PROJECT: Anxious Languages

Trail of gravel, larger rocks, and stones, with a trail of a yellow substance, larger pieces and dust trailing to the top of the image.

Photo credit: Iván Monroy-Roesch

Anxious Languages

Language acquisition, and language in general – in terms of public censure, self-censure, “proper expression,” etc. – is fraught with anxiety. Added to this is a general suspicion of expression that is exaggerated when one is faced with multiple languages. Translation approaches languages’ inherent anxieties and suspicions in several ways; briefly stated, is the translator a traitor, a creator, or both?

In Anxious Languages, students in the course Translation II (Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Brock University) share short personal reflections on language acquisition, as well as poems using homophonic translation and listening.

The students’ contributions are followed by poems written by members of the Toronto Experimental Translation Collective (TETC) about their own experiences with languages.

Editor: Nicholas Hauck


Iván Monroy-Roesch, Chong Zheng, Ana Anaa: Pottery / Metamorphosis (Higher School of Fine Art and Design, Toulon, France)

Anxious Languages is hosted by the Research Centre in Interdisciplinary Arts and Creative Culture in association with the international Anxiety Culture Research Project at the University of Kiel (Germany).