10 September 2009

The word "interlingual"

Interlingual is not a new word. It was used as early as 1854 to mean merely "of, relating to, or existing between two or more languages." The ordinary meaning of the word, however, assumes that meanings do not change when they move from one language to another, as in the definition of the phrase "interlingual rendition" ["A written communication in a second language having the same meaning as the written communication in a first language"]. Wikcritics know that meanings change when expressed in different languages. There is no such thing as an exact translation of anything. That is why, when a poet uses a word from another language in a work using mainly one language, new nuances are introduced that are not present in the main language. When wikcritics use the word interlingual, they refer to a negotiation between two or more languages, rather than just a relation between them.

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