Back to Spanish

I’m back to writing my research articles in Spanish, and what a joy, what a relief! It’s like coming in from the cold and immersing myself in a bath filled with hot water.

I love English and all but it is so hard for me to do without wordiness. I’m wordy by nature and struggling to find the most concise way of saying everything I need to say (which is the requirement of a good style of writing in English) is very painful. In Spanish, the sentences just go on and on and on. You don’t have to make them stop until you are really ready to do so.

And the indefinite phrases? “It is crucial to recognize. . .”, “It is necessary to keep in mind. . .” Oh, how I love them.

About these ads

4 comments on “Back to Spanish

  1. Your post seems to imply that wordiness is expected/normal style in Spanish writing. This surprises me, as I am pretty sure that, considering only simple subject-verb-(object) sentences, and linguistic word counts as a measure, Spanish is inherently less wordy than English.

      • It would not be unreasonable, surely, to assume that a similar written tradition dominates in the Russian style as well, as the florid bombastic (though those who are more modest among us might well prefer to refrain from such value laden judgements in favor of a more purely descriptive and less harsh label such as that that ‘intricate’ presents us with) style seems to dominate in southern and eastern europe with only the by turns, scenic, desolate and overcrowded Germanic northwest having any regard for the homlier, less engaging yet altogether more easily apprehended ideology of ‘plain’ language, which degrades intellectual discourse to the level of potato farmers who are as stingy and miserly with wordplay and imagination as they are with financial expenditures, leaving the reputed cultural and intellectual center of the old continent, namely France and Germany with an odd mix which refuses to gell into either extreme, though the witty and urbane French are able to infuse a deceptively simple surface with flights of intellectual rigor not much less poetic than the Greeks while the heavy and thudding German syntax defeats all efforts at lyrical expression, remaining mired in a soul-rushing querulous march to the mundane.

        Don’t Russians do the same thing? Generally in Europe more florid writing styles predominate in the south and east. Only the Germanic northwest much likes the idea of ‘plain language’ (the Swedes are particularly taken with it). French and German are somewhere in the middle. French style is based on surface clarity combined with intellectual flights of fancy. The Germans’, however, let their odd and clumsy word order do their intellectual heavy lifing.

      • “It would not be unreasonable, surely, to assume that a similar written tradition dominates in the Russian style as well, as the florid bombastic”

        – Yes!

        “Don’t Russians do the same thing? ‘

        – Yes! This is why I find this style of writing so easy to master and so pleasing to practice. I see that you are one of us, too, eh? :-) :-)

        “It would not be unreasonable, surely, to assume that a similar written tradition dominates in the Russian style as well, as the florid bombastic (though those who are more modest among us might well prefer to refrain from such value laden judgements in favor of a more purely descriptive and less harsh label such as that that ‘intricate’ presents us with) style seems to dominate in southern and eastern europe with only the by turns, scenic, desolate and overcrowded Germanic northwest having any regard for the homlier, less engaging yet altogether more easily apprehended ideology of ‘plain’ language, which degrades intellectual discourse to the level of potato farmers who are as stingy and miserly with wordplay and imagination as they are with financial expenditures, leaving the reputed cultural and intellectual center of the old continent, namely France and Germany with an odd mix which refuses to gell into either extreme, though the witty and urbane French are able to infuse a deceptively simple surface with flights of intellectual rigor not much less poetic than the Greeks while the heavy and thudding German syntax defeats all efforts at lyrical expression, remaining mired in a soul-rushing querulous march to the mundane.”

        – Yeah! That’s what I mean! :-) I have all this except the sense of humor so the whole thing ends up being quite plodding.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s