Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

Housekeeping

5 Comments

Updates on stuff I’ve written and your comments.

In the day after being Freshly Pressed, there were over 1200 clicks on my blog. Which is nuts. If you commented or “liked,” I’ll be checking your blog out eventually but there’s a lot to get through. #FreshlyPressedPeoplesProblems

Responding to all the comments on the post about spying, I started to wonder if American men have defensive tactics that they employ whenever they leave the house. Anyone care to comment?

More proof that the pop vs. soda debate is the defining schism in the US: Tweets reflect the rift.

After reading about my drinking problem, my mother suggested I may have potomanía, an ailment described as “excessive and uncontrollable drinking of water.” I’m adding it to the list of things that are wrong with me which I will blame on her.

I learned why Japanese master chef Jiro pointed to his nose. Turns out the Japanese for “I” and “nose” are similar so people touch their noses when they talk about themselves.

I was right about children not needing to identify with fictional characters and Harvard academic Maria Tatar proves it. According to something AS Byatt cites (which I can’t find), Tatar

has observed wisely that children do not usually ‘identify [with fictional children]’ – they stand a little apart inside the fictional world and intensely observe the people and the action.

I only listen to one podcast from Spain, “180 Grados” (which plays really good music). They didn’t broadcast between Dec 21 and Jan 7. This reminded me that many of the businesses in the country, including state-run radio, close down between those dates for the winter holidays. In the US, having two weeks off for Christmas is called “being in college.” It’s no wonder Spain’s in the shitter.

According to the most recent “Freakonomics” podcast, I may owe Winston Churchill money which is concerning.

Speaking of prolific famous English guys, if you want to listen to Alastair Cooke’s “Letters From America” (which I recommend) but don’t want to deal with iTunes, you can download them directly from BBC4.

Don't be such a pillow case

Don’t be such a pillowcase.

A while back I asked bilingual readers if they could do things simultaneously in two languages. I think I asked the wrong question since everyone said they can, proving nothing. I guess the question should be posed to monolingual people, so I’m going to try again.

What I want to know is if you can do two things at once in whatever language you speak (presumably English if you’re reading this). For example, can you read while listening to the radio? Please answer ONLY if you speak ONE language:

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Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

5 thoughts on “Housekeeping

  1. OK, I am bilingual so I cannot answer your monolingual guestion, but here’s another linguistic thing to wonder… if you are bilinglual (or indeed multi-lingual!) what language do you count in? research shows 99% of the people always count in their first language. I do as well. Wonder why that is? Great blog btw!

    • You can still vote in the original poll if you want to!

      I’ve heard the counting theory too but it doesn’t really hold up. I knew children in Spain who had math class in English, so they counted in English. When I count out Euro coins, I count in Spanish since the denominations are different and it helps me keep the amounts straight. Under other circumstances I count in English (though I really try to avoid math at every opportunity).

      • Interesting debate…I count in my first language which is French. In English, I normally go up to 10 and then switch to French. I had a friend who was German who spoke French and she always counted in German. So I think the theory holds for most people. Maybe you count in the language you have learned to count in!

  2. My college roommate was Japanese and attended an American University as a French major. She would study French while talking to her Japanese friends whist watching American tv. She told me that she only felt completely fluent in a language when she started dreaming in that language. She went on to translate Turkish films into all three languages. I barely have a grasp on my own language.

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