Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Language Thought From the Semester

I never thought I'd wind up going "oh god how do I say this in English." But it happened. Apparently that's what happens when I go in expecting to give a presentation in Chinese, my powerpoint is in Chinese, and then as I'm standing at the front of the room the teacher tells me I'm presenting in English.

The article I wrote was also in Chinese. I think that surprised the teacher a bit- I'd asked him if I could use articles written in English as sources and he'd said yes, but I never said else. He assumed I was using English, probably because that's my first language. Since he's the teacher, what he wanted won, and I gave the presentation in English. (Really, really conversational English.)

Anyways, the topic was quantum-dot sensitized solar cells. I've got my article that I wrote saved somewhere and yes, I will be putting it up here on the off chance anyone wants to try to read it.

But that's not actually the thing I want to talk about. I want to talk about the language thought. It was weird thinking "how do I say this in English?" I think it happened because I'd been listening in Chinese in class, and because two of the sources I used were in Chinese. (I used four sources: two English, two Chinese.) I especially think so because I've since had my final for Graph Theory and I had similar thoughts while I was studying, after the teacher told me I could write my answers in English if I wanted to. (I blanked on how to write a couple characters so I put in pinyin and English for those characters but I pretty much wrote the exam in Chinese.)

It was actually an even bigger "how do I say this in English?" issue for Graph Theory, because my textbook was also in Chinese. The thing I was studying from was in Chinese, and yes I understood it, but the characters I remember how to write is a smaller set than the characters I can read and understand. (This seems to be true of Chinese people as well, especially with the spread of typing. Watching my teachers forget how to write a character every so often makes me feel a little bit better about the fact that I forget kind of a lot.)

So I got to thinking, and maybe the way that foreign languages are working here is similar to the way that styles of language have worked for me in the past: whichever language (style) I used to learn the thing is the one that I will remember better and default to when talking about the thing. In this case, that means graph theory and quantum dot sensitized solar cells are both in Chinese. That's going to be fun when I get back to the United States, I bet. (Professor, how do I say 完美匹配 in English?) [Wan mei pi pei, perfect matching. I've forgotten this one before, but at the moment, I do know it.]

Oh, and here's a link to a post I wrote about language stuff earlier and then didn't manage to post it until Monday. :/

1 comment:

  1. I am a hearing person learning American Sign Language. More than once I've found myself taking written notes and my mind comes up with a picture rather than a word and I'll have to think an extra second to get to what I'm wanting.


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