Hihii! I hope all is well in your universe and you are happy 🙂
Ever since I was young (think 7-8), languages have always been something I enjoyed studying. From the beginning, I had a knack for learning them. I would try to learn Korean the best I could from the short visits I had from my halmoni and the korean dramas we would watch, and I could pick up on the phrases and accent pretty quickly. It was the same with Japanese when I began to study it on my own (I hated waiting for the subtitled versions of the anime episodes and the english versions of the manga I would watch and read, so I decided one morning to learn a whole new language all because I was impatient). Then came french, (my strongest language as of right now), which was so much fun to learn I was obsessed with french music at that time. Finally came Arabic on a whim in college, since I thought the writing was pretty and wanted to know more about it.
There’s something special in each language that speaks to me, kind of like the feeling you have when learning to ride a bike. Once you have the basic rules down, you can ride smoothly without training wheels. Then, with some bravery and practice, you’ll get to the point where you can lift your hands off the handlebars and still keep your balance. I get the same feeling when learning a new language. The grammar is your rule book, and the vocabulary is your bike. A little bit of practice and determination will get you far.
Because of this love of languages, I’ve dabbled in translating things here and there for my own enjoyment. When I read or listen to another language, I’m automatically translating things in my head, but I don’t typically write it down. So, this is something I’d like to try to put out, and see how they turn out. Please please comment and let me know your thoughts on how you might translate these passages, and if you enjoy learning languages too, let me know! I love practice buddies.
For the next few months, I’ll be working through the book Féline by Bu Hui-ryeong, which is a book about a stray cat and a lonely kid who learn to go through their solitude lives together, learning from each other. It has been a wonderful book to read and I absolutely love the story. It’s a very sweet book, and I highly recommend for those that would enjoy a short yet profound book to enjoy on the weekend when you have the time (and you can read french).
Ch. 1 (part 1)
Longtemps, j’ai hésité. Allais-je continuer à mener une vie errante et vagabonder dans les rues à la recherche de ma mère, ou bien devais-je apprivoiser un humain pour me faire nourrir et héberger en toute sécurité? Et puis j’ai rencontré cette fille, et toute mon indécision a fondu comme neige au soleil.
Après la brusque disparition de ma mère, j’ai dû me battre seul contre la peur. Le manque de nourriture, je pouvais à peu près le supporter, car même au temps où je vivais avec ma mère, je mangeais rarement à ma faim. Je ne suis pas comme ces clébards hirsutes et goinfres qui léchent servilement les bottes de leurs maîtres. Moi, je mange pour vivre; je ne vis pas pour manger.
Lorsque le lait maternel n’a plus suffi à me remplir le ventre, ma mère m’a appris à chercher de quoi me nourrir: éventrer les sacs en plastique, ouvrir les poubelles, dénicher les endroits fréquentés par les souris, repérer les ruelles où abondent les déchets alimentaires. Pourtant, même après avoir appris toutes ces techniques de survie, je n’ai pas chassé en solitaire. Ce n’est qu’après le départ de ma mère que j’ai dû me débrouiller tout seul pour trouver le gîte et le couvert. Se procurer de la nourriture s’avérait plus difficile que je ne l’avais imaginé, mais j’arrivais tout de même à survivre tant bien que mal, car chaque quartier offrait ses poubelles, et parfois des gens déposaient au coin des rues des restes de leur repas pour les chats de gouttière comme moi.
Chapter 1 (translation)
For a long time, I hesitated. Was I to continue leading a life of a vagabond, wandering through the streets in search of my mother, or should I be content to taming a human to feed me and provide me a safe shelter. Since I met this girl, all my doubts had melted like snow in the sun.
After the sudden disappearance of my mother, I fought my fear alone. The hunger for food, I could almost bear it, since even when I had lived with my mother, I rarely ate my fill. I am not like these shaggy and gluttonous mutts slavishly bootlicking the shoes of their masters. Me, I eat to live; I don’t live to eat.
When my mother’s milk no longer sufficed to fill my belly, my mother taught me how to find things to eat: to cut open the plastic bags, to open the trash bins, to unearth spots heavily frequented by mice, to spot the streets with an abundance of leftover food. However, even after having learned these survival techniques, I had never hunted alone. Only after my mother had left did I learn to get by on my own to find safe cover. Procuring food was a lot more difficult than I ever imagined, but I came to survive all the same to the best of my abilities, for every street offered garbage bins, and sometimes people would toss their leftovers to the sides of the street for alley cats like me.