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ot: reading and writing in foreign tongues

updated tue 27 apr 04

 

lili krakowski on sun 25 apr 04


The other day someone wrote to the list in French, and someone else made
the comment that if that person can read l'anglais he could write it.

Mais non, mais non! Some of our experts in dyslexia and like that will
be able to put it more scientifically--but that simply ain't so.

I can write in exactly one language. English. I speak English, French,
Portuguese, German. I can READ Spanish, Italian, one or the oter of
the Scandinavian tongues, some Dutch, and some Hebrew....

Now this is not about me. This is about the fact that, for reasons I do
not know, writing a language is a totally different kettle of fish from
reading it. Among other things--and I hope both Edouard and Janet will
help me here--one fears saying something quite dreadful, because words
that sound alike are not necessarily the same in meaning--nor is the
weight of a word.

The other day, and M.le docteur Bastarache corrected my spelling, I
wrote that it was ok to call me an "Emmerdeuse" If you look the word
up you will be shocked--if you are an English speaker--because NO OLD
LADY would call herself that in English (Voila, Edouard, Andre, I have
sold several dictionaries!)--but in French that is familiar, but ok.

Mel makes all rules on Clayart. But I really think that if Mel and
Joyce let something onto the List, I would certainly be willing to
translate for the lingually-challenged, from the languages I know...

lili krakowski
Constableville, NY 13325

Be of good courage

Martin Rice on sun 25 apr 04


On 4/25/04 8:03 AM, "lili krakowski" wrote:

> This is about the fact that, for reasons I do
> not know, writing a language is a totally different kettle of fish from
> reading it.

The chief reason for this is that writing, as speaking, is an active skill,
while reading is a passive skill, that is, it's easier to recognize a word
in a foreign language than to reconstruct it orally or in written form. In
addition, you can look at a sentence for an hour trying to figure it out. It
doesn't go away. But you can't practically take an hour in a conversation to
decide what to say, and when you're listening to someone speak, the words
are gone instantly after they're said. Finally, in reading you don't have to
be able to "create," that is, construct the grammar, you just have to
recognize the forms. Makes all the difference in the world. I used to teach
PhD students a Russian for Reading course. In one summer of study were able
to take and pass the PhD reading exam requirement. But the majority of
students were hard put to speak fluently even after 4 years of college
Russian.

Martin
Santiago de Puriscal, Costa Rica

Jeanette Harris on sun 25 apr 04


As an ex-language teacher, my understanding of language comprehension
follows this pattern:

From the easiest to the most difficult:

The first level is spoken language-understanding what is said to you
the second level of comprehension is being able to respond vocally
third, reading with understanding
fourth, composing written communication

In other words when learning a language, a person will understand far
more of what they hear than what they can respond; they will be able
to read and comprehend better than they can fully use the language in
written form.



--
Jeanette Harris
in Poulsbo WA

Steve Slatin on sun 25 apr 04


Martin --

I find it depends largely on the language. Like most native English speakers, I find it much easier to read Russian than to listen to it, and easier to listen than to speak, still easier to speak (badly, but conversationally) than to write.

On the other hand I have no hesitation in saying it is easier to speak Burmese than it is to understand it when spoken.

Some of this may have to do with cultural differences (Burmese make every effort to understand any Westerner trying to speak their language, Russians will will listen to a fairly well-constructed sentence in which you make a single error, such as pasting a feminized ending onto a masculine noun, and simply refuse to understand), but I'm quite convinced much of it is the differing nature of languages. I haven't spoken Spanish in nearly 20 years, but can still understand a magazine article or even the occasional news program on the radio -- but Spanish is an uncommonly logical and consistent language, leaving the occasional expression like "pura vida" aside. Three years ago I spoke Polish for the last time and today I doubt I could even get a hotel room, or a meal in a restaurant, without mime, pointing, etc.

-- Steve Slatin, formerly of "De restaurante "El Chichote" 100 metros al norte, 50 metros al oeste, 100 metros al norte, 20 metros al este, apartamento numero tres" (but don't ask me how to get there from 'Cine Rex').

Martin Rice wrote:
I used to teach
PhD students a Russian for Reading course. In one summer of study were able
to take and pass the PhD reading exam requirement. But the majority of
students were hard put to speak fluently even after 4 years of college
Russian.

Martin
Santiago de Puriscal, Costa Rica


-- Steve Slatin -- Entry-level potter, journeyman loafer, master obfuscator
No website, no sales room, no scheduled hours
All talk, no action
Sequim, Washington, USA
48.0937N, 123.1465W or thereabouts

---------------------------------
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Anne Webb on sun 25 apr 04


>From: lili krakowski

>The other day someone wrote to the list in French, and someone else made
>the comment that if that person can read l'anglais he could write it.

that is not what i said, lili. ...lost in the traduire perhaps?

it was my understanding that this group was for the sharing and exchanging
of ideas, concepts, and technical information. now you, lili, edouard, and
a few others may be able to understand french, which is fine, but, as hard
as it may be to believe, not everybody else on the list does.
the fact that 99.99% of the posts to clayart are in english, suggests to me
that at least 99.99% of people on the list understand english.

i suggested that andre write in english so more than a select few could
understand it.
...unless, of course, that was andre's intention.
if he was writing in french for impact or effect, i would think that impact
was lost on 90% of the group. but... whatever.

i was not trying to set a rule or precidence on clayart, lili... yep, mel
makes the rules for clayart. there is already a rule re political posts to
the list which i guess was missed and when the posts by nick andre and
whoever else slipped through.
and my email had nothing whatsoever to do with the denial of freedom of
speech. unlike some i dont have a political agenda about language issues...

anne... born and raised in montreal.


>This is about the fact that, for reasons I do
>not know, writing a language is a totally different kettle of fish from
>reading it. --one fears saying something quite dreadful, because
>words
>that sound alike are not necessarily the same in meaning--nor is the
>weight of a word.
>
>Mel makes all rules on Clayart. But I really think that if Mel and
>Joyce let something onto the List, I would certainly be willing to
>translate for the lingually-challenged, from the languages I know...
>
>lili krakowski
>Constableville, NY 13325
>
>Be of good courage
>
>______________________________________________________________________________
>Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
>You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
>settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
>Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
>melpots@pclink.com.

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Antoinette Badenhorst on mon 26 apr 04


As an Afrikaans speaking person I had to adjust to English here in the
USA. No choice, unless I want to isolate myself from the rest of the
world around me. I believe and hope that people around me will tolerate
my English, but also correct me. I've experienced it often times here on
clayart that people helped me when I struggled to bring a idea or
concept to clayart The most difficult thing to do is to express myself.
I have a dictionary, but words are used in different context and which
one do I choose if I do not know? I did learn English in school, but
like people learn Spanish in school in the USA. It is getting better by
the day, but to me this is probably the biggest sacrifice when we
immigrated; I will never be able to use my culture background to enrich
my language....I mean how will any other culture understand when I say:
"Do not fetch the baboon from behind the mountain"(that's to say if my
word order is correct), unless they know that a baboon is a serious
troublemaker.....

Antoinette Badenhorst
105 Westwood Circle
Saltillo MS
38866
662 869 1651
www.clayandcanvas.com


-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart [mailto:CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG] On Behalf Of Rick
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2004 6:20 PM
To: CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG
Subject: Re: OT: Reading and writing in foreign tongues

Just think of the order in which you learned your own native language.
First you heard, then you spoke and these two operated for at least 3
or 4 years before reading recognition learning was introduced by your
mom. Then you started school and began in earnest to study the reading
and writing forms and this took no little time. I speak and understand
Japanese rather fluently and can read on a limited level and if I have
a computer close at hand I can even write very simple sentences. I'm
kind of like a first graded and struggling. So whoever made that
statement is wrong.

Rick

On Apr 25, 2004, at 11:03 PM, lili krakowski wrote:

> The other day someone wrote to the list in French, and someone else
> made
> the comment that if that person can read l'anglais he could write it.
>
> Mais non, mais non! Some of our experts in dyslexia and like that
will
> be able to put it more scientifically--but that simply ain't so.
>
> I can write in exactly one language. English. I speak English,
> French,
> Portuguese, German. I can READ Spanish, Italian, one or the oter of
> the Scandinavian tongues, some Dutch, and some Hebrew....
>
> Now this is not about me. This is about the fact that, for reasons I
> do
> not know, writing a language is a totally different kettle of fish
from
> reading it. Among other things--and I hope both Edouard and Janet
will
> help me here--one fears saying something quite dreadful, because words
> that sound alike are not necessarily the same in meaning--nor is the
> weight of a word.
>
> The other day, and M.le docteur Bastarache corrected my spelling, I
> wrote that it was ok to call me an "Emmerdeuse" If you look the word
> up you will be shocked--if you are an English speaker--because NO OLD
> LADY would call herself that in English (Voila, Edouard, Andre, I have
> sold several dictionaries!)--but in French that is familiar, but ok.
>
> Mel makes all rules on Clayart. But I really think that if Mel and
> Joyce let something onto the List, I would certainly be willing to
> translate for the lingually-challenged, from the languages I know...
>
> lili krakowski
> Constableville, NY 13325
>
> Be of good courage
>
>
_______________________________________________________________________
> _______
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
> melpots@pclink.com.
>
>

Rick on mon 26 apr 04


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Just think of the order in which you learned your own native language.
First you heard, then you spoke and these two operated for at least 3
or 4 years before reading recognition learning was introduced by your
mom. Then you started school and began in earnest to study the reading
and writing forms and this took no little time. I speak and understand
Japanese rather fluently and can read on a limited level and if I have
a computer close at hand I can even write very simple sentences. I'm
kind of like a first graded and struggling. So whoever made that
statement is wrong.

Rick

On Apr 25, 2004, at 11:03 PM, lili krakowski wrote:

> The other day someone wrote to the list in French, and someone else
> made
> the comment that if that person can read l'anglais he could write it.
>
> Mais non, mais non! Some of our experts in dyslexia and like that will
> be able to put it more scientifically--but that simply ain't so.
>
> I can write in exactly one language. English. I speak English,
> French,
> Portuguese, German. I can READ Spanish, Italian, one or the oter of
> the Scandinavian tongues, some Dutch, and some Hebrew....
>
> Now this is not about me. This is about the fact that, for reasons I
> do
> not know, writing a language is a totally different kettle of fish from
> reading it. Among other things--and I hope both Edouard and Janet will
> help me here--one fears saying something quite dreadful, because words
> that sound alike are not necessarily the same in meaning--nor is the
> weight of a word.
>
> The other day, and M.le docteur Bastarache corrected my spelling, I
> wrote that it was ok to call me an "Emmerdeuse" If you look the word
> up you will be shocked--if you are an English speaker--because NO OLD
> LADY would call herself that in English (Voila, Edouard, Andre, I have
> sold several dictionaries!)--but in French that is familiar, but ok.
>
> Mel makes all rules on Clayart. But I really think that if Mel and
> Joyce let something onto the List, I would certainly be willing to
> translate for the lingually-challenged, from the languages I know...
>
> lili krakowski
> Constableville, NY 13325
>
> Be of good courage
>
> _______________________________________________________________________
> _______
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
> melpots@pclink.com.
>
>

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wayneinkeywest on mon 26 apr 04


Antoinette:
Not ever having been exposed to baboons anywhere I've ever lived, I
read that statement, and immediately translated it into
"Leave well enough alone." before I finished reading your post.

We all say things differently, the words in 180+ different
languages, in whatever order, but we all speak the same language
anyhow.
It's called "the Human Experience".
Best Regards,

Wayne Seidl
Key West, Florida, USA
North America, Terra
Latitude 81.8, Longitude 24.4
Elevation 3.1 feet (1m)


> As an Afrikaans speaking person I had to adjust to English here in
the
> USA. No choice, unless I want to isolate myself from the rest of
the
> world around me. SNIP

....I mean how will any other culture understand when I say:
> "Do not fetch the baboon from behind the mountain"(that's to say
if my
> word order is correct), unless they know that a baboon is a
serious
> troublemaker.....
>
> Antoinette Badenhorst