Lost in Translation – my dyslexic journey

I’ve always said, if I ever have a boat, I will call it Lost in Translation. Because, even when we speak the same language, words and meanings get misinterpreted. As an funny example, look at this he scene from the movie Lost in Translation, where Bill Murray plays the star in a whiskey ad in Japan. The scene is with a Japanese director and interrupter and Bill Murray.

I and my family have hosted kids from Japan and Germany.  Even when they felt like their English was very good, they all understood less than they thought because your  language is all about nuance.  

brush image by LLGriffin

As a young working adult, I decided to study the Italian language. But as I progressed, my teacher thought I might be dyslexic. At the time, the teacher’s comment kind of made sense.  As a kid they labeled me a slow-reader, therefore learner.  But I was never formally diagnosed.   I stopped taking Italian because I had just gone to Italy and soon after that trip my mom died.  

Anyway, I didn’t look in to my teacher’s suggestion that I could be dyslexic.  That is, until years later when I returned to study of Italian  because I started the quest of getting my dual-citizenship and wanted to look into spending part of my time in Italy.

To begin my renewed study, I found a local ten – week course in which the teacher used a traditional textbook.  The small group of other students seemed a bit perfectionistic, which was intimidating.  I made it up to the 7thlesson and I then I just didn’t want to go anymore.  While trying to focus on the next lesson, a dread came over me  because this very structured approach made me feel like I’m never going to “get it” Remembering what my former Italian teacher said, I wondered if I really was dyslexic. 

So, like a train shifting tracks, I started researching dyslexia instead of practicing Italian.  I learned I had many of the benchmarks of the learning disorder. 

brush image by LLGriffin

It turns out that 15% of the world’s population has dyslexia and many kids and adults aren’t identified.  But more research has been done since I was a kid.  The result?  We’ve learned that for centuries, dyslexics have invented strategies and workarounds to navigate school, work, ands life in general.  And now, many resources are available to help. 

I still want to learn Italian, but I’ve realized that my approach has to be different than the traditional class room.  Scouring the internet, and I’m in a DIY dual-citizen group they also have a subgroup for language learners.  I’ve found a lot of interesting apps for mobile devices and computers, all of which take new approaches to language instruction.  I like Duolingo, Clozemaster, Busuu, and  Fluent Forever – each for different reasons.  The Linkword Languages app is specifically for dyslexics but anyone could benefit.  There’s even an object-spotting game called June’s Journey which you can play in several languages including Italian and German.  What a great vocabulary builder!  Of course, all have plusses and minuses, and some flow better than others.  But I practice with at least one of them every day.  I began to like learning again – so much so that I recently signed up for another class – but this time, it’s a literature class with a different teacher and a different group of students that know I’m dyslexic.

So, my strategies are now a bit eclectic.   I use passive listening, such as podcasts and music playlists on Spotify, and the app lyric training as well as short videos that have the Italian subtitles on youtube and the language learning apps I use listed above. I also need to practice speaking, and so I met an Italian teacher on the web via an app called iTalki   where you can meet on Skype and have a lesson.  After my first lesson, she said that I knew a lot and I needed to have courage – or maybe she meant confidence – to speak and share what I know.  

snapshot cuore by LLGriffin

A few lessons later, I was explaining in Italian about my quest for Italian dual-citizenship, and how success depends on accurate genealogy through my maternal grandmother.  Which is a 1948 case. It seemed like I was talking forever.  But when I finished my story, and asked the teacher (in English) if she had understood me, she said, Yes!! 

I was understood!

he’s dying … does that mean he gets a pass?

He’s dying, is a line from the movie Kodachrome – film on Netflix. The line implies that even through he was a difficult person you should put that aside and spend time with him.

If family relationships weren’t so challenging, and if we didn’t have such a difficult time talking about and preparing for death, spending time with a dying family member might not be a big ask.  Sadly, however, they are, and we do. In Kodachrome, Matt Ryder reluctantly drives his dying father, to whom Matt hasn’t spoken in ten years, across the country to the last photo shop in America that can still process the father’s decades-old rolls of undeveloped Kodachrome film.

Kodachrome

Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity” – Pema Chodron


Being stuck with the pain of not having the relationship you wanted may keep you from being in the relationship that’s available.  We get to choose.

The set-up from WikipediaMatt Ryder is an A&R representative at a record label who is in danger of losing his job after his company’s biggest client signs with another label. His father’s assistant and nurse Zooey Kern arrives at his office and informs him that his father Ben, a famous photographer, is terminally ill. Though they have not spoken in over ten years, Ben has requested that Matt drive him to Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas, the last shop that still develops Kodachrome film. Ben has several undeveloped rolls he wants to have processed before he dies, and Dwayne’s will stop in the near future because Kodak no longer makes the required dyes.


you don’t choose a life – you live one

The Way

After learning his son, Daniel has died while on a pilgrimage along The Camino de Santiago, his father, Dr Thomas Avery (Martin Sheen) travels to the infamous and historical trail. The grief-stricken father hopes to find peace and understanding along the way. (Daniel is played by Emilio Estevez who also wrote, directed and produced The Way)

Dia de los Muertos, how we become get comfortable death?

The short answer to how we become comfortable with death is hongrave stones at local cemetery during day of the deadoring those that have died. Though art, music, writing, film or simply showing up every day and being present.

The day of the dead is celebrated in many cultures.They have  created rituals and celebrations to honor those that have died.Skull for dia de los muertos Día de los Muertos the Day of the Dead is the Mexican celebration of those that have gone before.  What I find important is being comfortable with the past and being able to talk and celebrate with such an artful approach.  Examples of expressing and honoring the dead are though making  alters, paintings, costumes photography and films such as Coco.

Find the expression that suits you.

 

 

Tis a Fearful Thing

Tis a fearful thing
to love what death can touch.
A fearful thing
to love, to hope, to dream, to be –
to be,
And oh, to lose.
A thing for fools, this,
And a holy thing,
a holy thing
to love.
For your life has lived in me,
your laugh once lifted me,
your word was gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy.
‘Tis a human thing, love,
a holy thing, to love
what death has touched.”
Yehuda HaLevi

Godless interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross

from Wikipedia – Godless is an American television drama mini-series created by Scott Frank for Netflix.[1] The seven-episode limited series began production in Santa Fe, New Mexico in September 2016, and was released on Netflix globally on November 22, 2017.

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