The blog ends here.
My research was to test the links between photography, my creative ability and that of language. To do this I have used the English language, that being the third idiom among those that I speak, but second among those in which I read and write. My English vocabulary is poor, however, compared to Italian, the language in which I write my novels.
The theme of this blog related to that of a young horse, which is to me is emotionally involving. The question was: what results would I achieve in writing a text, with emotional content, with thinking in English, and what differences would it show in respect to an Italian text translated into English?
My graduation thesis on bilingualism is based on conceptualization bound to language. The result is that different concepts occur for the same reality in a bilingual’s mind; a phenomenon sometimes not evident, or so slight as to not to impact daily life. However, this phenomenon can be strong enough to create problems in special cases (Tradursi & Tradirsi, Aracne) .
In the first few posts I tried both ways, first directly in Italian and through the translation into English, but soon I switched to think and write Lucy’s diary directly in English.
I would notice several things, post after post. First, that a picture can inspire stories. One of my strengths is the ability to make connections in an instant, creating a network of nodes that makes the story of which I write. I noticed, however, that the trigger for this network was not given by an image or a situation inspired by photography, but by a word that the picture inspired in me: a word in English. This confirmed to me that I am a woman of letters rather than that of the visual arts, but also confirms that the language is linked to a domain, a phenomenon known to anyone involved with bilingualism. The fact that the world of American Quarter Horses that I attend is related to the English language brought me, over time, to associate horses to the that idiom.
But perhaps the most interesting result of this experiment was in finding that I produced texts that were much softer, with minor color contrasts, with less details and overall “rounder”. The causes for that may be various, but the one that convinces me the most is again related to my equestrian experience. The quiet suggestions given to me by the trainers and the monologues I whispered in my horse’s ears, the announcements at the horse shows and the articles in The Quarter Horse Journal, all in the English language. With time I learned to switch languages depending upon the animal I was relating to: today I basically approach a horse in English and a dog in German. With horses I tend to be sweet and forgiving, with dogs – I trained obedience with all my German Shepherds – I’m rather dominant.
Therefore I would say that I have found a confirmation to another theory, perhaps the most controversial among those I cited in my work about bilingualism and psychology: the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, language affects thought.
Thanks again to Amissa Miller and Terry Talon, two wonderful ladies who helped by editing my posts.