Saturday, 28 June 2008

Modern Classic Films

This has nothing much to do with multilingualism. I saw this list of Entertainment Weekly "New Classics" over at The Noble Savage and just had to participate.

I now wonder in which language the girls would prefer to watch movies. We (hubby and me) mostly watch movies in original version, with subtitles if necessary. I think watching movies in English (along with music and books) has helped greatly to learn English.

Anyway, here are the movies. I watched the ones in bold.

1. Pulp Fiction (1994) JE
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03) JE
3. Titanic (1997) JE
4. Blue Velvet (1986) JE
5. Toy Story (1995) JE
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998 )
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
9. Die Hard (1988) JE
10. Moulin Rouge (2001) JE
11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) JE
12. The Matrix (1999) JE
13. GoodFellas (1990) JE
14. Crumb (1995)
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990) JE
16. Boogie Nights (1997) JE
17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
18. Do the Right Thing (1989)
19. Casino Royale (2006)
20. The Lion King (1994)
21. Schindler's List (1993)
22. Rushmore (1998 )
23. Memento (2001) JE
24. A Room With a View (1986)
25. Shrek (2001) JE
26. Hoop Dreams (1994)
27. Aliens (1986) JE
28. Wings of Desire (1988 )
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004) JE
30. When Harry Met Sally... (1989) JE
31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
32. Fight Club (1999) JE
33. The Breakfast Club (1985) JE
34. Fargo (1996) JE
35. The Incredibles (2004) JE
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004) JE
37. Pretty Woman (1990) JE
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) JE
39. The Sixth Sense (1999) JE
40. Speed (1994) JE
41. Dazed and Confused (1993) JE
42. Clueless (1995) JE
43. Gladiator (2000) JE
44. The Player (1992)
45. Rain Man (1988 )
46. Children of Men (2006)
47. Men in Black (1997) JE
48. Scarface (1983)
49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) JE
50. The Piano (1993)
51. There Will Be Blood (2007)
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988 ) JE
53. The Truman Show (1998 ) JE
54. Fatal Attraction (1987)
55. Risky Business (1983)
56. The Lives of Others (2006)
57. There's Something About Mary (1998) JE
58. Ghostbusters (1984) JE
59. L.A. Confidential (1997) JE
60. Scream (1996) JE
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) JE
62. sex, lies and videotape (1989) JE
63. Big (1988)
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)
65. Dirty Dancing (1987)
66. Natural Born Killers (1994)
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
68. Witness (1985)
69. All About My Mother (1999)
70. Broadcast News (1987)
71. Unforgiven (1992) JE
72. Thelma & Louise (1991) JE
73. Office Space (1999)
74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
75. Out of Africa (1985)
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986)
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) JE
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
81. Moonstruck (1987)
82. Lost in Translation (2003) JE
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
84. Sideways (2004)
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) JE
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
91. Back to the Future (1985) JE
92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994) JE
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
95. In the Mood for Love (2001) JE
96. Far From Heaven (2002)
97. Glory (1989)
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) JE
99. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)

I did not watch Children of Men, but I read the book.
I noticed that I had watched many European movies; and I am surprised Amélie Poulain did not make it to the list. Also, I haven't seen many movies from 2005 onwards. I wonder why...

ps: JE marks movies that Jan has seen.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Of slugs and snails

The sun was out yesterday afternoon, not too early! BD (Babel Dad) had a go at mowing the lawn, or should I say the jungle. BK was helping him, putting grass in a bucket. She called me, panicky to show me "un escargot" (a snail). I said to take it out of the bucket and put it on the ground so it can go home (haha!).

She then called me, slightly distressed and showed me the snail. The snail was no more. She had stepped on it. I was not happy. I said I did not like what she did because now "l'escargot est mort! Met!" (the snail is dead, dead (arabic)).
It turns out she saw our next door neighbour kill snails this afternoon, while doing some gardening with her.

She then showed the snail to her father, who did not witness the scene, and said: "Die Schnecke ist tot" (the snail is dead). BD wondered if she knew what dead meant. I think she does. She knew the german word for "mort". Because we do not translate, I feel that if she knows the words in different languages for the same thing, then she must surely know what that thing is. I mean, we do not translate words, we convey ideas in different languages.

On the subject of snails, I was not happy she killed the snail. I don't know why I don't mind killing slugs though. Both are garden nuisance. But I am partial to snails. It must be because I never caught a snail red-handed, whereas I have witnessed slugs massacring my broad beans and my mint.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Here's to Chaos & Complexity!

So there is Lilia, sitting in a storage box. She has just emptied it, climbed into it, and wants Souad to cover her with toys. So she says:

"tekkedri decke-moi up?"

Now that's a 4-word phrase containing a whopping 4 different languages!

She started with an arabic word, probably because a) she was talking to Souad, and b) "tekkedri" is a lot shorter than "can you please" or "would you please".

For the next word, she switched to German. We think she switched to German because I use the words "zudecken" and "Decke" ("blanket") more often than Souad. "Zudecken" is a verb that means "to cover up", "to blanket" or "to tuck someone in". As usual in German, certain types of phrases are built by detaching the prefix ("zu") and placing it at the very end of the sentence. So, Lilia applied German grammar and detached the prefix.

She then switched to French in order to refer to herself. She probably did this because she was talking to Souad.

Finally, she finished the sentence the German way, by adding the prefix. Except she said it in English, for whatever reason. Note that she did use the correct prefix!

This is by far the most complex phrase she has ever built. The sheer complexity of it is mind boggling. Why did she not say everything in Arabic or French? What is going on in that little head of hers?

Her life is going to be so interesting! In a good way, of course.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Lilia lives in a "neutral zone"

I have tried hard, but I think I have to declare defeat: for Lilia, all nouns are "neutral".

In German, nouns can be female ("die Sonne"), male ("der Mond") or neutral ("das Wasser"). In French, nouns are female ("la lune") or male ("le soleil").

Even though both Souad and I use the articles correctly and use reflection (Lilia: "Regarde le vache!" Souad: "la vache?"), Lilia seems to just do it the English way: she only ever uses "das" in German.

This is the second thing she is not picking up at all (along with "got"). I was hoping the week we spent in Germany two weeks ago might fix it but it did not.

So I'm giving up. It'll fix itself eventually, I'm sure.