Posts made in November, 2012

Oh no, not The Simpsons…again…

Posted on Nov 23, 2012 | 0 comments

There are many things about Belgium that I don’t always get, but I really do not get the obsession that Belgians seem to have with The Simpsons. In fact, I don’t understand why anyone would be obsessed with that show, but I can understand it even less when it seems to be a whole nation that is captivated by it. So many times during my lectures this semester a professor has made a reference to The Simpsons. Just yesterday, in one of my literature courses, a professor shared a clip of one of the episodes to elaborate on Edgar Allan Poe’s, The Raven. The lecture hall was filled with hundreds of students erupting in laughter, seemingly delighting in their common knowledge of every episode of The Simpsons that was ever produced.

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Be wary of the egg whites.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 | 2 comments

Be wary of the egg whites.

It is apparent to me now that my interest in languages has always existed. I can clearly recognize my early fascination when I think back on how I used to read the foreign words on shampoo bottles, food packaging ingredient lists and any other place where these functional little translation dictionaries were presented to my young eyes. French and Spanish were the forerunners on American packaging. Now that I’m living in Europe there seems to be a whole array of tiny language dictionaries placed at my fingertips. In fact, in Belgium nearly every package contains at least 3 languages – Dutch, French, and German. A common mistake that those who have never attempted to learn a second language often make is assuming that language learning is a simple task of taking the word which you want to say and translating it to the corresponding word in the target language. Sometimes it works like this and when it does it’s a beautiful thing. Often it doesn’t.

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False Friends

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 | 0 comments

False Friends

The word friend seems to be a very straight-forward word that most English speakers associate with that warm feeling you get when someone does something thoughtful for you or the contentment you feel when you come in contact with someone that seems to look at the world in the same way that you do. We all know what it means to have a friend. I thought I understood the word friend in all of its senses; that was until I moved to Belgium.

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