Monday, 24 January 2011

Two mad things

Check these out:

Yeah, RIGHT! You can learn a whole, complex language in just 7 days! And since when is learning any language effortless?? OK, so you may not have to sit and work through a text with this sort of course (although you're probably going to have to do that sooner or later), but it will still require effort. These marketing gimmicks annoy me as they a) make language learning look like something you could do in your sleep, it's so easy; and b) they foster a false sense of security so that when folk come up against the real work, they may be even more likely to back away from it.

This one cracked me up. It's from the out of print Hugo French for Business and I was quite startled to find English referred to as 'Anglo-Saxon'. I was flicking through another French course book, this time one published in France, and saw again that British things, people and language seem to be commonly referred to as Anglo-Saxon. I can understand wanting to avoid using the French for British as it's very close to words used to describe Brittany, but, really! We haven't used Anglo-Saxon in these isles for close on a thousand years and we're so mixed up race wise that referring to the Brits as Anglo-Saxons is also somewhat out of date! We're part Ancient Briton, part Celt, part Pict, part Roman, part French and, yes, part Angle, part Saxon, part Jute and a number of other invading nationalities from the last couple of millenia!!


Sandy said...

Yup, crazy way to learn a language - you may know what you're saying, with the 'all talk' methods, but you'll never know why you're saying it, and you'll have much more trouble constructing non-stock sentences, later.
Re: Anglo-Saxon. When I took French in school, 30+ years ago and in the USA, the texts referred to Great Britain as 'Angleterre' - I don't recall, this long after, if 'Grand Bretagne' was ever used, but you were definitely 'les Anglais'! I wonder if somebody felt that would contribute to a separatist movement in Scotland or Wales?

Lu Ann said...

Wow... I dont believe it!!

Hi, I found you because we have several interests in common and well, it is nice to fins someone who likes words and grammar as much as I do! Nice to find your blog.

God bless you,
Lu Ann