Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Yoko meshi

From Simon Winchester's foreword to Christopher Moore's In Other Words:

People who are not us — or foreigners, which of course includes us in their eyes too — speak, write, and do things that are alien, mysterious, and impossibly difficult to translate, but which, when explained, often make an awful lot of sense.

And further: The moment you understand the words and phrases and the wonderfully sensible concepts that they frequently encapsulate, you have come some small way toward understanding the people who employ them.

However inclusive English may well be, speakers in the outside world can always show us how much more subtly so their languages can manage to be.

A selection of words in other words is also available at Words without Borders.

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