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English Essay

3934 words - 16 pages


Simplified intro that only highlights the prompt ideas plus includes the RD DN quotation frame
In Rios essay entitled “Translating Translation: Finding the Beginning” he uses the metaphor of binoculars to explain how bilingualism works. He says, “I often talk about the duality of language using the metaphor of binoculars, how by using two lenses one might see something better, closer, with more detail.” (Rios 506) Both, the older and younger generations in the 21st century are experiencing a similar kind of “bilingualism”. By straddling both sides of literacy, print and digital, we are in a way in two different linguistic worlds at once, with one foot in one and our other foot in the other.
In the same way that Rios suggests that with two languages being used simultaneously, it would improve how we understand and perceive the world, it also applies to the two languages of my generation, which is print literacy and digital technology. In today’s society, we are experiencing a constant conflict between the two. Our conflict can be said to be between the older and younger generations, in that although we are in the same world as each other, we are speaking two different “languages”. Neither side is trying to understand the other; we are experiencing a struggle between the native speakers of print literacy and the newcomers of digital technology.
In Rios essay, he brings up a particular instance that relates to our situation right now. He mentions an instance when his English-speaking mother tries to see from one of the lenses of the binoculars in order to attempt to see the whole picture. He states, “My mother when asked what color she wanted the kitchen said to the workers… limon”, thinking that she is asking for the color lemon. He continues, “…we came back the next day, the kitchen was painted bright green, like a small jungle. Mexican limones,” Rios explains, “are small and green” (Rios 506). The lesson is that when one language confronts the other, misunderstandings occur.
These difficulties arise because as Rios states, "we forget that words aren't simply what they mean--they are also physical acts. The body itself speaks a language differently, so that moving from one language to another is more than translating words. It is getting the body ready as well. It's getting the heart ready along with the mind." (Rios 506) In order to speak another language, we use more than just our mind, but our hearts and bodies are involved in the process as well. I can understand the idea that we use much more than our minds when we communicate because when I was in high school I took Spanish, and I found that just memorizing the words were not just enough, I needed to live the language, and to learn how it behaved. Each word needed to fall off my tongue correctly, or the meaning of it could be completely skewed. I found this observation also to be true with basketball when I was learning how to play. In my mind, I thought I had everything down but...

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