The Vast Lexis of English Language

Posted on October 13th, 2006 @ 16:13
Filed Under Reflections, Writing | 1 Comment

As my first post here for the month of October (wow, we’re already on the 13th??), and now that I have a good three weeks of classes behind me, let me tell you that I’ve realized an important fact about English language, that I hadn’t really paid attention to before, when I was ‘only’ reading foreign books for my pleasure:

The English lexis is fricking huge.

It may strike me more now because I’m using both languages—French and English—on a daily basis, and have been for some time. It’s true that when writing in a casual manner, only looking up a couple of words here and there in the dictionary, one doesn’t need to be aware of this difference, but when one then needs to explain texts, pay attention to semantic fields, perform an analysis of a poem, or learn to recognize each and every trope, all of a sudden this ‘novelty’ becomes overwhelming.

For instance, to throw/cast/dispatch/toss… may all be translated in French by the single verb of ‘lancer’, and the latter doesn’t manage to convey all the subtilities of each of their meanings. These are only an example among many, and probably my English-speaking readers here will simply shrug and laugh, wondering what took me so long. The fact remains that it’s all new for me, in that I’m becoming aware of it now only. French language also has its strong points, of course. Nevertheless, I can very well see that when translating a text, often I find myself wondering how I need to modify the French counterpart to convey every detail of the original words, without losing any meaning, yet at the same time without ending up with awkward, leaden sentences.

At the moment, I’m definitely fascinated with this new, conscious knowledge. It seems that large doors kept closed until now are slowly opening, letting me catch a glimpse of everything I’m yet to learn, and that I will learn, being back to a study environment that actually allows me to do so without constraints.

You can bet that as soon as I get to properly master this, my writing in English will jump a good notch.

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One Response to “The Vast Lexis of English Language”

  1. jessica kardon on October 18th, 2006 11:29 pm

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