At Catapult, Zeyn Joukhadar beautifully reflects on navigating languages as a trans writer, translator, and polyglot:

Is become the right word? In Arabic, to say I started translating, one could say: I became to translate. In Italian, the verb diventare mostly appears as past participle: The situation has become difficult, or he’s become strange. There’s a sense of arrival to become, just as there is in translation itself. Yet in English, arriving is something we do—I have arrived—whereas, in Italian, one says I am arrived. Arrived is something one is, a state of being one occupies with the body. I am in a constant state of arrival in any language. My Arabic and my Italian and my Spanish and my German are geographies in which I constantly set foot afresh and shake off my dust. My languages are embodiments. I become to speak.

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.