Issue #1 – Love and Language

Issue #1 – Love and Language

ISSUE #1:
This week’s posts celebrate language and love, and the worlds they create.


CONTENTS:
Cuento
Girl is Mother to the Woman
• Native Speaker
De Espaldas
Caribe


NEWS AND NOTES:
If you would like to hear Cuento read aloud, please follow the link to Laura Hurwitz’s podcast The Easy Chair.  Laura invited me to read the story for episode #98.  Don’t mind the alternate title!

Listen: “P.R Story” on The Easy Chair

Cover photo: Puerto-Rican ironwork # 37 courtesy of Bruce Wujcik.


 

Cuento

Cuento

This is the name I wish were mine:
Isabel Betancourt

         It was my grandmother’s name, and it represents all that was lost to me as a child, and what I have recovered, am recovering.  What I embrace, grow into, and propose to myself, to live within every day.

         My grandparents came to New York City from Puerto Rico in the 1920’s. 

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Native Speaker

Native Speaker

I know a woman from Colombia whose first name – Betty – is also a common English name.

Betty is very dissatisfied with the pronunciation her name receives here. She does not recognize  the softer t sound of the middle double consonant, nor can she replicate it. “ Beddy?” she says, “I am always wanting to know who is Beddy.”  She hears and reproduces the English tt sound as dd,

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De Espaldas

De Espaldas

Thinking and living in two languages is an opportunity to reflect on their differences and similarities. This is rarely deliberate for me, rather awarenesses bubble up or something strikes me when I am reading. In the middle of Cormac McCarthy’s ‘All the Pretty Horses’ (which has dialogue in Spanish) I realized the difference connotation makes.

English is an isolating language, according to linguists, which means its words have discrete,

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