From China to England

Lost in lockdown.What about overseas students, lost in London? There is a a language barrier here. A Chinese friend sent me a small list of Chinese phrases. I memorised the words, but my intonation is far from accurate. We immediately hear a striking difference between languages. The rhythm is different, the tone, the volume, the accent, the phrasing. It is an exciting difference, bringing a new energy to new work. Conversation becomes so important while most of the world is in ‘lockdown’. Language is powerful, and dialect is intrinsic to our identity. Conversing through Skype, I stay in touch with my friend from China. He greets me respectably in English, and I attempt to respond in Chinese.

Mary-Ann Stevens

Final term on a Masters in Fine Art, Chelsea College School of Art, London (2020).

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