A lot of what we know today, we take for granted. We do not think about how we came to understand certain topics, such as language. In class this past week, Professor Jankovic discussed the origin of translation. Many words have different meanings, upon translating them from one language to another, the meaning can be lost. When translating, it is not as simple as a word for a word. In order to objectively translate something correctly, the context of the situation is important to consider as well. Doctor Denham touched on this in his section of the lecture when he discussed the translation of the poem. Many of the german words in the poem had multiple different meanings when they were translated to english. He had to choose which definition best fit the situation.
Before this past week’s lecture on translation I had never really thought about the words we choose to use. I had never thought about how we have come to know the words we use. Each word has so much power, so many meanings, and the ability to bridge or break worlds. Language allows for people all over the world to communicate, but I never thought about how we communicated before we could understand each other’s languages. I think it is easy for people today to take advantage of what we know without thinking about how we know it. For example, in spanish class sometimes I come across a word that means one thing, however another word can also mean the same thing. Thus it is important to not only translate, but also consider the context of the translation. This was another concept I had never really thought about: how the right word is chosen for a situation.