Why did he take German classes?

Randall   Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:34 am GMT
I understand the reasons you don't like English classes. I agreed with you, but why Tomasz P. Szynalski took German classes?

I appreciate an answer.
K. T.   Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:41 am GMT
I always wonder about the languages that people choose. Most Poles I've met are not too keen about Germans, but maybe that is changing. I've wondered this about Tom's choice and I wondered about the language RW chose as well. They are both obvious and possibly baffling choices.

Germany and Poland are neighbours. I don't think of them as good neighbours, but...
Xie   Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:58 am GMT
We have a problem with pronouns here.

And... where do you find the clues you write here?
Damian in Edinburgh   Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:52 am GMT
I've met up with a fair number of Poles here in the UK - we are awash with them here currently, although there is now a trend for them to return home to Poland now that the Polish economy is improving by leaps and bounds since Poland's entry to the EU. Within five years Poland, along with other Eastern European states now in the Union, will have adopted the Euro currency, already the strongest in the world. In time, the UK will have ditched the quid for the euro, too, in spite of the present day resistance to it, mostly due to sentiment and nationalism. It's inevitable, for the times - they are a'changing.

Most of the Poles here have taken the opportunity to practise their verbal skills in English with a determined effort as that is, naturally enough, the Language they must use while they are here, for obvious reasons. Very, very few Brits speak Polish.

They are fantastic workers with a fantastic attitude. All of those I have personally been in contact with (I enjoy chatting up waiters!) have been in my age group and although they don't really go in for political chat all that much they don't seem to harbour any grudges or resentments against the Germans, in spite of the horrendous history of their country, especially in the 20th century. Time does move on, you know, and so do attitudes among succeeding generations.

A united European Union on a small(ish) but extremely complex Continent is about the best way to eradicate all the horrors and pains of past history.
K. T.   Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:29 am GMT
"Time does move on, you know, and so do attitudes among succeeding generations."

Yes, it moves on, but how succeeding generations view former enemies varies quite a bit.
|||   Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:14 pm GMT
I agree with K.T.
I am Mexican and I do not... "trust" spaniards.
Of course I do understand that new generations of Spanish people did not do nothing against us recently, but when I read history, I feel that small needle of emotion and the question arise... WHY?

And so, I do not use certain words as other mexicans when talking about Spain, as "Motherland". I prefer to say "Spain" that's it.

My surname is Spanish and my great-grandfather was a Spaniard, but so what? It is very confusing, because I am not native nor Spanish. Mixed blood.

Certainly, we cannot generalize. But I think it is not wise to express a hard opinion about a certain topic "like this one" if your country has not suffered the violent oppression of another country.

It is like when you speak about poverty and you have been borned with silk diapers and in an opulent family.

Scots, Chinese, Indians, Poles, Jewish, and Even spaniards can speak a lot about that kind of emotion I am talking to.

BTW, I like to read Damian's posts

Best regards to everyone (Spaniards included)
Xie   Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:12 pm GMT
I also bear a grudge against Britain too, but mine is very mild. Of coz, I know history, and that of my country, in particular, and while I won't deny the existence of a colony, like how I would never deny the existence of the Holohaust and my own existence, I think British contribution to my native city can be completely disregarded, even without any specifically nationalist considerations.

I have no link whatsoever to British English. My legal name in English is a sign of hybrid Chinglish, which I want to get rid of by getting a pinyin name instead, but I haven't taken any action (since this incurs a legal fee). The British created nothing more than a highly competitive society - and a notoriously stressful one - with all that notorious blending of Western imperialist capitalism and the very "home-made" Chinese red-capitalism that is even more capitalist (in my definition, i.e. brutal) than that of the US.

Every time people complain about the education policy, and especially about the overwhelmingly, excessively high status of English in my city, it's been ironic that the British didn't wipe out the native population and introduce millions of British residents; and more ironic is that some British servants still deny being themselves Chinese.

But what the fuss is it about? Britain isn't even my "adoptive mother". "If you can preach, I can teach". I'm not going to follow the British way. They taught me now that their way is futile. When I'm now considering future studies, I've eliminated Britain owing to 1) financial difficulties, 2) my grudge, and 3) this country isn't important anyway. Only old civil servants, raised by British breast milk, can't think in the Chinese way but to remain loyal to British English as if they were abandoned eunuchs of Qing Dynasty after 1911. I must attribute this "correct" POV to my dad, who refused to get BNOs for my family, when he could predict that the British would leave Hongkongers as second-class, worthless colonial "guttersnipes".

Haha, many young people still think that British English is more orthodox - or orthodox, in the sense that their mind has been ruled by it, and by its mother country? As I wrote, China could show its ultimate national power (and would think as if it were the Asian USA) by abolishing English as an official language once and for all. Abolishing bilingualism would be ideal for China, when its language proves to be terribly influential, to descend into a future monolingual, one-party culture.
Guest   Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:27 pm GMT
<<And so, I do not use certain words as other mexicans when talking about Spain, as "Motherland". I prefer to say "Spain" that's it. >>

For Mexicans of pure Spanish blood Spain is their motherland. I understand your resentment against Spain if you are indian or half indian but ey, that happened a long time ago, and also Aztecs didn't give love and flowers to the rest of natives either.
Randall   Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:30 pm GMT

I understand the reasons you don't like English classes. I agree with you but, why did Tomasz P. Szynalski take German classes?

I'd appreciate an answer.

You did good commentaries but you didn't answer my question. Tomasz said that he return to study German because he had to pass an exam at the university. However, he didn't say if he took German classes at the university, maybe not. It looks like he went to German classes at the university and that's my question.

If he didn't like English classes why did he take German classes at the university? I mean he could put in practice Antimoon's methods since the start.
Damian in Edinburgh   Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:33 pm GMT
***The British created nothing more than a highly competitive society - and a notoriously stressful one - with all that notorious blending of Western imperialist capitalism***

You can hardly blame the British exclusively for that, surely! The whole basis of Western society is built on competitiveness and capitalism, and the promotion of a strong sense of self reliance through personal effort without much, if any, in the way of State interference, which is anaethema to many people who firmly support such a society.

Although Britain is undoubtedly a capitalist Western society.... for the most part.... I think you can award top prize for the strongest adherence to this way of life to the United States of America. Britain (as in the rest of Europe) does include aspects of socialism in its political administration which appear to be unacceptable in America - universal healthcare free at the point of issue for all residents being the most obvious example.

If China were to "abolish" the English Language some time in the future then that should encourage more Brits to buckle down and learn Mandarin Chinese - as I say, it's a fairly popular subject at evening classes in the UK - or night school as the educational courses for the general public (not engaged in full time education) are called in the UK - held in schools and colleges outside of hours and fees being charged by the term, and covering a whole range of subjects, from cookery to carpentry, and from languages to literary appreciation, and everything in between.

Hongkongers surely need not get involved with the British in any way at all now, need they? Not if they don't wish to, as they are now part of Greater China, so what a marvellous future they have in store for them!

Britain is a tiny wee island thousands of miles away on the other side of the world, so there's no longer any need to harbour grudges any more, is there? They only add to the terrible stress levels already existing under capitalism. Not good for the system! ;-)

||| - Cheers!
|||   Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:46 pm GMT
I think as a result of our mixed culture, we mexicans are very... reluctant to Imperialism ideas of conquer and oppression, War and all kind of belligerent behaviors.

Or at least not to the level of travelling the seven seas for petroleum...jeje

Well, I think that WWII is to recent in the big picture of the world history, may be in a few hundreds of years we wil look to the past and think about them in a more... different way.

I would like to learn German too, but only as part of my cultural asset.
I plan to learn german with the course "Tell me more" from Auralog. Or may be Linguaphone courses.
Is there a German who can answer, If it is rude to talk about WWII with the new generations?.

Saludos, Damian
Xie   Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:05 am GMT
>>Britain (as in the rest of Europe) does include aspects of socialism in its political administration which appear to be unacceptable in America

When we scold kids of ours or someone else's, we say that they don't learn the good things from others but, rather, totally bad things. The second part of my sentence adds more taste than just to rant about British colonial history. They've learned from the British philosophy, but failed to learn the good things, or something that might be good, namely ... mentioned in this snippet.

>>If China were to "abolish" the English Language some time in the future

The education 國情 is quite different from the rest of China. In the country I originated from (now, they are separate political entities within the same region), it's been widely known that English alone boosts your chance of promotion, and no one could become a student if he fails in English in the university entrance exam. This is the same there, but government matters, business.... are all conducted in Mandarin and written Chinese only. That's why some of your people, and some others, are learning MANDARIN, because you know that you need it to deal with Chinese customers. This isn't true for China's retrieved little son. In Macau, Portuguese is only for administrative purposes and ordinary people hardly know it; but for its neighboring "son", .....yeah, you get what I mean.

I've met quite a few foreigners who work in the education field - high sch. teachers, language teachers, professors, deputy professors of some university departments..... - all being expatriates. So, they never learn the local language despite, the worst case of call, being a "Hongkonger" for +20 years. Any random elderly relative of mine, who is now living in an Anglophone country, is bound to be socially isolated and can, according to Chinese "health" myths, get _senile_ (and Alzheimer) and die very soon. On the contrary, a highly educated expat, who hardly knows the local language, and get by while earning buckets of money.

So... as I noted some time before, English isn't just yet another (or the first, for the Danes, as some of them told me) foreign language for this small group of ex-colonial residents. It's a part of them, ... I'd just say Britain has been successful as a fading colonial power (this is strictly not the past, but the present). The glass ceiling is quite transparent, I guess.

(And so... now that I've been discussing polyglottery as well, I know perfectly that, indeed, after all, unlike in the past, (educated) polyglottery cannot be quite possibly achieved without _English_. I can deduce that polyglottery, despite that its word roots aren't Germanic/English, is now actually a business mainly for Anglophones, when people like me are too linguistically incompetent to learn multiple tongues.

In short, it's a chronic concern: If my English isn't good enough, how can I learn others!?)
Xie   Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:14 am GMT
Some common (over-)generalizations among young people like me have been:

even if you are a moron, you can get a job just with English;
even if you are very ordinary in your country, you can get a date easily for just being (specifically) Caucasian, and all the better if you are Anglophone, because you speak better English to communicate (much to the disappointment of Dutch and German guys!);

the list can go on, like some stereotypes about sex, facial features, complexions...

I know perfectly that this is the legacy of some dead white guys, which actually is still living in a few of you, unfortunately, and in many of us. When you can't say a word, don't say it; when you can't think, don't think. In some sense, what I'm thinking how may actually be yet another result of cultural censorship, namely from the US. The guys in China know very well that American English beats British, so they prefer the former.
Guest   Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:12 am GMT
cool, so if i go to Hong Kong can i get an easy date, just because im a white ass? Are the girls there interested in white ass europeans? I belived they hate white people.
Xie   Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:51 am GMT
That said, how often can they meet a "white ass"?

As a rule of thumb, u cant take everything for granted. There must be chances that you cant teach someone english thru sex - when she turns out to be an M.Butterfly.