Sunday, May 31, 2009


I haven't had a chance to write in Spanish for quite a while. My doctoral dissertation and the article I started writing right after finishing it were both in English. Now I began a new article - this time in Spanish - and I cannot describe how good it feels.

Spanish writing style is, naturally, very different from English. The sentences are much longer, often with several subordinate clauses. Knowing how to manipulate them well, instead of knowing how to eliminate them altogether, is a mark of good writing in Spanish. There are many indefinite and passive constructions in Spanish. Complicated, elaborate sentences are a good thing. I feel absolutely free to heap on as many adverbs as I like.

For some strange reason, this style of writing feels incredibly natural to me (I'm a native speaker of neither English nor Spanish.) Of course, I don't go to the lengths of some of my students and colleagues who write in the form of the royal "we" and construct 18-line long sentences. There can be too much of a good thing, as well.

So, dear readers, if you feel in the coming days that my writing is becoming elaborate, bombastic and verbose, now you will know where it is coming from.

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