It was about time for me to try and write something in International English. I am Greek and I only write in Greek but I thought, long ago, about writing a novel called "International English" where the hero would speak my English and try to make sense of the world and communicate through a fake language, made up of advertisement and songs and the English you read in metro stations, in big European cities. International English is the English we all speak outside the english linguistic community. It is broken, strange, ambiguous. It is made up of expressions from romantic comedies or old rock songs. It is full of funny mistakes. It is a very strange linguistic experience. (Jonathan Safran Foer wrote a novel trying to imitate this feeling. I laughed a lot with the broken English of his hero but then I thought, that hero was probably me). Sometimes I have the illusion that I can write in English, especially when I wach films, or read books in English, particularly poems. And then I come to my senses and no longer know why I want to do this, what I need to prove and to whom. I guess it has to do with the sense of a wider word, a feeling of belonging. Everyone understands and you don't need translation to be a writer. Of course you always need translation. And the translated text is another you, different, not better. When I had my first book in English translation,earlier this year, I looked at the first copy I received for a long time and then I slowly started to read the book and I thought "I didn't write this". It was smoother and easier, but it was strange. And yet I love the fact that I am getting out of myself right now and I try to translate that feeling. Another me, subtler (does this word exist?) swimms on the surface of the words.
Causes Amanda Michalopoulou Supports
WWF, Amnesty International, To Hamogelo tou Paidiou (greek nonprofit organisation for children)