Wednesday, October 07, 2020

PRECONCEPTIONS COMING OUT THE EARS

Six years ago I wrote an essay on learning Chinese, for a friend who is no longer a friend. Sadly, he's even more unstable than he was then, and has moved out of the area entirely.
I am glad I haven't seen him since before our last presidential election.


LEARNING CHINESE: A SHORT LIST OF ESSENTIAL ADDENDA


I probably overstressed reading too much. Movies are far more important. They present the language as it is used and how it sounds, and often show understandable social context.

Besides, many Americans find reading hard.


Most Europeans who speak flawless English learned it from American teevee shows. Bonanza, Mash, and Baywatch. Of course it gave them all the wrong ideas about what the United States is actually like, much like Americans form their impressions of Europe on the basis of World War Two movies and English television series .....


And surely all of us Yanks run slow-motion to the incoming surf wearing red speedos, before heading back to the ranch in medivac choppers while eating fast food.

I certainly do. On a regular basis!



The average foreigner, as Monty Python reminds us, has two ears, a heart, a forehead, and a beak for eating honey. But it is provided with fins for swimming.
They are dangerous.




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