Sunday, November 15, 2009

an addition of forgotten sidenotes

I've realized their are a couple things I meant to mention in the previous posts that I forgot about at the time of actually writing previous posts.

Just to prove the point of how uncelebrated Halloween is here, I forgot to write about it for the month of October.

It is not very celebrated, or really falltime in general....

There are barely any kids that go out trick-or-treating
No "haunted hayrides," over-decorated lawns full of fake spider webs, witches, coffins, etc.
No running through corn mazes, picking apples in orchards, or apple cider
The leaves do turn different colors and fall here, but there are a lot less trees. So it's not really possible to rake up a big pile to jump in.

It's not that I think it's bad they don't do any of this. It's just interesting discovering how things are so different. I am not sad to be missing it this year, because I know when I return I will be able to do all of those things again. Also once I return I'll be able to tell my host family more about it. All in all I enjoyed being in the South of France for Halloween.

The second thing I've been meaning to mention is about the French language. Even by the end of the first month my ideas and how I think about the French language has changed. I have an analogy but I'm not sure if it will make much sense to anyone else....

When you start speaking and hearing a foreign language everyday your mind starts to change it's ideas about the words.

Suddenly you find yourself almost giving an identity or certain emotion to a foreign word. It's not just "this is the word in French that means this in English"
It's more like "this is another way to say the same thing," just a synonym, just expanding my vocabulary.

For example when you change your level of vocabulary. When you're talking to a little kid you use different vocabulary than if you were writing a college essay. In this way it's almost like speaking a different language.... you change the words you use to be understood in different situations.

Also, in an attempt to better explain what I mean about the "emotions" or "feelings" that foreign words take on, I will try to give an anology.

Giving an identity to a word, is like relating a name to a person.
For example, I'll use the name "Bob."
You might love the name Bob or you might absolutely hate it.
But when you meet a person named Bob, you don't think "I hate this person because he's named Bob" or "I love this person, because his name is Bob"
Instead you think of the personality of that person. When you hear the name Bob, in reference to that person, the personality is what you think of, not your personal opinion about the name in general.

So maybe the concept is a little convuluted, but I hope I have at least conveyed it in a way that people can at least partially grasp this notion.

I will being writing another post when I can about the month of November and be adding some more pictures too.

Thank you to all who continue reading my blog.

1 comment:

  1. I get the analogy! It's a really good one, actually.

    I hope you're happy! (I am!!)