The hidden voice. In search of the mother tongue

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The hidden voice. In search of the mother tongue by Christina Le Kisdaroczi, Alessandra Vitali, Graziella Zulauf-Huber, wondering what a language is becomes an existential research, on one’s origins, if the daughter of two worlds is wondering it. This is the central point from which the work starts, a correspondence of rare beauty.

What is a language? How do we deal with a language and how does it change our way of thinking? The question is philosophical, speculative, theoretical, of course, but the investigation of what a language is can be a path that takes other nuances. Wondering what a language is becomes one existential researchon their origins, if it is the one who wonders daughter of two worlds.

This is the central point from which the work starts, a correspondence of rare beauty between Christina Le Kisdaroczi, Alessandra Vitali, Graziella Zulauf-Huber: respectively a daughter, a mother and an Italian teacher.

The book starts from the existential need of Christina, daughter of an Italian mother who moved to Switzerland, who suddenly discovers the love for the language of her origins. The discovery happens by chance, suddenly, but it is a discovery that opens a waya backward journey towards the womb.

I listened to the people, they talked thereItalian that seemed as beautiful to me as ever. And everythingall of a sudden I felt a nostalgia. I felt a melancholy, indeed, an enormous sadness and at the same time a great joy. I felt like I was back in my mother’s womb. I realized that just at that moment the desire to search for my mother’s language was about to be born.

The story of one corresponds symmetrically to this desire family history which would have been lost if there had not been this primordial desire to find roots, first idiomatic then lineage.

The letters from Christina are counterpointed by the answers of mother Graziella who deepens each letter, tells, unveils every knot of the family tree that comes to the daughter.

This research has made us understand how important it is to feel the value of one’s roots which has nothing to do with a false pride of national identity.


The third woman who appears in the correspondence is Alessandra Vitali, a teacher specialized in teaching the Italian language, but also a philosopher and photographer. It is her duty to order the reflectionsto give a theoretical space to sensations and intuitions, but above all to demonstrate like a language is a dressa world to live and to be changed.

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The thought flies to Wittegstein, to his theories on language and how the word changes the vision and vice versa. In the letters of Alessandra Vitali there are reflections on sense of accident (with a really interesting expression like case of fact)but also on the meaning of learning a language and how communication changes according to the means by which it is transferred.

The black and white photos tell of a family on the move, nomadic, which in the meanders of life has lost its everyday life.intertwining of its own history. It is up to the philosopher, the linguist, the teacher to unravel the matter, to order a flood of life.

The theme of bilingualism, obviously latent throughout the book, raises some questions and makes us reflect on benefits and advantages. Feeling disoriented, disoriented, can correspond to the freedom to have two identities, two worlds, two world views. This precious correspondence teases some thoughts: material that could be useful to teachers, educators and mediators.

When we think of those who have not chosen our language, perhaps not even our country, we do not pause long enough to reflect on how much a language can “accommodate” more than a dry pasta. As Alessandra Vitali writes, “speaking a language also means being able to feel part of a community”, a consideration from which we should start to tackle difficult issues such as that of the encounter with the other, with the different, with the stateless person.

Christina Le Kisdaroczi, Alessandra Vitali, Graziella Zulauf-Huber – The hidden voice. In search of the mother tongue – Armando Dadò Editore

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The article is in Italian

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