A big part of every culture is the language, or languages, commonly used. So books where a character from one country spends time in another, are likely to contain words and phrases most readers won’t be familiar with.
As this week marked International Translation Day, it seems like a good time to explore how stories with phrases from another language can benefit readers.
Find an Escape
Hands up if you could use a little escapism right now! When we are completely immersed in a story, we escape our everyday lives. Having to focus on something new – like a few words and phrases of a different language – requires a higher level of concentration. It draws you in and makes you feel more like you are actually there. And once you are there (wherever there happens to be), you are not thinking about anything that’s going on here!
Give Your Feelings a Break
If you’ve been feeling one particular emotion a lot lately, a book can help you give that emotion some time off, by replacing it with a different feeling for a while.
Language can add all sorts of emotions to a scene. If all the phrases are explained in your own language, you may feel quite comfortable. On the other hand, it can be bewildering if the character has no idea what they are being told, either! It can also be exciting, if the character is learning as they go.
Learning keeps our brains active and helps us to feel good about ourselves. It may be just a taster of a language but it can help you decide whether you would like to learn more, or if you would like to try a different language instead.
A different language can get you thinking about where you might possibly be using those words and phrases in the future. It might not happen for a while, but one of the best parts of any trip is the anticipation. Even if you will never actually go, just thinking about the possibility of something amazing happening in your future makes you feel more optimistic in the present.
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