fredag 21. januar 2011

English around the world

One of our curriculum goals this year is to learn about how English is used outside the Angelo-American heartland. We are also supposed to learn about how English is used as a communication method even though the people who communicate are not fluent or very good English speakers.
This Christmas I had the opportunity to study this very closely when I went to visit my family in South Korea. Honestly, I had not thought a lot about the language before I actually got there.

In South Korea it lives almost 49 million people, and of them knows little or no English at all. I experienced that every time I went to a store, or tried to talk to some of the native inhabitants. On the other hand, the little amount of people who knew a little English almost ran up to us on the street just to ask us what we thought about the weather or how we were. In other words, when they saw that we were foreign, they assumed that we spoke English, and they really wanted to try what they had learned in real life.

A lot of Korean stores, cafes and brands have their name in English, and some of them were actually quite funny to read. One of them said “Angel-in-us Coffee- the world best coffee”. Several places had signs or slogans like this. What I find interesting with it, is that even though grammar and spelling might be wrong, there are no doubt about what they want to say.


9/11 2001 I was eight years old. Now, nine years later I am 17 but the event of the day eight years ago still sticks to my mind. Today I remembered the day, because we saw one of the many movies made about the disaster. The movie we saw was originally a documentary made about the fire department in New York. The main goal of the movie was to follow Antonio (Tony) Benetatos on his journey from a rookie firefighter, or a probie as they call it in the film, to "becoming a man" or a real firefighter. They knew nothing about what the movie would end up being about. Even though this is a documentary, it also gives a fictional impression because this incident is so unreal itself. There are no doubt that this, for me, was the best visualization and information source about 9/11 I have ever seen.
The film shows how the whole world can be changed and turned upside down on only one day. The people’s common fear of terror and war was extremely reinforced. In the movie one of the firefighters talks about the 10th of September and says: “Then I realized how evil evil can be”. Tony, the probie, states that before 9/11, he wanted to become a fireman to save lives, but now, if his country sends him to kill, he will do it. That is a disquieting alert of how war spreads and how cruelty affects the victims.

torsdag 20. januar 2011

Merry Christmas!

Today we watched the movie Narnia in class. We were supposed to watch a Christmas movie because of the time of year we are in, but the majority decided that we should watch this one. Somehow, I still would call Narnia a Christmas movie. A lot of details that has to do with Christmas is included in the film; snow, music and even Santa clause appears for a minute or two. I love this movie. Firstly it is because I have read the books, and loved those too. Second of all, because some of the themes are related to the society as we know it, which is something I find quite fascinating in movies and books. Another relation to Christmas found in the movie, is Aslan. The true meaning of Christmas derives from the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Somehow, I find a similarity between Aslan and Jesus. They are both hailed, both of them are killed in atonement and both resurrect from the dead after. So maybe Christmas is a more significant theme after all?

War is definitely also a big topic in this movie. This might be related to the author who wrote the books of Narnia, Clive Staples Lewis (mostly known as C.S. Lewis). He served in the World War II. He is also well-known for his friendship with John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (J. R. R. Tolkien), the author who wrote The Lord of The Rings.
I would like to wish my readers a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

- Tuva