Brushing My Tongues

You can tell I’m manic this morning; no sooner have I finished one post than I want to write another. I’ve started listening to the Greek conversation practice and it’s so hilarious I just had to tell you about it. They start with things you do in the morning and it begins normally enough; I get out of bed, I make some coffee, I brush my teeth etc but then it goes on to I argue with the children and I avoid the neighbours before proceeding to I get on the bus followed by I have a nap. Well I guess after all that arguing and avoiding people you’d need a nap. The phrases are much too fast; having taught both French and English I know you need to go a lot slower, but listening is good. The trouble I’ve had with learning Ancient Greek is that it’s totally book-based, whereas I learn best if I can hear the language spoken. I might get the Italian one as well, which I’ll find a lot easier because (a) they have the same alphabet so I can visualise the words and (b) I already know some Italian. It’s slightly disconcerting though because it begins with a phone conversation;

Woman: Hello. How are you?

Man: I’m fine. What are you doing?

Woman: I’m washing the dishes. What are you doing?

Man: I’m watching TV.

Hmm. Language-learning does tend to be more stereotyped because stereotypes are easier to recognise. I once had a Punjabi teacher who had a fund of sayings in that language, most of which were horrendously sexist. Know your audience, guys! A propos of which I once, as an English teacher in Spain, showed my class an episode of Fawlty Towers and was struck by how insulting the character of Manuel must seem to them.

So today’s going to be a bit linguistic I think.

Kirk out

3 thoughts on “Brushing My Tongues

  1. I find it easier to learn acting scripts if I record them omitting my own lines, because it seems more real than just reading the text; I do that as well, of course, Cheers, Jon.

  2. Well done with tackling Greek. I tried Russian when I was still at school, (not on the syllabus, I did it at home) and struggled with the Cyrillic alphabet. I kept translating the letters before trying to translate the word. Should have known I had to visualise it as a whole. On numerous trips to the Soviet Union, I never got much further that the usual ‘please and thanks yous’, as well as some words for food and drink.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Russian is interesting I think, though I’ve never tried to learn it. I’m also fascinated by North Indian languages and the idea of hanging the words from the line instead of putting them on it

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