Random Friday


10spamYikes, the spambots were busy on Wednesday between 1 and 4pm – all on a Happiness is… post (the same for all)… I had cleaned the spam folder before leaving the office and when I went back to the dashboard to schedule this post I had this not so wonderful surprise! :(

Anyhow, spam-folder cleaned, hopping to another topic. If you are following me on Goodreads, you might have noticed the past week I was reading 3 non-fiction books in 3 different languages. Well, 2 have been there for at least a couple of years because I read them in my free time (the one in French is historical and not for immediate research purposes, the one in English is very useful but I also need to read it very slowly and figure out what applies to me and what doesn’t – and I’m sure there’s a revised edition by now, but I haven’t finished that one yet, so I’ll wait, LOL!). The third one is written by a journalist, my favorite as I enjoyed very much his Italian “lessons” – and this is English “lessons”. Of course it’s geared to Italians, but I enjoyed it very much (even if I’m fluent in English) because he also analizes the different ways of teaching languages.

I learned 2 as mother tongue (being Italian but living and going to school in France, so I spoke Italian at home and French outside of it) – still bemoaning how much I’m forgetting my French, sigh. I should be at the Salon du Livre instead of whining on the blog! – and one with a few mixed methods, as I started studying English at school (grammar lessons), then continued on my own through song lyrics and eventually DVD subtitled (English/English HOH), which is what I call the Empirical Method and is also mentioned by Mr Severgnini regarding someone who learned English through song lyrics. And that’s how I’m learning Hindi at the moment – as dear teacher doesn’t really have a method, even if he says he does. So I’m not learning from him, but from Bollywood movies&songs – just like before.

Another fun bit was imagining that English was written as it’s pronounced. I also like to say that in English pronounciation is arbitrary, but apparently there are people who advocate to write it as it’s pronounced, which would immensely help us non-native speakers! ;) This method implies that, for example, fish written as pronounced should be written gothi: f like “rou gh”, i like “w o men”, sh like “na ti on”… There, I even found a link to the article Mr Severgnini must have read before me! ;) Fun, innit?

BTW, there’s no trace of the very British “innit” in that book. I guess I’m even more proficient than him, LOL! Just kidding, his is not an English course, but it will help Italians who think English is  so hard to learn, by showing them how many English words have already infiltrated Italian and by teaching them a few simple tricks. This won’t rid us of Italians traveling and demanding to be understood when they speak only Italian (and especially in France, nobody is going to bother to try to understand them, LOL), but if it helps at least a few, I’ll feel less dejected when I meet one in an airport – in those cases I always pretend I’m not Italian, and my looks help, but sometimes I really want to hide under a rock.

I also downloaded the sample of Mr.Severgnini’s book on Italy & Mr.B (can you tell I like the guy?), but I refuse to pay 12euro for an e-book – for that price, I’ll get the dead-trees-book instead! :) That’s traditional publishers’ policy all over the world, I guess… sigh. And I like Rizzoli/BUR as they used to publish my favorite Italian author (who was also a journalist, so I loved both her fiction and her non-fiction books), Brunella Gasperini. But I won’t let them have my money for a very expensive e-book because they need to sell the paper versions first.

To end the randomness with a little image, lovely Stacy gave me the Sunshine award. As it’s been a few years since I last received it (I think 2010 or 2011 was the Blog Award Year, with many recieved from more than one person, LOL), I guess I can follow the rules (sort of, as usual).

sunshine-awardHere are the rules to accept this award:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  • 10-12 other fabulous bloggers must be nominated.
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

Okay, here come the answers to the questions:

1 – Favorite color: Blue

2 – Favorite animal: unicorn

3 – Favorite number: 5

4 – Favorite non-alcoholic drink: tea

5 – Prefer Facebook or Twitter? Facebook, I don’t Tweet 

6 – My passion: Writing, Music, Drawing, Movies

7 – Prefer getting or giving presents: Can’t bother either if it’s at fixed dates. But if I find something very specific for someone – YAY!

8 – Favorite pattern: Pattern? Sorry, don’t understand the question (I use “patterns” in Photoshop, but I guess this is something else)

9 – Favorite day of the week: Saturday

10 – Favorite flower: as long as it doesn’t have a perfume (I’m allergic to all smells)

Nominees: any of you lovely new blog followers who would like to grab it and put it on your blog! When I last did this, I had more or less 40 followers and now too many to choose from. So, like last time, if you want it, grab it and pass it on!

Anyway, that’s all for today! Have a wonderful weekend!

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2 Comments

  1. That’s a great idea, using DVDs with subtitles! I tried to learn French, but I’m told my accent is hilarious. Not really what I was going for. He! He! I have a friend whose French-Canadian and a friend who was born and raised in Paris. I was always taught that the two dialects were so different, they might as well be a different language. This is NOT true. I invited both friends to lunch so they could meet. They could speak to each other just fine, but my French is so poor, all I could do is nod and listen. :) If you’ve never learned to “roll” your R’s as a child, it’s very difficult to learn as an adult, and sadly, most languages BESIDES English roll the R’s.

    • yes, Québecois and Français are two different languages! I tried to watch a French-Canadian movie without subtitles and had to switch them on at the very beginning – that’s not the French I grew up with! :)
      But when we could still see the French channel in Rome, there were sometimes Canadian guests on the French TV and they were perfectly understandable. So I guess there is some form of French where they meet midway – like international English. Supposedly Brits and Americans shouldn’t understand each other either, but you do, don’t you? ;) (although it was hilarious discovering American subtitles on “Bend it like Beckam” – glad at that point my English was good enough to understand why the subtitles didn’t say the same thing that was said in the movie!)
      The Babel tower created a real mess in this world, though… ;)

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