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Re: OT: Slightly OT: French as a second language

From:Aquamarine Demon <aquamarine_demon@...>
Date:Friday, November 23, 2001, 3:36
>If the guy is a native Hebrew speaker, he could be reacting to the differences >between the Hebrew >he was used to and English, which is a very different >system. My kids, who are native Hebrew >speakers, also don't like English >even though they are fluent in it. Their reasons are mostly the >following: >1. Due to the triconsonantal-root structure of Hebrew, the grammar seems to >them to be a lot >more predictable than English: especially after having >learned Hebrew grammar in school and then >having learned English grammar as >part of English class, they think that English is mostly >exceptions with a few rules thrown in rather than the other way around. >2. Could be the phonology too: Israeli Hebrew doesn't diphthongize its vowels >the way English >does: "e" is /e/, not /ej/ for example. Also, there is no >/I/ or /&/ or /U/ (as in Midwestern American >"put"). And the (American at >least) English "r" is not trilled or tapped. Might be a bit too much of a >difference for him. >3. And let's not forget the spelling, a topic of extreme youthful anguish often heard in our home. >;-) Hebrew is spelled a lot more like it is pronounced than English is. Typical >rant in our home: >"Why are there 50 million ways to spell (and they >pronounce /i/)? If it sounds like (pronounced /i/), >it should be written "i" >and be done with it!"
<snip> Well... he speaks English just as good as anyone, so it probably isn't so much pronunciation... might be, but not sure... maybe I should ask him someday.
>It's a line from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode, where >they're trying to figure out the reason why people are spontaneously >breaking into choreographed songs :-) > > >-Stephen (Steg) > "mew... meep!"
LOL... okey....
>"Beloved" is "Chéri(e)", and AFAIK not related to Cheryl. But I may be wrong. After >all, who knows >that "gay" is really a French borrowing into English? :))) >(even the orthography. At the time of the >borrowing, "gay" was written with >a "y" in French too :)) )
It doesn't look close enough to me to be related, but I'm no linguist... Really? Weird.
>You're welcome! :)
>I don't even understand how teachers can teach you such things. Don't they talk?
I know! It's weird.
>They used to have a different meaning. The simple past was more or less >equivalent to the English >preterite (but then, since we also have an >imperfect, the equivalence is not complete), while the >compound past was >more or less like the present perfect. But we stopped using the simple past >>in speech, and the compound past became used this way, losing its perfect >sense (completely. >For "I've been looking for you for hours", we say: "Je te cherche depuis des >heures" with a present >tense). Only in writing the simple past is kept (but >the compound past is not used then. We >simply don't have anymore a perfect >tense, whether in writing or in speech).
Ah, I see.... ;) It makes more sense now... to my english-thinking brain.... ;)
>:)) I can understand. They confuse French people too :) .
>And for the French too :) .
That's so funny... of course, a lot of English speakers don't use your and you're; their, there and they're; and a lot of other things right.
>Indeed. Using "ne" in speech sounds extremely formal and artificial. Good for an >official speech, >but not for daily life.
Man... that makes things a lot more simple... I don't think my french teacher would let me get away with it, tho.
>Evil creatures in the Legend of Zelda (the first game on the 8bit Nintendo >Entertainment System). >:)) > >Christophe.
Hehe... I just love getting 2 completely different explanations... fun... The Aquamarine Demon Gesám ayi mozuká. Gesám dohíng mozuká. Gesám adohíng mozuká! --------------------------------- Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! GeoCities - quick and easy web site hosting, just $8.95/month.