DWJ: languages, German

lpuszcz at uoft02.utoledo.edu lpuszcz at uoft02.utoledo.edu
Fri Dec 29 13:02:45 EST 2000

Bettina wrote, quoting me:
>I *hate* it when characters airily solve                                     
>language problems with a computer or something like that.  But maybe         
>that's just residual resentment from the years and years and years I've      
>been studying a second language (Spanish) and there is still so much to      
But it's fun too, isn't it? Language is very much connected to culture, to
so many things "above and beyond" grammar. Like this "Simon says" thing I
asked about on this list: there are so many details, and I think it's very
exciting when you discover new bits.                                                   

Absolutely.  The cultural bits are (to me) the most interesting part. I
often thought about going into sociolinguistics because the cultural and
historical influences on language are fascinating. You can find out a lot
of neat things about language through books, but the best way is getting
to live in a place for a while. I spent the morning (work is very slow
today) looking for reasonable study abroad trips in Spain, France or
Germany for this summer--learning a language is so much more fun when
you're immersed, and the neat cultural bits are more up-to-date and
autheentic than the things I've seen in some textbooks.  Speaking of
which, I got a holiday card from the German host family I stayed with this
past summer, and my host mom used the word "die quiz-show" (referring to
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," which we watched together all the time).         
I was amazed at the number of Englsih words that I heard in German while


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