The Miracle of Language

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Danke! Thank you! Merci! Grazie! Gracias! Dank je wel!

Every language has its own beauty and miracle. Only a native user can feel them. Language is such a miraculous thing. A language isn’t just words and alphabets. It isn’t merely a medium of communication. A language carries the culture.

Translation cannot be the substitute of the original work. Translation is an option. Because for one person it isn’t possible to learn so many language and without translation we would be deprived of getting to know so many beautiful works because of the language barrier. Thanks to translation, I got to read so many famous classics by foreign writers, I could listen to music of various languages.

Translation converts the work. It makes you understand the work in your own way. But it cannot make you feel the original work. That is why these days Muslims are being encouraged to learn quranic Arabic to read the Quran in its original language. Because it will help them not only understand but also feel the book.

I came to realize something while translating (or in my words, rewriting) some of my short stories. Not only the language was different, the whole vibe of the story changed when I translated it from English to Bengali. How could I describe it...like when the story was English, the couple in the story was like a foreign couple. And when it was translated into Bengali, they felt like a Bangladeshi couple. I didn't change the setting, the storyline or anything. I just changed the language. That is why I said a language carries the culture. The English language reflects the global culture, while my mother tongue carries my own culture.

There is another thing. When I write in English, I understand what I am writing. When I write in Bengali, I feel each and every word. It is something that only a writer can feel. I hesitate to pen them down because I feel them. I become a part of them.

Here lies the miracle and beauty of language.

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