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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Discussion Details

Title: Literary Analysis in Non-native Language
Submitter: nayyer chandella
Description: All literary texts raise problems of interpretation. That is all the more
true when these texts come from a foreign culture and have obviously not
been written for us. The question is: how can we determine when our
understanding of a literary work stops? There always seems to be a gap that
cannot be bridged, a kernel that will always resist us. What is the exact
nature of the foreign referents, of modes of symbolization we are not
familiar with, of a memory which is not ours? It is commonly accepted that,
even though mankind is one, cultures are irretrievably divided. Can a
foreign writer tell us something that will be relevant for us about
ourselves, the others, the world the divine, etc.? The problem clearly also
has pedagogical consequences, especially for students who study literary
works written in a foreign language.
Date Posted: 23-Jul-2007
Linguistic Field(s): Ling & Literature
Language Specialty: None
LL Issue: 18.2214
Posted: 23-Jul-2007

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