March 30, 2012

A Language In Difficult Situations


Pada 27 Maret 2012 lalu, waktu saya ikut kursus bahasa Inggris―ya, saya masih perlu ikut pelatihan semacam ini―di kantor, saya memperoleh suatu pengetahuan yang bisa dibilang baru, ya. Apa itu? Bahwa saat kita tak bisa mengontrol emosi kita, maka kata-kata akan menyembur keluar dari mulut kita. Bukan hanya itu. Di kala kita mengalami situasi-situasi sulit, kita akan berbahasa (berbicara atau berkata-kata) dalam bahasa yang kita kuasai. Amat sukar bagi kita untuk memikirkan bahasa lain.

Bahasa apakah yang kita kuasai saat-saat seperti itu—geram, gundah, getir, atau galau, dan lain-lain?

Mungkin bahasa Inggris.

Atau bahasa Jepang mungkin?

Tentu bahasa Indonesia.

Atau bisa jadi bahasa Rusia, atau Jerman, atau Perancis dengan segala keindahannya.

Atau glosolalia.


I think that we should try to keep the possibilities of language and the richness of language alive. We should avoid cliché or expressions which are shallow. I think that if people lose the ability to use language in a subtle way, then their internal lives will suffer. If they don’t have the words for emotions and reactions to the world, then they can’t have those reactions… we choose words to express our inner state. The difficulty is that it gets out of control. What worries me is that I see the richness of language being weakened. You see people using very shallow functional language when they could be using something richer, something which takes them further, which expands their inner world.
―Alexander McCall Smith

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