I thought that after five posts I should (finally) write something in English.
I’m losing my grasp of literary English. While I started reading a lot of classics in my own language(s), English remains mostly a way to convey information – this can be explained by the fact that most contacts with it happen on the internet, blogs, /b/-like places, mostly hacking-related IRCs and forums. Not really surprised that I don’t feel English, like a language. I see it more like blocks of information, I use the same words, the same way to structure sentences. Which feels very very primitive, dull, and uninspiring. Also it has been brought to my attention that I overuse smileys and the word “I”, and that’s true. I should read more fiction and quality literature, maybe read a book or two about writing.
If I go deeper – I technically know 5 languages, three of them upper-intermediate level (I’m forgetting Italian; I understand it 100%, I can speak it, but my grammar remains on the level of a third-grader) but essentially none of them is mine. I think in four languages, dream in four languages, take notes in four languages. I always feel constrained. Whatever I say or write feels synthetic to me, not sure how about everyone else.
I keep getting the same problems when communicating with people (especially with something more interesting than “hi, how are you”) – I need to translate the concepts, ideas, thoughts I have to one language. Which is always hard.
The same words in different languages bring totally different associations and thoughts, subtle differences in sound, meaning. Not just semantically, but on a psychological level. For example, let’s take the beautiful German word Gestalt. It just can’t be translated normally to other languages – wikipedia says it’s the “essence or shape of an entity’s complete form”, in reality it goes deeper than that, it’s a mentality thing, can’t be translated as one word (and rather hard to explain in less than ten).
Now, I wanted to think about the website, which looks just beautifully right now. I have a simple design drawn in pencil, need to start translating it into code.
Regarding the content, I can write some scripts in PHP, for fun. Like:
- A bad translator analogue that works. I’ll need to look into Google Translate API for this, remember JSON, look into other variants.
- Crossed out text generator. A lot of them exist, so shouldn’t be too hard to do, I’ll need to look into Unicode and encoding in general to do this.
- Something to do with Twitter’s API. Also I need to dig out my old Twitter bot source, since a few people benefited from it I might as well open source it officially.
- I’ll add more ideas here as they come.
That’s all for now.
Also, another thing – I love how while I’m practically failing at school subjects, I voluntarily create myself problems to give myself opportunities to understand computer-related stuff deeper. Sadly, at the end of the year KPI’s gonna be more interested in my Ukrainian literature knowledge than computer skills, which makes absolute perfect logic sense, as everything in this country. I need to concentrate on what really matters, Ukrainian literature in this case. #plansfor2013.
Also, if I go back to the language thing for a minute – if you want something you can’t translate to other languages without losing any of the meaning/sarcasm/subtext, try this (mildly inappropriate):