103 entries from srah blah blah tagged with 'language':

It's the opposite of watermelon

"You know, the root of the word Miller is a Greek word. Miller come from the Greek word 'milo,' which is mean 'apple,' so there you go. As many of you know, our name, Portokalos, is come from the Greek word 'portokali,' which mean 'orange.' So, okay? Here tonight, we have, ah, apple and orange. We all different, but in the end, we all fruit."- My Big Fat Greek Wedding We have, partway through the fourth semester of Arabic, finally begun learning vocabulary about things like colors and clothing and foods. This comes after our exciting chapters with themes like...

srah - Monday, 11 February 2008 - 11:02 PM
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Don't need no hateration, hypenatin' in this dancery

I recently read this New York Times article about name-changing after marriage (I especially liked the anecdote¹ about the couple who played a softball game - his family vs her family - for naming rights to the family). I read the readers' comments afterwards and now I mostly just want to exterminate all human life on earth. It drove me up the wall that so many people were advocating for people to hypenate their names. Actually, it annoyed me an equal amount when people complained about hypenating names. I have never hypenated anything in my life. This is because (no...

srah - Thursday, 6 December 2007 - 5:03 PM
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I haven't used my French in about three years! (mercredi)

Alors, on est mercredi, le "hump day" de la Semaine des Langues. Je me suis habillée en pyjama, sur le sofa, et je vais écrire aujourd'hui en français, une langue qui est beaucoup plus facile pour moi que l'arabe ou même l'español. C'est cool et relaxe. (J'adore le fait qu'en français, "relaxe" soit un adjectif.) Mais voilà le problème: en arabe, je peux discuter le temps et l'éducation. En español je peux commander les margaritas et les tacos (c'était très difficile là-bas de ne pas écrire "les margaritas y los tacos") et "pedir direcciones" et c'est à peu près tout....

srah - Wednesday, 27 June 2007 - 9:46 PM
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Good Morning Internet!

Or rather, good evening. But I've been so lazy today it might as well be the morning for all that I've gotten done. Anyway, I'm back in the USSR. Photos from my voyage can be found here and videos of fascinating things like whales spouting and cliff divers cliff-diving can be found here. Now I must go and prepare for Language Week! All this time in Mexico and in on-ship Spanish classes has inspired me not to devote the entire week to Arabic. Soy hispanohablante, yo! Por el momento. Hasta que yo olvido todo mi español¹. Ha! What I love...

srah - Sunday, 24 June 2007 - 5:51 PM
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Curses! Foiled again!

Current pet peeve: foliage SYLLABICATION: fo·li·age NOUN: 1a. Plant leaves, especially tree leaves, considered as a group. b. A cluster of leaves. 2. An ornamental representation of leaves, stems, and flowers, especially in architecture. ETYMOLOGY: Alteration (influenced by Latin folium, leaf) of Middle English foilage, from Old French foillage, from foille, leaf. Unless you can prove to me that you are Geoffrey Chaucer, please stop pronouncing this as FOIL·uj. Fortunately this is not a word I have to hear every day! If I worked in a nursery, I would probably have to kill someone....

srah - Tuesday, 3 April 2007 - 5:54 PM
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Yankee go home!

In my Arabic class right now we are working on how to say "I am from ___" and "Where are you from?" We started out going around the room and saying "أنا من Ann Arbor", etc., but now that we're learning how to say and spell the names of places in Arabic (including the ever useful ويتشتا, or Wichita), we have all been assigned a country and city that we are to pretend to be from, from now on. And where am I from? Mouse over for the translation! أنا من بغداد في العراق...

srah - Tuesday, 26 September 2006 - 5:27 PM
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Now for the tea of our host!

Today I learned a word that will increase my survival-potential significantly if I am ever plonked down in an Arabophone country: شاي (tea) All I need to learn now is "please" and "thank you" and I'll be all set to get on a plane and go!...

srah - Monday, 18 September 2006 - 12:29 PM
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The pen is mightier

The latest news from my Arabic class is that I got my HIGHEST STEPCOUNT DAY EVER yesterday. Wait, no, that's not related. But I did. The latest news from my Arabic class is that I have a crush on the "calligraphy professor" who lives in our textbook's accompanying DVDs. He's a scholarly, bespectacled type, who knows how to wield a pen. Ah, how I love a man with stylish writing implements! Yes, I am insane. As we learn to connect more letters, I am learning more and more words that can be made out of those letters. So now I...

srah - Thursday, 14 September 2006 - 12:43 PM
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Me write pretty one day

An update of my ongoing progress in Arabic class: We are learning spoken greetings and progressing well with learning the written alphabet, and soon we will start putting the letters together into words and changing their shapes as we do so. We are starting with the six "one-way connecting letters", which don't connect to each other at all - they just sit next to each other and don't change shape. As a result, I can now put those letters together in the following exciting words: راد (house) داو (valley) راز (visit) دود (worms) Come راز my راد in the داو!...

srah - Tuesday, 29 August 2006 - 12:17 PM
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!sت gnipyt m'I

I started my Arabic class on Tuesday and tonight's homework is to practice writing the alphabet, copying each letter over and over again for two lines. For the life of me I cannot write ت without making it look like I'm drawing lines and lines of happy faces. It's the "teh" sound! And it's happy teh see you! Teh heh heh!...

srah - Wednesday, 23 August 2006 - 6:42 PM
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Je me noie dans le talent

Joyeux anniversaire, Tu n'es pas mon frère, Je ne vais pas te voir aujourd'hui mais j'espère que tu n'es pas en colère, Joyeux anniversaire! (Ben... c'est pas pire que les autres...) (translation in the extended entry)...

srah - Friday, 28 July 2006 - 2:38 PM
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Ceci n'est pas un article de jeudi

(see extended post for translation)...

srah - Friday, 28 July 2006 - 6:27 AM
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Jedi Poo-doo!

Mince! J'ai failli oublier la Semaine des Langues aujourd'hui! Ce soir j'ai fait du chili végétarien à la srah. Ça consisite des tomates, des haricots rouges, des champignons, des épices, et beaucoup beaucoup beaucoup d'oignons. C'est quelque chose que j'ai inventé en France quand j'avais peur de cuisiner de la viande. Ça répresente toutes les groupes alimentaires: les proteines, les fruits... et beaucoup beacoup beaucoup d'oignons. J'adore les oignons! Alors, je n'avais pas de projets pour bloguer au suject de mon chili - je voulais écrire sur Le Retour du Jedi¹. Les seules personnages au palais de Jabba qui parlent...

srah - Wednesday, 26 July 2006 - 9:57 PM
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Aux langues, les citoyens!

Je pense que je vous ai dit que je vais commencer à étudier l'arabe en automne. J'ai déjà rencontré le prof; il paraît très sympa et ça m'interesse beaucoup d'étudier le Moyen-Orient et le monde arabophone¹ et de mieux comprendre ces cultures-là. Mais c'est la langue qui me fait peur! Tout le monde m'a dit que l'arabe est très très très difficile et qu'il va me falloir dix ans pour le parler couramment. Ah bon? Il m'a fallu à peu près neuf ans pour parler couramment le français (une langue qui est beaucoup plus proche de l'anglais), alors je suppose...

srah - Tuesday, 25 July 2006 - 7:14 PM
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Projets de voyage (et de travail)

En mars je suis allée en Israël pour visiter les universités là-bas qui acceuillent les étudiants étrangers. En mai c'était Montréal, où je suis allée assister à une conférence sur l'éducation internationale. Ce mois je vais voyager à travers le ouest des États-Unis, vers Seattle. J'irai en Angleterre et en Irlande en Octobre pour une autre visite aux centres d'études étrangers. On a parlé un peu d'un voyage en Inde en décembre pour assister au mariage de Sylvie (mais avec mes finances ça ne va peut-être pas être possible... on verra...). Il va peut-être y avoir une autre visite au...

srah - Monday, 24 July 2006 - 3:24 PM
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Behold: Language Week 4 (Electric Borgalor)

I hereby decree that Language Week 2006 will be held July 24-28, 2006, because I will be in town that week. It would be nice if I could nail Language Week down to the same time every year, but this has never been the case. Such is the brilliant unpredictability of Language Week! Or rather, and more accurately, such is my forgetfulness. The rules of Language Week are as follows: You do not talk about Language Week.You do not talk about Language Week.There are no rules.Well, okay, there are a couple of rules but they're not very strict.Blog in a...

srah - Friday, 14 July 2006 - 12:40 PM
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Adventures in francophonie

Montreal is awesome. I am doing better than expected with speaking French - instead of avoiding French altogether I string together these mangled franglais thoughts in my mind and occasionally spew them out to whoever my victim is. Example: Shuttle driver with French-Canadian accent: Which hotel are you going to? Me: Le Fairmont Reine Elizabeth¹. SDWFCA: Fairmont Reine Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth? Me: Oui. Yes. SDWFCA: Vous parlez français? You speak English? Me: (stammers) Oui. Yes. Les deux. Both. Je parle... I speak, yeah. So yeah, that was clear. And efficient. Let's speak both languages at once! And translate for ourselves!...

srah - Wednesday, 24 May 2006 - 6:31 PM
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Parlez-vous quebecois?

No, not so much. I am off to the Great White North on Tuesday for a conference followed by some Staying Around and Sightseeing. Youpi! So far I have made all of my Montreal hotel reservations in English. I am a-feared of the Quebecois French. I'm afraid of all their funny ways of saying things and their different accent and their reputation for looking down on French-from-France and for speaking perfect accentless English to people who try to speak French to them. I was telling someone at dinner that I might just chicken out and try to pass myself off...

srah - Saturday, 20 May 2006 - 12:24 PM
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Vendredi, enfin! Cette Semaine de Langues a été très populaire et je vous remercie d'avoir participé: AnP, Armin, Christina, Elemmaciltur, In Actual Fact, J, Jamie, Jen, Katie, Marisa, Noor, Patricia, Renee, Scott et Stuart. (Écrivez-moi si j'ai oublié quelqu'un!) Et je voudrais remercier aussi quelqu'un qui m'a beaucoup aidé et m'a soutenu cette semaine: [Read the extended entry for English translation; click the Language Week icon for an explanation]...

srah - Friday, 8 July 2005 - 1:06 PM
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J'ai passé toute la journée à regarder les nouvelles de Londres à la télé (même s'il n'y avait pas vraiment de nouvelles, parce que rien n'a changé depuis le matin londonien!) et le résultat, c'est que j'ai oublié d'écrire l'article de jeudi. Alors le voilà, très tôt vendredi matin. Comme j'ai dit hier, je suis allée à la bibliothèque pour chercher un dictionnaire espagnol-anglais. Ce que je n'ai pas dit, c'est lorsque j'étais là, devant les livres et les cassettes de langues étrangères, j'ai pris le décision d'étudier une autre langue. J'ai tenté d'apprendre des langues plusieurs fois dans ma...

srah - Friday, 8 July 2005 - 12:11 AM
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Bueno. ¡Mi español es aun peor que mi francés, entonces perdonenme, por favor! Hoy día fui a la biblioteca para buscar un diccionario español-inglés. Hace dos años que perdí mi mismo diccionario. ¡Es difícil, escribir en español con diccionario, porque no sé buscar las palabras! Empezé a aprender el español cuando estaba en Francia por primera vez y compré un libro para "Apprendre l'espagnol en 30 leçons" o algo como eso. Así, aprendí un poco de español en Francia. Después, regresé en los Estados Unidos y estudié el español en la universidad durante un año. ¡Después, regresé en Francia y...

srah - Wednesday, 6 July 2005 - 5:52 PM
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Punaise, que je suis nulle! Je viens de decouvrir que j'avais supprimé le fil RSS de Kim de mon agrégateur sans me rendre compte. Ça explique, un peu, pourquoi je n'ai pas eu de nouvelles de sa part depuis quelques semaines (je dépend des fils RSS!). Craints pas, cherie! Je t'ai rajouté et j'ai ajouté le fil de from rooster to donkey en plus. Alors, c'est assez difficile de bloguer tous les jours en anglais et c'est même plus difficile en langue étrangère. Mais aujourd'hui c'est Kim qui est mon sauveur (ma sauveuse?), parce qu'elle m'a transmis une mème en...

srah - Tuesday, 5 July 2005 - 5:00 PM
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(Voilà le début de la Semaine des Langues chez srah blah blah. Je vois qu'il y a, déjà, beaucoup plus de participants que la dernière fois et je vous remercie! Parmi ces participants: Anyhoo, Armin, christina, Elemmaciltur, in actual fact, J, Jamie, katie, Marisa, patricia, Renee et Stuart) Alors, aujourd'hui on est le 4 juillet, la fête nationale des États-Unis. Notre famille vient de visionner 1776, l'un de nos films préférés, et ce qui est devenu une activité traditionnelle pour fêter le 4 juillet chez nous. L'été dernière j'étais en France et j'ai passé la plupart de notre fête nationale...

srah - Monday, 4 July 2005 - 6:46 PM
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Language Week Three: Electric Beagle-ey

It's that time of year again... LANGUAGE WEEK III July 4 - 8, 2005 There are rules!: Blog in a language that you don't usually blog in. You don't have to blog a lot if you don't want to - a few sentences will do, as long as you continue, once a day, through the week (or at least Monday to Friday). You can blog in one foreign language for five days, you can blog in five different languages or you can find some medium between the two. What the hell. If you only want to blog in Swedish once...

srah - Tuesday, 28 June 2005 - 6:28 PM
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It happens sometimes...

Sweet overuse! The word "milk" has now lost all meaning for me....

srah - Friday, 17 June 2005 - 3:08 PM

On thought and language... I guess

In French, herbal tea is a tisane, whereas real tea is thé. I like that they have two different words for it, because herbal tea is for suckahs and when you're really desperate. It seems like by having two words, there would be less confusion and you could more easily express the idea that you want REAL TEA as opposed to herbal. Unfortunately, in my experience it doesn't make things any easier because a tisane is usually still considered a kind of thé. I don't know what my point was... probably something about Sapir/Whorf and cultural understanding across languages. But...

srah - Monday, 14 March 2005 - 5:03 PM
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'Y yo, aprendí el espagnol en France con estudiantes francéses que no pueden prononcer les 'r's.'*

There is an international internship program conducting interviews at my office this week. Most of the interviews are carried out in the language of the internship and I sat in on one, so now the director of the program keeps chattering away at me in French whenever he sees me. I've been thinking in French and speaking French to myself today. French is like a drug and I'm hooked on it again. I love language because you can use it from day one. There is nothing useless in language** so there's nothing for me to get bored with. There's nothing...

srah - Tuesday, 15 February 2005 - 9:19 AM

Fin de semaine linguistique

Thanks and congratulations to everyone who participated in Language Week, most of whom did much better than I did: Stuart, Jez, pea, Armin and Annica. See you again in another 14 months or so?...

srah - Monday, 6 September 2004 - 12:37 PM
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Semaine Linguistique 2,5?

I am the worst founder of Language Week ever! Je suis la pire fondatrice de la Semaine Linguistique!</half-assed attempt to use foreign language>...

srah - Friday, 3 September 2004 - 2:45 PM
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Language Week 2,2

Thanks to Jez, Stuart and pea for participating! If you're playing along in your blog, please let me know! Une experience intéressante... j'ai écrit l'article en anglais, et puis je l'ai traduit en français lors de son enregistrement. Vous pouvez écouter cet article (j'ai dit 'poste' dans l'enregistrement, parce que je n'avais pas encore cherché la traduction) en français, et puis le lire en anglais dans l'entrée étendue*. ––––– * Note to manager of the Multilingual Bloglossary: Why is it an "article" but an "entrée" étendue?...

srah - Tuesday, 31 August 2004 - 11:11 PM
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Primero mensaje

Bueno. Es de nuevo La Semana de los Idiomas y hace dos años desde la última vez que aprendí el castellano. No hay mucho necesidad para el español en Michigan o en Francia. El padre del Pato es en los Estados Unidos por el momento para visitar su hijo y no habla mucho inglés, entonces quizás voy a necessitar hablarlo este fin de semana. Si no necessito el español solamente para entender el Jezito, que me habla tal vez en el español Canario, lo que no entendería incluso si había estudiado el español recientemente. (All words and phrases in italics...

srah - Monday, 30 August 2004 - 10:53 AM
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Language Week 2

A repeat of Language Week has been requested and shall be granted. Yes, I know it happened in June last year, but I'm in charge and I say it happens in August this year. Ah, power! So I bring you: LANGUAGE WEEK 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO August 30 - September 5, 2004 Here be ze rhools: Blog in a language that you don't usually blog in. You don't have to blog a lot if you don't want to - a few sentences will do, as long as you continue, once a day, through the week (or at least Monday to Friday)....

srah - Thursday, 26 August 2004 - 9:42 AM
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Faites la queue, s'il vous plait...

Jez picked me up at London Stansted airport today and drove me all the way up to his home in North Yorkshire. It wasn't terribly scenic, as we were on the main north-south motorway, so mostly we saw cars and signs. Signs, however, can be considered scenic... We passed a lot of signs suggesting that there could be traffic-backups ahead. POSSIBLE QUEUES AHEAD, read the signs. Ahem. We are a mature human being. We will not think of our blog. We will not giggle and titter. POSSIBLE QUEUES AHEAD, repeated the signs. Ahem. Renewed attempts to be mature and culturally...

srah - Thursday, 12 August 2004 - 3:54 PM

La mondo kiel baron al komunikado kaj evoluigo Por la Esperantokomunumo

Languagehat linked to ungreek, a site that provides greeked text (gibberish used in designs to fill in space where text is supposed to go later). One of the greeked text options they give is the Esperantists' Manifesto. My eye happened to fall on the line: Cxiu lingvo liberigas kaj malliberigas siajn anojn donante al ili la povon. I can almost read it. As far as I can guess, it says "Each language liberates... giving to them the power." I don't know who's being liberated, but I wonder if "malliberigas" is related to "malchicks", which meant young men or people or...

srah - Thursday, 13 November 2003 - 6:57 PM

'What do you call the game wherein the participants see who can throw a knife closest to the other person?'

I call that out-of-state crackheads. What the hell kind of game is that? In Michigan, we say "pop" for sweetened carbonated beverages like Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, root beer, etc. We also say "Flore-i-da", "cray-ahn", "flurr-ish", and "groshery", pronounce "Mary", "merry" and "marry" the same and pronounce the I in "cauliflower" like the I in "sit". We say "tennis shoes", "roly-poly", "kitty-corner", "oil and vinegar", "by accident", "mow the lawn", "basement", "drinking fountain" and "goose bumps". I am somehow a mutant for my state, though, and say neither "car-ml" nor "carra-mel", but rather "care-a-ml". [via ASquared Airbeagle]...

srah - Sunday, 26 October 2003 - 9:40 AM
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'My uncle thought he was St Jerome'

"What Jerome is ignorant of, no man has ever known." - St Augustine Today is the saint's day of St Jerome, patron saint not only of translators, but also of librarians, archivists and libraries. I am totally naming all of my children Jérôme. [via languagehat]...

srah - Tuesday, 30 September 2003 - 10:08 PM
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Stick a feather in my cap and call me macaronic

Languagehat has a post about my new favorite verse style and word: macaronic. Modern examples cited in the comments include Lady Marmalade, Michelle and some of the work of Leonard Cohen. I would add Côté banjo, côté violon, For me, Formidable and (my favorite) It is not because you are. What are your favorites?...

srah - Saturday, 23 August 2003 - 12:16 PM

Jim and me is goin' down to slop the hogs

While reminding myself of the difference between an intransitive and a transitive verb, I came across this FAQ from Dictionary.com, which answers many of your grammar-related questions. There is, unfortunately, no mention of the me/myself/I discussion....

srah - Monday, 4 August 2003 - 10:43 AM

Nous serons des reines! Fichues reines d'âne d'enfer!

I've installed a wee translation thingy in the right column. Do you think it's really worth it when it comes out with things like: The walk of Ye' ll the board, the scurvy of ye continues! For anniversary S to celebrate Becky ', we went to re-examine pirates of the Caribbean. By observing all the appropriations love a true member of my family, I found my to call: pirate the trainer of dialect. Not a trainer of dialect for pirates in films, naturally, nor the trainer of dialect for the pirates of Pittsburgh. I will sail the seven seas, teacher...

srah - Tuesday, 29 July 2003 - 5:09 PM

Serious linguistic discussion between serious linguists

Jez and I were IMing about important and useful phrases to learn before travelling abroad. We came up with the following. Don't say I never taught you anything. Felmelegítené ezt a cuclisüveget? Kann ich ein Opernglas ausleiben? Godmorgen, mit navn er - Hvadbehager? - mit navn er - Hvadbehager? - Mit navn er... Slim Shady....

srah - Friday, 25 July 2003 - 7:15 PM

To speak, or not to speak?

When Robin and I bought crêpes at Art Fair, the fellow making the crêpes had a French accent. I wanted to speak French to him, but I couldn't think of anything to say. Afterwards, I told my mother how I was kicking myself for having said nothing and my mom was disappointed. She thinks that I should use my powers for good whenever I have the chance. I think she fears that if I don't get into the practice of using them for good, I'll turn to evil. No one wants to be Lex Luthor's mom. I myself was disappointed...

srah - Tuesday, 22 July 2003 - 5:54 PM
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Al fin de la semana de los idiomas

Thanks to everyone who participated in Language Week, including: Ain't It Cruel?, annicapannika blog, Beatniksalad, Blethers.com, Jezblog, Ministry of Propaganda, monochromatic girl, So Joyful!, and What You Can Get Away With. Hope I haven't forgotten anyone - let me know if I have! Perhaps we'll have to try it again next year. I'll let you know then....

srah - Saturday, 5 July 2003 - 11:58 AM
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Language Week: Friday

(Except posted on Saturday, because we were having Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and a National Holiday on Friday.) Bon, ben, voilà, je suis trop paresseuse pour écrire en espagnol, même si j'ai inventé cette semaine pour pratiquer cette langue-là. C'est trop difficile sans dictionnaire, et je n'ai pas très envie de chercher chaque mot sur Babelfish. Je suis très heureuse d'avoir réçu un mél d'Agnès, qui m'a dit que les résultats des examens finaux au lycée ont été affichés et qu'elle me les a envoyés. En travaillant en France, ça m'a choqué que là-bas, les résultats des examens sont affichés, sont...

srah - Saturday, 5 July 2003 - 11:27 AM
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Language Week: Thursday

Hoy llevo calcetines con monos. No manos, monos. Calcetines con manos no existen. He tenido calcetines con dedos de pie, y no me gustan. No son muy cómodos. No me gusta la sensación de tener algo entre mis dedos de pie. Bloguo [gracias Jez!] cosas muy importante en español. Bueno... no es mejor en inglés....

srah - Thursday, 3 July 2003 - 6:22 PM
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Language Week: Wednesday

No tengo muchas cosas que decir en español, y no tengo más vocabulario en chino, entonces hoy voy a escribir en el idioma francés, lo que conozco bien porque lo he estudiado desde la media de mi vida. J'aime bien la chanson Mon fils, ma bataille de Daniel Balavoine. C'est une chanson qui parle d'un père divorcé qui risque de perdre son fils, comme dans le film Kramer vs. Kramer. Mais ce qui me gène, c'est le refrain, qui raconte « Je vais tout casser/ si vous touchez/ aux fruits de mes entrailles/ fallait pas qu'elle s'en aille ». En...

srah - Wednesday, 2 July 2003 - 7:12 PM
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Drie scheuren in het fudament der Gereformeerde waarheid

I read a Dutch card-catalogue card out loud to my mother, who told me I sounded like I was speaking French. I realized my mistake and changed my Rs from the voiced uvular fricative to flapped ones (language nerd! language nerd!), and felt like I was speaking Spanish. I read Spanish with a French accent, Dutch with a Spanish one, and French with a strange one that no one can identify, but definitely sounds foreign. I strive to be a mutant in all languages....

srah - Tuesday, 1 July 2003 - 11:35 AM
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Language Week: Tuesday

Ni-men hao! Ni-men hao ma? Wo hen hao, xiexie. Wo shi zai tushuguan. Wo shi meiguo xuesheng. Wo xue faguoren. Wo bu he pijiu. Wo yo meimei. As you can probably tell, my Mandarin Chinese has suffered great losses since I took a semester of it, in the fall of 1999. I, myself, have suffered the great loss of my Chinese textbook (where are all of my language books disappearing to? There is some kind of vortex in my room, sucking them in), so I can't even check to see if what little I remembered is correct....

srah - Tuesday, 1 July 2003 - 11:03 AM
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Language Week begins

Quiero comenzar, pero he perdido mi diccionario español-inglés, lo que es un problema, porque no tengo mucho vocabulario y olvido siempre donde van los acentes. ¿Que voy a hacer? Je ne sais pas. Voy a 'cheat' con Babelfish. No me gusta Babelfish. Mi colega me dijo que es un website que traduce muy bien y que debo tratarlo para ayudarme con mis traducciones. HA! Bueno. Hoy, no voy a estar cerca de un ordenador, porque voy a trabajar con mis manos, porque soy muy FUERTE! ARRRR! No, no es la verdad. Voy a trabajar con mis manos porque voy a...

srah - Monday, 30 June 2003 - 7:59 AM
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The birth of Language Week

There may already be a Language Week on the calendar somewhere; I don't know. All I know is that my Spanish needs practice. So I'm going to declare next week (June 29 - July 5)... Language Week. This is a departure from my original idea of una semana española, because - surprise of surprises - not everyone speaks Spanish. And I think it would be fun if everyone could participate. So. Here are the rules of participation: Blog in a language that you don't usually blog in. You don't have to blog a lot if you don't want to -...

srah - Friday, 27 June 2003 - 9:53 PM
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Lost in translation

Okay, so one of the main reasons I took this job again this summer was that I would actually get to use some of my skills by doing some English-French translating. And now I've got a document to translate. And now I'm scared. I never realized it, and it may not seem like it, but translating is stressful work. You're putting words in someone else's mouth. You may make them say something they didn't mean, or you may make them sound like a five-year-old, or you may make them completely incomprehensible. I fear that I am being trusted where I...

srah - Thursday, 19 June 2003 - 9:23 AM
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*srah ducks the flying jealous blows*

Due to great controversy and confusion over my weight yesterday, I hopped on the scale for the first time in over a year. The verdict: 101 lbs. Perhaps I ought to go to the gym with Robin and Becky, and put on some muscle-weight. I find it interesting that the British money and the weight are both called "pounds" but are abbreviated and lbs., respectively. I don't know where the word "pound" comes from, but I bet the and lbs. come from the same source as their French translation, livre, and the zodiacal sign Libra, the scales (for...

srah - Tuesday, 17 June 2003 - 10:42 AM
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Köszönöm and all that jazz

In case you were wondering, as I was, what the heck the foreign murderess is saying in Chicago, IMDb has the answer: "Mit keresek én itt? Azt mondják, a híres lakóm lefogta a férjem, én meg lecsaptam a fejét. De nem igaz. Én ártatlan vagyok. Nem tudom, miért mondja Uncle Sam, hogy én tettem. Próbáltam a rendõrségen megmagyarázni, de nem értették meg." which means: "What am I doing here? They say my famous tenant held down my husband and I chopped his head off. But it's not true. I am innocent. I don't know why Uncle Sam says I did...

srah - Monday, 2 June 2003 - 4:22 PM
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Quiero mas hispanophones

I guess I was mentally prepared from last time for people not to understand me in French. My problem now is that no one understands me in French or in Spanish. It's frustrating when I say "Quiero una zanahoria" and Cheryl doesn't understand that I want a carrot. I am a mutant to come back from France speaking Spanish, but everyone in Vichy spoke some Spanish or could be taught....

srah - Thursday, 15 May 2003 - 4:25 PM
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Olé encore!

Belgian thee met melk report: level three. The milk was forgotten by the server, and there were lemon slices on my saucer. This merits a ranking about equal to that of the United States. Of course I am basing it on one experience and I don't know if the results would be any different in Bruxelles or Wallonie. Did you notice that "tea with milk" is one of the few Dutch words/phrases I've picked up? Dank u wel for noticing; yes, I am an addict....

srah - Monday, 28 April 2003 - 7:09 PM
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Citrus facts

As you may know, Citroën is a maker of French automobiles. What you may not know is that citroen is the Dutch word for lemon. In other interesting related news, the Dutch word for orange apparently translates as "sinus apple". Yum....

srah - Monday, 28 April 2003 - 6:57 PM
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Thoughts from the train

I bet a Dutch person who learned English in Scotland would hae a really interesting accent. If such an animal exists, make yourself known. I am going to marry you. I prefer the Flemish Brugge to the French Bruges and Antwerpen to Anvers, but the French Ypres and Bruxelles to Ieper and Brussel. I am constantly convinced that if I concentrate hard enough, I can understand spoken Flemish. I can't, but something about the tones of the language makes it feel like I should. I do understand some written Flemish, but I invariably translate it into ridiculous pidgin English. Thus...

srah - Monday, 28 April 2003 - 11:03 AM

The guilt of the anglophone

I feel a bit confused and vulnerable and guilty speaking English to everyone here; I could pretend to be a francophone, but in most cases I assume English would be their second language and French only third. The most frustrating thing to me is that I don't know how to say "I'm sorry", something I want to say to everyone to apologize for my raging anglophony....

srah - Monday, 28 April 2003 - 6:03 AM
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"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

Belgium is a fascinating place. I may have a skewed impression, considering my hosts are Flemish, but it seems that the French-speaking minority forces the Flemish-speaking majority to submit to their language when the conflict comes up, and the multilingual flamands give in. Now I get to represent two overbearing, aggressive languages here in the the Flemish town of Antwerp, when I try to me débrouiller alone in town....

srah - Sunday, 27 April 2003 - 7:11 PM
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I'm so Belgium

We went out for a beer tonight after I arrived. Thankfully Christianna knows what I like and ordered for me, because I am in The Land of Beer, and I am a stranger in the aforementioned land. The place we went had a selection of one hundred different beers. I will abstain, however, from commenting on their musical atmosphere, as the songs over the course of the evening included "Love Cats". We went out with Christianna's friends, all of whom speak impeccable English. Damned polyglot Belgians. When they weren't speaking English, they would throw in phrases of Flemish, the Belgian...

srah - Sunday, 27 April 2003 - 6:53 PM
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Linguist lost

As you may know, I have yet to travel to a country where I don't speak the language. Hearing train announcements in Dutch panics me a bit because I don't understand anything. Not the same I don't understand anything I felt in Chile, where I could at least pick out words and general meanings of sentences, but a complete lack of comprehension. And here I am, going to visit the Flemish Christianna and her nederlandophone friends. What am I getting myself into?...

srah - Sunday, 27 April 2003 - 1:07 PM
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La question que tout le monde se pose

The damned Belgian on Nice People speaks five languages. The damned Belgian I'm visiting tomorrow speaks at least six. Why was I not born in Belgium? Sophie and I are both disappointed that our parents aren't foreign, as this would have given us a fine linguistic head-start. Being Belgian or Luxembourgeois wouldn't have hurt, either....

srah - Saturday, 26 April 2003 - 6:09 PM
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Quiero té

It throws me off that in Spanish, the verb querer can mean either want (as in Yo quiero Taco Bell... sorry I couldn't come up with a better example) or love (as in Te quiero), two ideas that are very different to me in English. I can see how in cases of romantic love the two could overlap, but it shocks me sometimes when I translate into English in my head and find someone saying that he wants his mother a lot. Goes to show you you shouldn't translate things into English in your head, I guess....

srah - Saturday, 26 April 2003 - 1:12 PM
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In case you were wondering...

The English and French equivalents of to suave up/suaver were invented on the way home from Thiers. They are, respectively, to englarm/englarmer and to fratouille/fratouiller. Use them at your discretion....

srah - Thursday, 17 April 2003 - 9:49 AM
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Multi-language question

I'm not quite sure that I understand how this is supposed to work, but I will answer the damned question. In German. Welchen Beruf wollten Sie ausben als Sie ein Kind waren ? ben Sie ihn jetzt aus ? Wieso nicht ? At one point, I'm sure I wanted to be a princess. I am not a princess because I was not born one and because I have not yet ensnared a prince. I remember wanting to be a scientist, because it sounded smart. Later, I worked on my elementary school newspaper (The Mitchell Talks News... envisioned but not named...

srah - Tuesday, 15 April 2003 - 10:30 AM
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Thanks to Alex and the continued efforts of the assistantes amérivichyssoises to mangle and reinvent the English language, a new expression has been born: to suave someone up. Suaving someone up consists of speaking Spanish in an effort to seduce them. We have also invented the equivalent French verb suaver, which we repeat loudly and often in front of the other assistants, who never ask us what we're talking about because they have learned to ignore us. We are now in search of a word that would mean "speaking French in an effort to seduce someone". We decided that fuaver...

srah - Tuesday, 15 April 2003 - 5:23 AM
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En la clase de español

Hoy, estudiamos la grammatica de francés. Para aprender lenguas, es muy importante conocer bien su misma lengua, entonces revisamos el subjunctivo y el condicional de francés antes de estudiar esos tiempos en español. Correct me, lurking Spanish speakers. I know you're there. If you let me prattle along in bad Spanish, I will always sound like an evil baby. Please help me learn to talk like a hillbilly instead....

srah - Friday, 11 April 2003 - 11:16 AM
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All het up about fruit

Why do both English and French have the same word for the fruit and the color orange? Why don't we call that color "carrot", something orange that probably would have been more familiar to the French and English back when colors were being named? Maybe the fruit was named after the color, which I think would be super-dumb. We don't call lemons "yellows", now do we? And why wouldn't you be able to come up with a better name? Even "orangefruit" would be better....

srah - Friday, 4 April 2003 - 7:59 AM

ET, llame à la maison

I'm still reading Contact. In the book, an alien civilization has been receiving our television signals and sends a message to the Earth. It occurs to me that if an alien civilization only had one language on their whole planet, they might think we were much more complicated than we are. If they had no concept of foreign languages, would it even occur to them to try to understand the languages in our broadcasts, or would they just think it was gibberish? And if they did try to translate, would it occur to them that our planet manages to survive...

srah - Sunday, 30 March 2003 - 1:23 PM
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Euro pudding

It is always an adventure to bring together a bunch of people with varied language skills. We went to lunch at my host family's house in Grenoble today and brought together during the course of the afternoon my parents and grandmother, who speak no French, Jean-Pierre and his mother, who speak no English, and varying levels of biligualism from Bon Papa, Gaëlle, Denis, Françoise, Sophie and me. Bon Papa - to my surprise - knows enough English to as where my family was from and to sortir d'autres phrases throughout the day as needed. Gaëlle prefers Spanish to English. Denis...

srah - Saturday, 22 February 2003 - 1:31 PM
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Are you sick of me translating yet?

I had forgotten about Lost in Translation, which transforms the quote from yesterday into "I bark that she lives in England, because in all the diverse part that disowned and disowned is. The only language, that one that I speak, I am English: They had fallen of the French in the school and I made the examinacin of the jump with the sport of the square in the place. Also hour, during the buttock of the years, my reaction instinktive to the French of hearing a piedino in the sky is due to unload and to fit in the action...

srah - Thursday, 13 February 2003 - 10:54 AM

More fun with translation services

If you translate my blog from French to English, you will discover that Jennifer always has good drunk stop stories. Weird things happen to her At the drunk stop. Another good one is Andrés: (in Spanish) You' D better watch it, but I' ll cuts to find has new girlfriend. Srah: Ahhhh! That should not be said! You will begin rumours! Never mind, I'm amusing myself anyway....

srah - Tuesday, 11 February 2003 - 8:48 AM
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I love online translation systems

Would you be interested in translating my blog into really bad French? Just for your information, Je suis Sarah, connu sous le nom de srah. Je suis le Michigan, Etats-Unis, mais je travaille en tant qu'aide anglais dans Vichy, France cette année, et dépends fortement de parler (et de blogging) dans les franglais . Si vous ne comprenez pas un mot ou une expression, l'essai mousing-au-dessus de, et la traduction en anglais devraient sauter vers le haut. and also Soy Sarah, conocido como srah. Soy de Michigan, los E.E.U.U., pero estoy trabajando como ayudante inglesa en Vichy, Francia este año,...

srah - Tuesday, 11 February 2003 - 8:39 AM
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srah's fantabulous tower of babble

One of the things I love about Europe is that it's so polyglottal polyglottic polyglotty polyglottious. Anyway, there are a buttload of languages here. Because the countries have so much inter-European trade, packaging is usually in at least three languages. Usually it's enough for me to read one of the languages, but sometimes I find myself perusing several for my own amusement, and I begin wondering if someone's out to get me. It's always interesting to find that the Spanish and French packaging includes a direction or safety warning that is missing from the English translation. I found the same...

srah - Wednesday, 15 January 2003 - 3:40 AM
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My least favorite things to hear

Actually, there are probably some that are a lot worse. "Maybe she'll wake up if we give her an electric shock" comes to mind. But these are the phrases I would rather not hear again during my séjour in France: "Oh? You both speak English? You should speak English to each other." "You speak language x? Say something in language x." I need more direction than that, thank you. I am not a parrot. Forced conversations or forced language-speaking is, by nature, forced and therefore not natural. And when I hear one of these phrases, all logical normal speech flies...

srah - Friday, 8 November 2002 - 10:42 AM

The language nerd's adventures in Auvergnat

I'm not quite sure what my goal was in checking out this Pocket Auvergnat phrasebook, but it dos have some interesting information on the region. For example, Mentre tres annadas terriblas, la "Bèstia" devoriguèt dròlles e dròllas dins lo caire de Saug means, for all you Pacte des loups fans, "For three terrible years, the Gévaudan Beast devoured boys and girls in the area of Saugue." I have also learned that lai a mai de vint vialas d'aigas en Auvèrnhe and the ever useful Podria 'nar gitar las vachas ame vosautres? These are all lovely phrases, but I'm not sure...

srah - Friday, 1 November 2002 - 7:08 AM
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Language nerd

At the library today, I borrowed a book-and-tape set for continued Spanish study, a book-free Russian tape set, a book on conversational Italian, and oc!'">L'Auvergnat de poche, a recently published book of words and phrases from the native language of Auvergne. If I tried to learn them all, I would get terribly confused and my head would explode, but it's mostly just to stick my toe in a few new languages and to learn some rules for each one. The tapes are rather old and stretched, so I may have to pick another language where they have CDs, which would...

srah - Tuesday, 29 October 2002 - 12:45 PM
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The Book-Monster Strikes Again

I am reading American Rigolos, which Agnès lent me. It's the French translation of a British book about America, written by an American. Bill Bryson worked in England for twenty years before going back to the US and bringing his British family with him. So, while he sounds American and all, he has trouble adjusting to the culture he knew a long time ago. He wrote this series of articles for a newspaper back in England, and they were published as Notes from a Big Country (in the UK) and I'm A Stranger Here Myself (in the US). The strange...

srah - Tuesday, 22 October 2002 - 1:55 AM
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Do you speak français?

I can tell already that I'm going to miss speaking French when I go back home in April. It will be frustrating and painful. I know this because it happened when I left Grenoble, too. What I get used to here is that when I speak to Americans (or other English-speakers), they all speak French too. I get comfortable speaking to people who speak my language but don't mind if I start babbling at them in French. It's that easy, comfortable bilangualism that I miss, falling in and out of the two languages with people who speak both....

srah - Thursday, 17 October 2002 - 2:37 PM
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Call me Nombrile

Sophie has just informed me that Sarah means "belly-button" in Arabic. Delightful....

srah - Sunday, 29 September 2002 - 4:49 PM

Je ne sais pas que idioma wo am speaking de temps en temps

With 22 years of English, 10 years of French, 1 year of Spanish, and 1 semester of Mandarin Chinese, my mind is a big linguistic muddle sometimes. I was showing my Chile pictures to Françoise last night and would switch to Spanish whenever I said a Spanish place-name, although I pronounced the Spanish place-name à la française. When I was talking to the other Srah and other Morins would enter the room, I would try to speak to them in English. When I took Chinese and didn't know the Chinese word, it would come out in English. When I'm on...

srah - Sunday, 22 September 2002 - 1:15 PM
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Nimen hao!

This page is accessible in China. Is yours?...

srah - Tuesday, 10 September 2002 - 10:16 PM
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The voice of God compels you... to study French culture

Went to Albion to hear James Earl Jones last night. It was like he was Dr. Guenin-Lelle with a much deeper voice, because he seemed to be teaching my Freshman Seminar. His topic was Culture. PT opened up by saying that James Earl Jones sounded more like he imagined the voice of God than anyone he'd ever heard. I'm sure it's a common belief, but it scared me because it sounded like Uncle Pete had been reading my blog. Albion gave him an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters before his speech. "When do I get my honorary doctorate?" I asked...

srah - Friday, 30 August 2002 - 10:31 AM
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My four favorite things about Antonín Dvořák

1. ř 2. á 3. í 4. Slavonic Dances Why don't I have accents in my name? From now on, you may address me as şřåħ....

srah - Thursday, 22 August 2002 - 2:44 PM
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Je ne sais pas what's going on en mi cabeza

Do you speak more than one language? Actually, I suppose this could affect anyone. This morning, I listened to music in Bulgarian, Japanese and Flemish. I found myself picking up familiar sounds and making French, Spanish, or English words out of them so that I could try to understand the song. What's up with that? Sometimes it would be nice to be able to éteindre parts of your brain. Like, for example, the part that just now could not come up with the English phrase "turn off"....

srah - Tuesday, 13 August 2002 - 7:03 PM

srah and her words, part deux

In French (feuilles) and Spanish (hojas), a piece of paper is a "leaf". In English (in the U.S. at least), we have loose-leaf paper, but for the most part, we call individual pieces of paper "sheets". Which is the same word we use for bed-coverings. We're funny like that. I wonder why we don't call them leaves....

srah - Wednesday, 7 August 2002 - 2:08 PM
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Did you know the German word for whipped cream is schlag? How much more fun is it to order something mit schlag instead of with whipped cream? Go ahead, exclaim it right now. SCHLAG! After writing that, I have looked it up on Babelfish. According to them, SCHLAG! means impact, which is almost (but not quite) as fun to exclaim. I dunno, my mommy told me it meant whipped cream and I trust my mommy. Any German speakers out there know the real poop?...

srah - Monday, 29 July 2002 - 10:34 AM

My face is going to China

A Chinese researcher who doesn't speak much English has just arrived at the library (yes, around 4:30 on a Friday...) and I spent about fifteen minutes helping him fill out his registration card. He came over to me for help with it, rather than to the reference desk. I think he likes me because I speak slowly to him. I wish I remembered more than tushuguan (library) from my semester of Chinese - I think he already knew where he was, so tushuguan wasn't doing me much good. I get the impression, after learning a bit about Chinese and talking...

srah - Friday, 26 July 2002 - 4:51 PM
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Day 12: 21 June 2002 - "What says the voices in the sky?"

We started off the day with heaping bowls of Chocapic, just the way a day should begin. Mine were plain, in cold milk, like a normal Unitedstatesian. Pato's were in warm milk with sugar poured over the top, like Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes. Gotta find that cartoon... Pato, tía Amada and I would be going south that evening, to pick up the car. Apparently it was a problem with the clutch and not the brakes, as I had previously believed. Anyway, the car was in Rancagua and it was time to go pick it up. The idea was that...

srah - Friday, 21 June 2002 - 10:43 PM
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Thank you, Babelfish

Here's a Babelfish translation of a story originally from Yahoo! Rhne-Alpes: Six months of prison with deferment to have raped a bitch LYON (AP) - an inhabitant of Claveisolles (the Rhone) was condemned Tuesday by the Court of Bankruptcy of the Villefranche-on-Saone (the Rhone), in six months of prison with deferment to have raped a bitch, one learned Wednesday from legal source. The man, 53 years old, explained to the bar that, for 30 years, it has preferred the bitches with the women because the first are, according to him, more accommodating. Already condemned in the past to four months...

srah - Wednesday, 5 June 2002 - 11:37 AM
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I'm the cheese whiz

English is "cheese". German is "käse". Spanish is "queso". Portuguese is "queijo". All very similar words. So where the heck does "fromage" come from?...

srah - Wednesday, 22 May 2002 - 8:57 AM
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Words are interesting

While my dad and I were driving to my grandparents' house yesterday, we were talking about things that are pronounced funny and we realized something that I thought was sort of cool. You would never think that the names Beecham and Campbell were related, would you? But Beecham is an Anglicization of the French Beauchamp, meaning beautiful field. And Campbell comes from the Italian Campobello, which means the same thing! I thought that was neat. Humo(u)r me....

srah - Monday, 1 April 2002 - 8:10 AM

I hate hate HATE

I hate hate HATE the phrase "true that", meaning "that's true". In our little international community, phrases and expressions seem (moreso that in an all-native-English-speaking community) to catch on with one person and suddenly be tossed around by everyone. I would like that one to be tossed somewhere else, please....

srah - Friday, 11 January 2002 - 1:50 PM
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Another (oh god!) aspect of this is when people split them and create the word "nother", as in "a whole nother thing". My friend Cheryl told me what this is called, but I forgot. El Patito complains when he asks me a question ("What is your first name?") and I say "I forget." Yeah, so it's not correct, and I should probably say "I forgot". My sassy answer is usually that this is just one instance in my ongoing state of forgetfulness. Does everyone do this? Is this a weird srah thing or a weird Michigan thing or a weird...

srah - Thursday, 10 January 2002 - 6:36 PM
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Why grammar is the first casualty of war

Why grammar is the first casualty of war - lovely, Terry J. Thank you. [via BenHammersley.com]...

srah - Wednesday, 9 January 2002 - 1:36 AM

I got many lovely presents...

I got many lovely presents, including The Sims Hot Date, which will ensure that I never have to venture into the real world again, and a European phrase book, which will enable me to say děkuji, tak, dank u wel, kiitos, merci, danke, ευχαριστώ, Köszönöm, grazie, takk, dziękuję, obrigada, gracias and tack instead of "thank you"....

srah - Thursday, 27 December 2001 - 12:05 AM
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The French and Spanish words for peanut

The French and Spanish words for peanut are both "cacahuete" but pronounced differently. In Cuba, they also say "mani", which comes from Arabic. Stephanie says that in Spanish, the sounds "al" (as in Alvarez) and "guad" (as in Guadalajara) originally come from Arabic, too. Historically, it makes sense that Arabic would have affected Spanish, but it never would have occurred to me. I love words....

srah - Friday, 21 December 2001 - 1:54 PM
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No tengo ganas

No tengo ganas de estudiar. Spanish (and French in some cases) words often tend to have es- where we only have s-, like in España (you know how long it took me to find the ñ on the Chilean-keyboard-setup? too long.) vs. Spain and estudiar vs. study. Alex overcompensates for this and comes up with words like skimo. Veddy cute. As I was saying, no tengo ganas de estudiar. Je n'ai pas envie d'étudier. I don't feel like studying....

srah - Sunday, 9 December 2001 - 3:57 PM
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I got an email

I got an email from a French John Hannah fan (yes, they exist!) today so I replied in French. She just wrote me back, saying that if I hadn't said I was American, she would have thought I was just a mis-typing French person. Things like that make me feel warm and sunny. Why is American both an adjective and a noun, but you can't say "a French" or "a Chinese" or "an English"? In French, the adjective and noun are always the same. It's easier. I don't like having to add "person". Weird - you can say "the French"...

srah - Saturday, 1 December 2001 - 5:24 PM
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I tried to say numbers

I tried to say numbers in French today but they tried to come out in Spanish. Things are all confused in my head. I think I'm aging backwards and my attention span is getting shorter as I get older. Maybe i's just early-onset senility. I don't think it's a good sign that the one class I'm taking in my major this semester is the one class where I watch the clock from beginning to end and whimper in my head about how painfully bored I am. I hate literature classes....

srah - Wednesday, 28 November 2001 - 4:19 PM
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Now and again he spoke to those that served him

"Now and again he spoke to those that served him and thanked them in their own language. They smiled at him and said laughing: 'Here is a jewel among hobbits!'" - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter III Just goes to show... a little linguistic effort will go a long way to impressing the people you meet. And not just with elves. Give it a try!...

srah - Tuesday, 27 November 2001 - 4:54 PM
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The French word ignorer

The French word ignorer means "to be unaware of" something. This seems to be more closely related to the word "ignorant" than is the English verb "to ignore"....

srah - Monday, 26 November 2001 - 4:25 PM
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Isn't it a good thing

Isn't it a good thing that John F. Kennedy went to Berlin instead of Vienna, Austria? Then he would have announced "Ich bin ein Wiener." "Ha ha ha ha ha ha," she laughed maturely....

srah - Monday, 12 November 2001 - 8:51 PM

Dr Wyss says

Dr Wyss says American men tend to speak in only two pitches on average. I wonder if that's why I'm biased towards foreigners......

srah - Tuesday, 6 November 2001 - 1:18 AM
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