Thursday, June 24, 2010


Today was the second class of English.

Am I supposed to keep my mouth shut during that class or engage? I choose to engage. And the nodding and head and even smiles of approval encourage me to continue to put in my own two cents.

The discussion of language began and the value of words.

Our professors held up a book and asked on of the Japanese students what it was in Japanese.

"本" or "Hon" he said.

"Chinese?" she asked.
"书" or "Shū," was the reply.

"Spanish?" she asked.

I waited. There was silence. Certainly someone knew Spanish in this class. But no one spoke up so I did.

"Libro," said I.
She said it back.

"French?" She asked.
Once again silence. I thought someone else would speak up. No one did. Without much thought I replied, "Livre."

Then she began to speak again talking about how different groups of people choose to call the same item by different names.

"The Germans even call it 'bok' or something like that," was what she said, or something to that tune.

There was a pause.
And I spoke up.

"Buch," said I, correcting her pronunciation.

"Are you multilingual?" she asked.

I gave a slight nod, smile, and looked down at my agenda.

I'm glad she didn't ask about Italian, Dutch, or Norwegian or else I would have answered.

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