of my head and on to the page or screen. Probably I am afraid of the permanence of the written word, of the idea that I may be making simple grammatical mistakes. When I speak in Italian it is like singing, I can adapt and move and express myself freely.

    I hosted an event with the Italian philosopher, Carlo Sini, this summer and he made an excellent comparison of language and culture to machines, to automata that exist outside of ourselves, we learn how to use them, some with mastery, but they are prosthetic devices to transfer our ideas from our brains to others' brains. I think I have mastered only the "real-time" version of my adopted language.
    • Jan 17 2012: Thomas
      Interesting post. Does he have any papers on the web?

      I am not sure I totally agree. I think we can place ourselves into another language-culture. It is just hard.

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