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Posts Tagged ‘French’

Peeking Out…


picture of squirrel in pumpkin

Just peeking out.... I normally post to my blog on Monday evenings and Thursday mornings, but I just noticed in my blog stats that yesterday's blog post was my 250th. Wow, one-fourth of the way to 1,000 posts! I thought that that was worth a special post. A friend whom I considered the patron saint of the blog when I began my blog reminded me the other day that I told her at first that I didn't think I would enjoy blogging and would have nothing to write about. It was one of those "never say never" moments. Thanks for your encouragement, Bet! 😀

Another thing I'd like to share is a link to Radio France Internationale. One of their bureau chiefs, Anne Toulouse, came to BJU recently as part of a study she was doing for a report about the evangelical vote. I was asked if I was willing to be interviewed since it could be done in French. Anne was very kind and did not have any kind of axe to grind. Her "reportage" seems to be quite fair - mainly just reporting what she learned from the many people she interviewed. What a concept - a journalist who simply reports and doesn't editorialize! I've read several good articles lately about the death of journalism. You can see them by clicking here and here. You can listen to report on RFI - le poids du vote évangélique - by clicking here.

Radio France Internationale logo

Back to general lurkdom....


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No Truck?


picture of Drew with a pumpkin

This past Friday my wife Becka, our daughter Nora, and I headed north for Cincinnati, Ohio, after my last class ended. Our older daughter Megan, our son-in-law Jim, and our grandson Drew headed south for Cincinnati and arrived earlier in the evening than we did. We all thoroughly enjoyed our quiet weekend together. One of our activities on Saturday was to go to the Pumpkin Patch at Blooms and Berries Farm Market in Loveland, Ohio. We did not do all the activities available there since several members of our party were not feeling their best with colds. We did enjoy seeing all sorts of fall produce on display and for sale and a hayride which included a stop at their pumpkin patch. Here are a few pictures from our afternoon there.

picture of Drew looking at decorative squash

picture of us on a hayride

picture of Drew exploring the pumpkin patch

picture of Drew on the tractor

On the way up to Cincinnati and back we saw a number of questionable drivers and interestingly loaded vehicles. Some people did not let having no truck keep them from hauling whatever it was they wanted to transport. This practice is known all over the world, though, as the following pictures readily testify to what people will do when they have no truck.

picture of a person hauling baskets

picture of a person hauling eggs

picture of a person hauling his family

picture of a person hauling fish

picture of a person hauling various fowl

picture of a person hauling greens

picture of a person hauling hoops

picture of a person hauling a large mirror

picture of a person hauling pigs

picture of a person hauling pipes

picture of a person hauling a piece of railing

picture of a person hauling a shark

picture of a person hauling tires

picture of a person hauling tubes

picture of a person hauling vegetables

During our summers in Asia we saw similar scenes, to our amazement! I am very thankful for my little pickup truck which has come in very handy for hauling all sorts of things. 🙂

Even though I have a truck, there are some things with which I have "no truck." Having no truck comes from the French verb "troquer" which means swap, trade, barter. So when someone says he "has no truck with something," it means he refuses to have dealings with something. For instance, I have no truck with the Marxist ideal of "redistributing wealth." I also have no truck with abortion.

On purpose, I try to steer clear of politics on this blog, since the answer to mankind's problems is the Lord, not politicians. I have to say that I am not wildly enthusiastic about either of the two major candidates in the presidential race, so please do not misconstrue what I'm saying as tacit approval of either candidate. Once again this election year, I will have to plug my nose and vote for one person mainly as a vote against the other person. As much as a third party vote would make me feel good, I need to be able to sleep at night.

This past Friday two young pastors whose blogs I follow both did a blog post which I feel compelled to pass on to my readers in light of our elections in two short weeks. I would really like to urge you to check out these two posts, which I pass on without comment - one on a blog called Pensées and another on a blog called My Two Cents.

I would appreciate your comments on our weekend, the people with no truck, and the matters with which I have no truck.

quotation...

"God's plans will not fail to be accomplished." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

He who runs behind truck is exhausted. He who runs in front of truck is tired.


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The Parachute Paradigm


As I was looking through my files, trying to decide what to post, I ran across something I thought most of my readers will not have seen how two people look at the one remaining parachute.

The Parachute Paradigm

You are one of two people on a malfunctioning airplane, and there's only one parachute. Here's how you would handle the situation if you were a member of one of the following professions or philosophical outlooks...

Pessimist - you refuse the parachute because you might die in the jump anyway.

Optimist - you refuse the parachute because people have survived crashes like this before.

Procrastinator - you play a game of Monopoly - the winner gets the parachute.

Bureaucrat - you order a feasibility study on parachute use in multi-engine aircraft under code red conditions.

Lawyer - you agree to handle a lawsuit against the airline for a fee of one parachute.

Doctor - you tell your fellow traveler that you need to run more tests, then take the parachute in order to make it to your next appointment.

Sales executive - you sell the parachute to your fellow traveler at top retail rates and get the names of their friends and relatives who might like one too.

Internal Revenue Service - you confiscate the parachute along with your fellow traveler's luggage, wallet, and gold fillings.

Engineer - you make another parachute out of aisle curtains and dental floss.

Scientist - you give your fellow traveler the parachute and ask him to send you a report on how well it worked.

Mathematician - you refuse to accept the parachute without proof that it will work in all cases.

Philosopher - you ask how one can know that the parachute actually exists.

English major - you explicate simile and metaphor in the parachute instructions.

Comparative Linguist - you read the parachute instructions in all four languages.

Computer Scientist - you design a machine capable of operating a parachute as well as a human being could.

Economist - you plot a demand curve by asking your fellow traveler, at regular intervals, how much he would pay for a parachute.

Psychoanalyst - you ask your fellow traveler what the shape of a parachute reminds him of.

Actor - you tie your fellow traveler down so they can watch you develop the character of a person stuck on a falling plane without a parachute, before trying to find a stunt man to jump out for you at the last possible moment.

Artist - you hang the parachute on the wall and sign it.

Republican - as you jump out with the parachute, you tell your fellow traveler to work hard and not expect handouts.

Democrat - you extract a dollar from your fellow traveler to buy scissors so you can cut the parachute into two equal pieces.

Libertarian - after reminding your fellow traveler of his constitutional right to have a parachute, you take it and jump out.

Ross Perot - you tell your fellow traveler not to worry, since it won't take you long to learn how to fix a plane.

Surgeon General - you issue a warning that skydiving can be hazardous to your health.

Association of Tobacco Growers - you explain very patiently that despite a number of remarkable coincidences, studies have shown no link whatsoever between airplane crashes and death.

Environmentalist - you refuse to use the parachute unless it is biodegradable.

Auto Mechanic - you immediately start to look at the plane engine since, as long as you are looking at it, it works fine.

divider

The Modern Language Department plays went very well Saturday evening. I was particularly proud of my students in the French play. Their hard work was evident, and everyone seemed to enjoy our play. Below is a picture of the cast members and directors of the three plays. Most of those involved with the French play are in the top row.

Here's the cast of the French play. What a fun group!

quotation...

"The gospel is about what God has done. ... The gospel rescues those who know they can't make it." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you!


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English is Tough Stuff!


As a French teacher, I love language-related humor, but I try to post a good variety on my blog. Because of some of the news in the personal update, I thought I'd go language-related with today's post.

The poem below has been attributed to several sources, as best as I can ascertain by doing web searches. One source says it came about as an exercise from the multi-national translation personnel at the NATO headquarters in Paris. According to some reports, the personnel maintained that English wasn't so hard to learn, except that English pronunciation is a killer! And apparently they composed the poem to prove their point.

Another source says that a an English teacher in Holland required his students to learn by heart this poem he called "The Chaos." The English teacher was named G. Nolst Trenité and lived in the city of Haarlem. Trenité wrote articles under the pen name Charivarious and a little booklet entitled "Drop Your English Accent," in which the poem appeared.

Anyway, I've tried to cover the attribution bases, tending to believe that the latter might be the right one.

So now on to the iv.... Try reading even just a part of the poem aloud and see what happens. The poem highlights effectively (some would say extremly) some of the myriad incongruities of English spelling and pronunciation. If you're unsure of the pronounciation of some words, you could go to merriam-webster.com and type the word in the search box.

It's been said that after trying to read this poem aloud, one native French interpreter said he'd prefer to spend six months at hard labor than reading any six lines out loud!

Every language has its own difficulties as a foreign language that non-native speakers try to master. However, the English language is so notoriously difficult to learn that it's amazing we manage to communicate at all, at least in writing, suffice it to say that English is tough stuff!

The Chaos

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye, your dress you'll tear;
So I shall! Oh, hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!

Just compare heart, hear and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word.
Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it's written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say - said, pay - paid, laid but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak,
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding - sail, choir;
Woven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
Missiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing,
Same, examining, but mining,
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far.
From desire - desirable and admirable from admire,
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
Topsham, brougham, renown, but known,
Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.
Gertrude, German, wind and wind,
Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.
Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
Peter, petrol and patrol?
Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
Discount, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward,
Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
Right! Your pronunciation's OK.
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
Buoyant, minute, but minute.
Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
Would it tally with my rhyme
If I mentioned paradigm?
Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
Rabies, but lullabies.
Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
You'll envelop lists, I hope,
In a linen envelope.
Would you like some more? You'll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
To abjure, to perjure. Sheik
Does not sound like Czech but ache.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed but vowed.
Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover.
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice,
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,
Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
Rhyme with "shirk it" and "beyond it",
But it is not hard to tell
Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall.
Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
Has the a of drachm and hammer.
People push and rush to possess,
Desert, but desert, and address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,
Cow, but Cowper, some and home.
"Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker",
Quoth he, "than liqueur or liquor",
Making, it is sad but true,
In bravado, much ado.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.
Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
Mind! Meandering but mean,
Valentine and magazine.
And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
Tier (one who ties), but tier.
Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
Prison, bison, treasure trove,
Treason, hover, cover, cove,
Perseverance, severance. Ribald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn't) with nibbled.
Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.
Don't be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffet, buffet;
Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.
Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
Evil, devil, mezzotint,
Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)
Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don't mention,
Sounds like pause, pores, paws, and pours,
Rhyming with the pronoun yours;
Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
Funny rhymes to unicorn,
Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.
No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don't want to speak of Cholmondeley.
No. Yet Froude compared with proud
Is no better than McLeod.
But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
Troll and trolley, realm and ream,
Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.
Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
But you're not supposed to say
Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.
Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
When for Portsmouth I had booked!
Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
Episodes, antipodes,
Acquiesce, and obsequies.
Please don't monkey with the geyser,
Don't peel 'taters with my razor,
Rather say in accents pure:
Nature, stature and mature.
Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
Wan, sedan and artisan.
The th will surely trouble you
More than r, ch or w.
Say then these phonetic gems:
Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.
Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget 'em -
Wait! I've got it: Anthony,
Lighten your anxiety.
The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight - you see it;
With and forthwith, one has voice,
One has not, you make your choice.
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,
Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,
Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.
Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
Puisne, truism, use, to use?
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
Put, nut, granite, and unite.
Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.
Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific;
Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
Bona fide, alibi
Gyrate, dowry and awry.
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion, Rally with ally; yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess - it is not safe,
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.
Starry, granary, canary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
Face, but preface, then grimace,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
Do not rhyme with here but heir.
Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
With the sound of saw and sauce.

Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.
Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
Respite, spite, consent, resent.
Liable, but Parliament.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.
A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
I of antichrist and grist,
Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
Polish, Polish, poll and poll.
Pronunciation - think of Psyche! -
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
Won't it make you lose your wits
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington, and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Don't you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough??
Hiccough has the sound of sup.
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

divider

This Saturday evening the Modern Language Department at BJU is sponsoring three language plays from the Middle Ages. I have had the joy and responsibility of preparing my cast of nine students to present Le Vilain mire - The Peasant Doctor. If anyone local would like to come see the German play, the Spanish play, and the French play, they will begin at 7:00 pm in the SAS Assembly Room. Even if you don't know the languages, you might be pleasantly surprised by how much you understand.

Another bit of personal news is that it appears that my wife and I will not be going to Asia this summer to teach. Last fall when I contacted the Dean at the university where we'd taught two other summers, I was surprised to learn that some retired teachers from Mississippi had already contacted the Dean about teaching. We got an e-mail the other day indicating that those teachers are still planning to go. We are still willing to go if they don't end up going, but the Dean said we could definitely come in 2009.

quotation...

"One of the most important things prayer changes is you." - Dr. Tim Keesee

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

"To do is to be." -- Plato
"To be is to do." -- Kant
"Dobe dobe do." -- Sinatra


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Art Theft in Paris!


Since many people know I'm a French teacher, they send me a lot of French-related news and humor. I've decided to post one of those news items to my blog today. Prepare yourself - this is pretty shocking!

A thief in Paris planned to steal some paintings from the Louvre.

After much careful planning, he craftily got past security, stole the paintings, and made it safely to his van. However, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas!

When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied, "Monsieur that is the reason I stole the paintings.

I had no Monet

to buy Degas

to make the Van Gogh."

This is Rob again. Hope that wasn't too painful for those of you who aren't into puns. I received what I'm posting today by e-mail from several people. I think none of them thought I would have De Gaulle

to post this on my blog, but I figured after everything else I've posted, what have I got Toulouse?

Many here in the US are enjoying a nice break from global warming recently with absolutely frigid temps. It's supposed to get down into the teens here tonight! I know for some of you, that would be a nice spring day, but for those of us here in South Carolina, that is very cold!

For those of you who receive my blog posts by e-mail, any pictures that I include in blog posts should come through in the e-mail version. Some people have to click on something in their e-mail to make the images load. Sometimes that is found in a little bar at the very top of the e-mail - it all depends on the e-mail program you're using. In the last week or so, I have also inserted a couple of video clips into my blog posts - one of tractor square dancing and another of a man singing the song I mentioned in my last blog post. In order to view those, you must go to the blog. You can do that by clicking on the words "latest post to ivman's blague" or on the title of that blog post - both of those links are in the body of the e-mail message.

quotation...

"If heaven wouldn't be heaven without God, how can this life be good without Him?" - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool.


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