12 February 2008

Very Random Blog

• Today the bus driver obviously forgot which route he was driving, because he turned left where route 5 does instead of going straight like route 2 is supposed to. The ten or so French people and I looked at each other and chuckled a bit and surmised that he had made a mistake, but unlike Americans, nobody called out something like, "Sir? You weren't supposed to turn there..." I expect they would have if he hadn't turned around. Anyway, I can tell you that bendy buses can do very tight U-turns. I was quite impressed, and highly amused.

• In Dutch, the verb for "to sleep in" is uitslapen, which literally means "to sleep out." Isn't that odd? English used to be a lot like what Dutch is now, and it's often possible to imagine Dutch words being just like the roots of English words. This one's a mystery though! Incidentally, the French don't have a verb for sleeping in. It's part of their expression faire une grasse matinée, which encompasses sleeping and being lazy and getting a late start.

• One of the words in Dutch that reminds me of English is genoeg. The g is pronounced like the ch in loch or the х in Russian. Take away the first one, and it's easy to see that it's cousin is the English word "enough."

• Today in didactics we were talking about how, even if you speak a language perfectly, you could still have difficulties communicating because there are cultural aspects of speech. One student gave the example of how the French regularly interrupt each other and finish each other's sentences, which is perfectly polite here. Americans tend not to, unless they're talking with people who are very familiar and they've got a mini-culture going on where this is acceptable. She also said, (in French, this is my translation) "And the Germans don't interrupt each other either, although frankly that makes sense, because they have to wait to the end to get to their verb." Teehee.

• I have fallen in love with this website, which offers formal, official looking forms to fill that written communication void that modern technology has plunged our world into. Think back to the days in elementary school when you would be happy to receive a certificate saying that [your name here] is a * * Special Student! * * This accomplishes the same type of goal. Plus, the forms are subtly hilarious in the most sarcastic of ways. Here is my official Valentine's Day holiday notice to you. Click to make it bigger.


Kathleen said...

Do the French have a word for "overslept"?

Jakob said...

I like how under the "Additional Statement" heading it says "Brevity is a Virtue."