Reimagining Language and Our Own Stories
How can we write about language in a way that feels meaningful? Try out this prompt from instructor Jenna Tang to use language as a lens through which to tell stories.
Stories about our languages matter. The shapes of the words, the languages that brought us to different places in the world, and how they bond us with our close ones shape the way we are on a deep, emotional level. I like to think about all the languages I have relationships with as my “home languages” instead of my “native language,” “second language,” or “acquired language,” because they are part of my journey of pursuing a sense of belonging.
’t miss the opportunity to sign up for Jenna’s upcoming workshop! Class begins in February.
Jenna Tang is a literary translator based in New York. She translates from Chinese, French and Spanish. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. Her translations and essays are published in Restless Books, Latin American Literature Today, AAWW, McSweeney's, Catapult and elsewhere. Her interviews are at World Literature Today and Words Without Borders. She is a selected translator for the 2021 ALTA Emerging Translators Mentorship with a focus on Taiwanese prose.
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I often think about translation as a standalone language—without it, we all become our own islands, floating on a vast ocean without ever coming across each other.