am 25. Mai 1999
I am a woman born from a multi-cultural marriage (an American mother and a Jewish Hungarian father who met in Florence, Italy) a neutral third ground. I deeply appriaciated Eva Hoffmann's description of her life in two places. For me who has always lived in one, I feel divisions in identity at a different leve. But as a daughter of parents from different cultural backrounds, I recognize the constant sense of loss and tension between and among memories and experiences originating in different places under different sets of values. I am deeply interested in this topic and have found few books that I appreciated more than Ms. Hoffmann's. I would like to suggest to people with similar interest a book that seems to me to take up where "Lost in traslation ends". It is called "Mother Tongue, An American life in Italy". The author, Wallis Wilde- Menozzi, lives in Italy and describes the divisions and syntheses in her experience of bi-culturalism in a complex and lyrical way that touches finally the minute core of being. Alessandra Pauncz
am 26. Juli 2000
For many years, I have been involved in the preparation of teachers, both graduate and undergraduate, to work in the multicultural, multilingual climate of our nation's schools. Teachers can be successful ONLY if they have a real sense of what is going on in the minds of the children they teach. All too often, they make assumptions about what a child knows and is able to do or what a child is actually feeling and why. Such assumptions can wreak havoc in the lives of the thousands of immigrant children who come to our classrooms from their home cultures each day speaking a language other than English. Eva Hoffman's book, more than any other work I know, allows a teacher to learn and FEEL what it is really like to make that ultimate journey from the culture and language of one's birth, of one's heart, into the English-speaking world. This is one of the most brilliant books that I have ever read, and it is a MUST for every teacher!
am 15. September 1997
This book marvelously captures the cultural differences between North America and Europe. It describes two similar but fundamentally different cultures, one based on the material comforts that a wealthy society can provide, and the other based on the human comforts of good friends, love of music and literature and a life that feels lived.
am 11. Juni 1999
Eva Hoffman states how difficult is to share one`s own identity with whoever does not speak your same language.The total disintagration of the relationship beetwen signifier and signified is achieved and in the same time is denied.On the one hand, the person who is uttering the signifier refers it to a signfied related to his/her own experience, his/her environment, his/her values background and it means to his/her language.The relationship beetwen signifier and signified is disintagrated because for each culture we have specific signifieds.But it even means that in the very moment of uttering a signifier any person relates it to one and only one signnified linked to his/her background.So to speak it seems as if,the signifier refers to more than a signified,because the English word "sun" wil never correspond to the Italian " sole"(the " signified" in this case is really different!!)but it implies that for an English the signifier "sun" has got one and only on signified "the pale sphere in the sky"..The Eva Hoffman`s own words are remarkable: "Do you marry him? No, I answered in English;Yes I answered in "my" language.Two different languages are two different persons, with two different lives...