23 November 2008

learning English...

i've been learning Spanish over the last couple of months in anticipation of going to Honduras in February to work with the schools through HEDAC, the charitable organization of which i'm secretary. unfortunately, the doctors have put the kabosh on my going since my back is all screwed up again.

i speak French fairly well; i spoke and understood an Italian/Albanian dialect for most of my younger years; and i took two years of Russian in College. learning Spanish has brought me a lot of new understanding about language. having taught elementary school and being a elementary school administrator for many years, i understand the concepts behind learning and teaching.

each language has a lot of idiomatic and structural challenges, but they are nothing like in English. when you are a native English speaker you take a lot for granted. people learning English have a worse time than with any other language. English is probably the hardest one to learn.

here is just one little sampling of why it is so difficult:

Lovers of the English language might enjoy this. It is yet another example of why people learning English have trouble with the language. Learning the nuances of English makes it a difficult language. (But then, that's probably true of many languages.)

There is a two-letter word in English that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is 'UP.'

It is listed in the dictionary as being used as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ?

Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends and we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver.

We warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.

We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has a real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

it's no wonder some people get all f*****
UP when they talk and start screaming "UP yours..."

commercial time: a group of the others is still going in February to Honduras; we are in the midst of our annual fundraising drive right now. if you would, please click on the HEDAC link in the sidebar and help us help the kids.

all money goes directly to services, supplies and school rehab for the kids, less operating expenses for things like mailings. each person who goes on our trips pays the way for him/herself.

the link allows credit card donations or you can send a check to HEDAC, 111 E. Chestnut #50G, Chicago, IL 60611. please notate my name [Mike] on the donation as we need it for accounting purposes being a 501(c)(3) with all donations being tax-deductable.

we thank you for your help...


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