If You’re Happy and You Know It

If You’re Happy and You Know It
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
(clap clap)
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
(clap clap)
If you’re happy and you know it,
And you really want to show it,
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
(clap clap)

Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

by Bob Dylan

Well,It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you don’t know by now
And It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It will never do anyhow
When your roosters a crowin at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason why I’m trav’lin’ on
But,Don’t think twice, it’s all right
An’ it ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe
The light I never knowed
An’ it ain’t no use in turnin’ on your light, babe
I’m on the dark side of the road
But I wish there was somethin’ I could do or say
To try and make you change your mind and stay
We never did too much talkin’ anyway
But don’t think twice, it’s all right
Well,It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, gal
Like you never done before
It ain’t no use in callin’ out my name, gal
I can’t hear you any more
I’m a-thinkin’ and a-wond’rin’ walkin down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I’m told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don’t think twice, it’s all right
So long honey babe
Where I’m bound,I can not tell
But goodbye’s too good a word, gal
So I’ll just kinda say fare thee well
Now I’m not sayin’ that you treated me unkind
You could have done alot better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

to find out

Few people stared at my pointy ears on the metro last night.

Let me explain…after a Halloween party last (Saturday) night, I determined that it was better to metro home with Spock ears and take off my ear extensions at home.  My alternative was ripping a layer of skin off along with the liquid latex.  People don’t really dress up for Halloween here, in fact on the 45 minute metro ride home, I saw exactly 3 other people in costume.  And so, I expected to be somewhat gawked at.  Of course, if I was a giant hamburger, I certainly would have received stares.  My plastic extensions, however, were just not noticeable enough.

The French don’t really have any interest in celebrating halloween.  Some children dress up, but not after the age of 10. I wonder how much the lack of interest stems from the fact that it is commercialized by America.  Perhaps the rising sea levels and climbing childhood obesity in france have something to do with the fact that the French don’t want to integrate our culture.  Well, we (Americans) too don’t to integrate French culture.  We don’t want health care or to pull out of wars, because thats too French.

The politically savvy French ask me two things about American politics.  They ask me whether I like Obama, to which I respond, “oui, j’aime Obama.”  They also ask me why we changed the name of french fries to freedom fries.

I wonder, if I wore pointy ears on a random day in feburary in the U.S., would I get stares? I bet that I would, and I wonder why the difference.

I think its because the French are wrapped up in their own world, and thats not a bad thing.  There’s really no need to people watch, because other people are outside of that world. Perhaps, too, they do not question who they are, which is funny, because thats just what I came to find out.

I did have two people giggling about my ears, but they were American.

a breakthrough in sound


Syntax and semantics are essential parts of learning a language.  Syntax is the structure of language, and is the more arduous of the two tasks. Learning syntax is memorizing the basic set of rules.  It doesn’t always make sense, but thats how it is.  Comme si, comme ca.   Some of these rules are an entirely new concept for me, as English is not a Latin language. I don’t have to think about structuring English sentences, but I do have to think about French grammatical structure.  Of course, there’s something to be said about thinking before speaking.

Semantics is so much more fun. Semantics is logical meaning behind the word.  Words are build upon and evolve from a proto language and into an entirely different form.

I certainly fall under the classic way of understanding my surroundings.  I’m no good at purely memorizing the language, I like to know and understand the entire concept.

Semantics allows me to build my vocabulary.  As I have mentioned, French and English words are quite similar, and I am often able to guess French words.  I like to consider the sounds of the English word to guess and guess its origin.

I find that words which request the use of the front of the mouth, such as “perception” or “constitution,” are probably Latin in origin, and therefore is the same or similar word in French.  In fact, pretty much any word ending in -ion probably has a French cognate.  As if to prove its own point (as it was pointed out to me), the French call cognates  “mots transparents”, transparent words.

English words with a Germanic origin Words which sounds require the back of the mouth, such as “dollar” or “friend.” These words are not useful for my current purposes, but perhaps at another juncture.

For now, I have been having fun guessing English words of French origin.  I play with pronouncing English words with a French accent, and it actually gets me pretty far.  I’m definitely becoming fluent in Franklish.

There are, of course, heteronyms (words w/ the same sound but different meanings) between French and English.  For example, the French word “chauvinisme” does not really equal its English counterpart “chauvinism.”  The French word “chauvinisme” means blindly patriotic.  In English the word “chauvinism” technically means the same thing, but its really used only in the context of male perceived superiority.  This meaning is synonymous with the French word “macho.” Its interesting how when words are separated, they evolve into different meanings.  The common origin is prevalent, but the decedents drift apart.

Isn’t it wonderful how systems show symptoms of convergent evolution?



A side note on the word chauvinism: I would have guessed that the word “chauvinism” is a very old word. When I think of the phrase “chauvinism is dead,” I imagine knights clad in armor opening car doors for their women with pointy hats.  But actually, the word originates from the 19th century and was named after the extreme French patriot Nicholas Chauvin.