Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Belgium and French

I spent a few days in Belgium last week. Most people here speak English and when they hear a foreign accent in French, a lot of times they switch into English. So it is much harder to practice French here than in for example France. Another problem I had, is that I haven't spoken French in a while and had come in fresh off of spending a lot of time in Spain learning Spanish. So at moments I wanted or even was speaking a mixture of Spanish and French. For example when buying a train ticket I almost ended up saying "por favor" instead of "s'il vous plait" and kept on producing big gaps of silence when speaking French as not to say anything in Spanish. I kept wanting to say the word "vale".

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ethnic Joke

Accents can be funny! ITALIANS and English!

"One day, imma gonna New York City to bigga hotel. Inna morning, I go to eat breakfast. I tella the waitress, I wanna two pissa toast. She bringa me only one piss. I tella her I wanna two piss. She say go to the toilet. I say no understand, I wanna two piss onna plate. She say you better no piss onna plate, you sonna ma bitch. I donna even know the lady and she call me a sonna ma bitch.
Later I go eat at bigga restaurant. The waitress bring me a spoon and a knife but no fock. I tella her I wanna fock, shee tella me everyone wanna fock. I tella her you dont understand, i wanna fock on the table. She say you better no fock onna table, you sonna ma bitch.
So, I go back to my room inna hotel and there is no shite onna my bed. I call the manager and tella him I wanna shite onna my bed. He say you better no shit onna bed, you sonna ma bitch.
I go check out and the man at the desk say "peasce on you". I say piss onna you too, you sonna ma bitch. I gonna back to Italy

"Two Italians, Luigi and Antonio, met on the street. "Hey, Antonio," said Luigi. "Where you been for the past two weeks? No one seen you around."
"Donna talka to me, Luigi," replied Antonio. "I been inna da jail."
"Jail!" exclaimed Luigi. "What for you been in jail?"
"Wella, Luigi," Antonio said, "I was lying onna da beach, and the cops come, arresta me and throw me inna jail."
"But dey donna throw you in jail just for lying onna da beach!" Luigi countered.
"Yeah, but dissa beach was ascreamin' and akickin' and ayellin'.""

A Really Silly List of Words That Sound Like the English word "fuck"

I am sure everyone has come across words or names that made them chuckle on the inside:

Here's my list of words that remind me of the word "fuck" (list to be updated as I come up with more):

Fokker (type of plane)
Gregor Fucka (Slovenian-Italian basketball player)
Phuket (island in Thailand, with an honoroble mention going to Bangkok)
foca (Spanish word for seal)
fac eu (Romanian for "I do")
Phuc (Vietnamese name)
Fukeer (Bengali name)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Andalusian Accent

The Andalusian accent is a very distinct accent in Spain. People in Andalusia talk really fast and usually don't say the "s" at the end of words. For example "buenos dias" is said "bueno dia" without the "s" at the end. This makes it really hard to understand for learners of Spanish. However southern Spain is also a popular destination for people (especially Europeans) to come and learn Spanish. After a while of being there, you get used to the accent and even start dropping the "s" yourself!

Wikipedia Article on Andalusian Spanish

Saturday, October 17, 2009


An interesting thing is mixed languages, or languages that combine elements of usually two distinct languages. One of these is called Surzhyk, or a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian. I actually did not learn proper Russian first, but instead Surzhyk, although I thought that it was Russian. So later when I realized that what I was speaking was a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian and some of the words that I was using that I thought were Russian words were in fact Ukrainian, did I start separating the two languages. So I had to make a conscious effort to not use the Ukrainian words when speaking and instead focus on using their Russian equivalents instead. In this way I learned how to speak proper Russian (although still with some Ukrainian influences) and lost much of my Ukrainian.

Wikipedia Article on Surzhyk

Another article on Surzhyk:
Surzhyk: The Sociopolitical Significance of Ukrainian-Russian Mixed Language

Language Learning Blogs

I looked on the net and found out there are several blogs dedicated to languages and language learning.

Here is a list of some of the top ones:
Top 10 Language Learning Blogs 2009

Top 100 Language Learning Blogs 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spanish (from Spain) Native Material on the Net

I try to follow native Spanish material at least a few times during the week to improve my understanding of natives speaking the language.

The Spanish channel TVE has a website where you can view the news and some shows that were broadcast on tv during the week.