Friday, April 13, 2007

Voo Lay Voo Coo Shay Ah Vek Mwa, Say Swa?

The BBC is offering self contained language courses in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, and Portugese!

They're very much geared to the British tourist in a borderless EU -- the classes don't bother with an understanding of the origins of the language, the rules of pronunciation, or even very much with the rules of grammar. They're heavy on repetition of stock phrases and "ecoutez et repetez" rote memorization, hoping that the casual learner will simply remember "Je m'appelle.." without caring to know the meaning of "je" and "me", the congugation of "appeller", or the rules of elision.

Still, lately I've been feeling stuck in a rut. I haven't been reading many new books, I haven't been doing anything creative outside of work. Perhaps becoming tourist-fluent in some new languages is what I need.

I am on my way to becoming a cunning linguist.

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