08 September, 2005

Fencing with Words

Helped a work colleague edit a paper he wants to submit about digital storytelling systems. It is a lot of fun working with him because he has to be the quickest “learner” I know when it comes to writing scientific papers in English.

Over the past twenty years, I have spent days and days trying to explain to German colleagues how come their spaghetti texts just won’t “translate”. One thought/ one sentence, subject − verb − object, no convoluted Russian doll sentence structures, consistent terminology… I have gone over all the ground rules again and again. Admittedly, it is hard to go against your language culture: the roots of our language are meshed into all of our thoughts.

So, it is nice, in the case of this colleague, to work with someone who listens and instantly responds. Besides developing digital storytelling systems, he is also an avid fencer. Maybe this allows him to change his language strategies with apparent ease.

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