Saturday, February 05, 2005

Spanish is the language of the soul

I have long believed that each language has its own soul, its own personality. And that when one acquires that language, they acquire that language's soul as well.

For me, the most poetic and most romantic language of all is Spanish. I know many people would disagree – Italian is commonly thought of as the most romantic language – but even though Italian is beautiful, to me it just doesn't have the same depth of soul. Perhaps the difference is that Italian's romantic beauty is more intellectual in a way, whereas Spanish carries with it the sense of earthiness, longing and desire.

A few months ago, I came across this wonderful quote by Carlos Fuentes, who (not surprisingly) feels the same way. He was speaking at the Third World Congress of the Spanish Language:


"Posiblemente el inglés sea más práctico que el castellano. El alemán más profundo. El francés, más elegante. El italiano, más gracioso. Y el ruso, más angustioso. Pero yo creo profundamente que es la lengua española la que con mayor elocuencia y belleza nos da el repertorio más amplio del alma humana, de la personalidad individual y de su proyección social".

"No hay lengua más consonante y más vocal. Escribimos como decimos y decimos como escribimos. ¿Y qué decimos? ¿Qué hablamos? ¿Qué escribimos? Nada menos que el diccionario universal de las pasiones, las dudas, las aspiraciones que nos comunica con nosotros mismos, con los otros hombres y mujeres, con nuestras comunidades, con el mundo."


Translation, with apologies in advance to Mr. Fuentes for any errors in vocabulary or nuance:

"Maybe English is more practical than Spanish. German, deeper. French, more elegant. Italian, more gracious. And Russan, more anguished. But I firmly believe that the Spanish language is the one that with the most eloquence and beauty gives us the broadest range of the human soul, the individual personality, and its social projection.

There is no language more consonant and more vocal. We write the way we speak, and we speak the way we write. And what do we say? How do we speak? What do we write? Nothing less than the unversal dictionary of the passions, the doubts, the aspirations that we communicate with ourselves, with other men and women, with our communities, with the world."

3 comments:

Maria S. said...

Spanish is definately the language of my soul. I think it's the language of my art too. Is that possible ? Can you paint "in Spanish" ? I often wonder about that.

sapere aude said...

I feel the same way about my native language, Chamorro, which has a strong Spanish heritage.

carrie jones said...

¿qué es la verdad?

¡la verdad es que cuando hablo en español, hablo con mi corazón!

soy americano, pero mi alma habla español.