Thursday, December 13, 2012


It’s been an odd week, sometimes cold sometimes mild, lots of rain then sunshine. The east of France is covered in snow. Rob has been on holiday for a few days then he went back to work for one day for stock taking.

I’ve just been plodding on by in neutral mode. I finished watching The Pillars of the Earth and really enjoyed it. J-M bought me a book of short stories he found somewhere, so I started to read that. Has anyone ever managed to get their head around ‘Ping’ by Samuel Beckett? He wrote it in French first and I must admit that version makes a little more sense. I read that the point was to illustrate that language only makes sense in a cultural context. Discuss….


Caroline said...

To learn a language is a far more complicated thing than is made out by the retailers of teach yourself CDs. Language is in a constant state of flux as it gets churned and changed by the culture. I doubt that it is truly possible to ever speak like a native since you will never grow and live with the ever changing history and culture.

I never learnt a thing about france and the French language at school except that they ate horrible foods like snails and frogs legs and since they would obviously make me sick I would never visit the country...

The second half of my life has seen me visit nearly every year since the birth of my niece. I seem to have collected a large number of words but little sense of how to glue them together. Every time I visit and try to listen the language seems to have slightly transmuted due to the changing culture.

I watch French films, well I try since I am trying to both watch, listen and read subtitles. The english subtitles are written by idiots from an English culture who have little or no feeling for any kind of French culture. I miss great chunks of films when sum outrageous subtitle come up which is completely different from what has been said!!!!!!!!!

During my lifetime it has surprised me that there has been so much more emphasis on maintaining or reviving minority languages rather than aiming for universal understanding.

As good as some translations are i often find myself wondering what was meant in the original...

Happy Yule Anji.

Judy Haughton-James said...

I have never heard of the book 'Ping' by Samuel Beckett. It sounds interesting. Happy Holidays to you Anji.

Anji said...

Caroline: I agree with you on leartning a language. Would you believe that most of my French friends wouldn't touch snails or Frog's legs either?

Sub titles drive me mad too!

Judy: Ping is just a short story - fortunately - good luck with it. It is on the internet.