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Death by Language

Just posted some thoughts on writing in another language on the Advising blog that might also be of interest to others.

Thoughts on Advising

As I’m preparing for a panel discussion for the international student orientation on Wednesday afternoon, I have to think back to my own arrival on a US campus many years ago. In addition to all the new things I encountered on a daily basis, there was the challenge of language. I had learned English long enough to get by in everyday settings, but the academic register was a completely different game. There were familiar words used in a different kind of meaning; there were new words that I tried to translate via context, not knowing if I’d hit the right interpretation.

It certainly helped to be in a situation where there was no way out: I sat in graduate courses and had to complete papers just like anybody else. At the beginning, I was tempted to write the first draft in my native German, where the words and phrases would…

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About GG

Gundolf Graml is Associate Prof. and Dir. of German Studies at Agnes Scott College. He has a Ph.D. in German Studies from the University of Minnesota and has published articles on German and Austrian film and tourism. He is currently writing a book about tourism and Austrian national identity after 1945. Other research projects include critical whiteness studies and, most recently, investigations into the connection between memory and nature. At ASC, Gundolf Graml teaches courses on a broad range of topics, from German 101 to German and Austrian Cinema and Afro-German History and Culture.


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