As an Italian programmer who continuously wants to learn and improve his English I’d like to share this beautiful interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jhumpa Lahiri.
For programmers English is a very important skill. Lots of -the- programming resources available on the Internet are in English: posts, articles, manuals, books; and also video of conferences, meetings and events. Not considering programmers who work abroad or in a multicultural environment.
In this blog I try to write in English because it’s a way to keep me trained with written English. Even if I put my mind to it, I know I make lots of errors. Not only grammar errors but also errors using linguistic structures that a native English would never use. So please excuse any mistakes.
In this context it sounds quite familiar when Jhumpa says «It’s a language that I’m borrowing and that I work with differently. It’s much more delicate relationship, but it’s also shameless.». In fact, every once in a while I can’t avoid feeling a bit uncomfortable fearing the judgment of readers with a better English.
However I can cope pretty well with this uncomfortableness, because writing posts in English is a deliberate choice I’ve made. So I don’t usually feel uncomfortable, just a little shameless :)
In the video interview Jhumpa speaks about the anxiety she felt because of the distance between her own language and Italian. I’ve found very interesting how she was able to calm this anxiety down by accepting that distance and appreciating the good it brought to her: «my gut tells me that this distance is too painful. I want to destroy this distance but it’s not possible. The more I go ahead, the more I try to relax and appreciate the good».
In this post I just wanted bringing to light a little of the emotional element involved in learning a language, or more broadly, approaching a different culture. Jhumpa tells us about her experience in the video above, so don’t miss it.
I hope you enjoyed the video and liked this post :)