Another year!

I can't believe we're almost into 2008! This past year started out sort of lame, but ended up great, and I think 2008 will be even better. I'm going to a party, then I have to work throughout the night, but it's the kind of work that is going to be really fun. I never would've thought that I'd be helping out with a radio show on New Year's Eve, especially because most overnight shows in the U.S. are never live, and actually, most radio in the U.S. isn't even produced locally.

One of the first tasks of the new year is to translate a bunch of Japanese, so my new year will still be language-related :D


French break

I just had a very packed week, and I still have translating to do. If I had a bunch of Japanese, I'd be worried about the condition of my brain, but I have some French to do, and even though it's not a cake walk, at least it's not as mind-shattering as Japanese. So I consider it a kind of break before I resume the Japanese translating shortly thereafter.


Time for bed

I've been on the go since 3:30 this morning, and I just got home. I think this is one of the longest, most productive days I've had in a while, possibly ever :D


It's a Wonderful Life online!

This is great news: according to Mad Minerva, one of my favorite movies has been posted online: It's a Wonderful Life. You can watch it for free in its entirety! It even has subtitles, in case English isn't your native language and you want to understand everything.

It's been a "tradition" during the holidays to watch it on television, and I've seen it many times. Now I don't have to wait for it to be broadcast, and there are no commercials.


Happy Hello Kitty Christmas!

The brainy and seemingly high-energy Mad Minerva posted this picture, which is one of many in her Hello Kitty Monstrosity collection (which isn't grouped or categorized, as far as I can tell).


Great site!

Here's a really great website that Language Hat, aka The Great One, mentioned at his blog: Digital Dialects, which has "interactive activities for learning languages and links to study resources" for over 50 languages! You can spend many hours having lots of fun building up your language skills! This is very exciting for language lovers, which is why I'm using exclamation points!



The Chicago Sun-Times is such a cool paper. Actually, their print edition isn't that exciting, but their website is easy to navigate and is informative. They also have some great columnists over there and investigate interesting issues.

A language-oriented project they've been posting this year is the Chicagopedia, which is a list of Chicago-related words.

I should be helping out with that column, at least by answering contributors' emails and helping compile the list. I wish I had some contacts over there, or would get "discovered" since I *am* a Chicago-dwelling language gal :D


Grandma is dead

When I was a teenager, the song Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer became very popular, and I guess it still is. What's weird is that it's become a holiday "classic" and people get all nostalgic and dewy-eyed about it. Other people consider it one of their favorite Christmas songs, but it's a cynical, even dark song. Grandma just doesn't get run over by a reindeer, she gets killed by one.

Here are some clues from the lyrics (the lyrics are in quotes, my comments are in parentheses):

"When they found her Christmas mornin"

(She'd been lying there overnight because she was hit by a reindeer Christmas Eve. Who could survive a cold, snowy, winter night, especially an older person?)

"It's not Christmas without Grandma"

("Without Grandma" means she's not there, ie, she's dead.)

"All the family's dressed in black"

(The family is wearing black because they are in mourning, because she died.)

"And a blue and silver candle
That would just have matched the hair in Grandma's wig"

(Note the tense: "would just have", which means she's not there, because she's dead.)

When the song first came out, we all knew it was twisted and even mocked Christmas. Grandma was *killed* by reindeer! But you wouldn't know that if you watch the cartoon. They've made the song into a heart-warming story about Grandma merely getting knocked down by reindeer.

Sorry, but Grandma died. I wonder if people really know that. A cynical song wrapped up in cheery music.


What translating means

I think people don't know the difference between translating and interpreting. When I tell people I've translated languages that I don't speak well, or barely at all, they become puzzled. "How can you translate something that you don't speak?" They're either asking that because they think I mean "interpreting," or they automatically assume that I can speak various languages. So they'll tell other people that I speak X amount of languages, when I really don't. Honestly!

It's weird, because I never say what I've done to boast, but people will give more value to my language skills so that it forces me to deny such talents. Then it sounds like I'm full of false humility, but I'm not. I really can't speak all those languages! I just love to study and translate them!



What is up with China and the "f" word? Someone sent me this picture with the same Chinese character that was also translated into the "f" word in the swearing menu. At first I thought it was a photoshop job or a joke, but then I looked at the Chinese character in the swearing menu and this photo, and saw that it was the same. Either there are some really dumb people translating that character, or this is a sick joke.


AITPL posted

A while ago, I submitted an essay to Air in the Paragraph Line, and that issue has been posted. So now you can read about a bunch of us whining about work. Mine is about experiencing "the last straw", when I decided to quit pursuing a teaching career. Actually, since I wrote that essay, I found a good teaching situation at a city college with very nice students, a supportive administration, and nice coworkers. So I haven't totally quit teaching as I wanted to some years ago after working for a bunch of liars.


Weird English from Korea

Someone from Korea gave me a Korean snack cake that resembles the kind I tried in Japan. I don't read Korean, so I have no idea what the name is, though it's made by Haitai. Well, Haitai has to get a proofreader, because their English is quite oddly humorous:

Chocolate Coating Cake
You know that sweet things make smile.
We love to see you smile with your people.
So just taste this cake.

Ok, I will!


Sometimes Japanese is relaxing

Japanese is very hard to translate because it requires maximum brain energy to convert such different expressions into natural English, but lately, it's been relaxing. I think it's because I've been spending many hours working and doing intellectual-type of work, and when I translate Japanese, it's a break from all that. It's still intellectual, but it requires different mental efforts. Mental efforts. Now that sounds like Japanese-English (Japlish). Which means I need to take a break from Japanese as well.


the other Toronto

I know there's a Toronto in Canada, but I didn't know there was one in the U.S. It's in Kansas, and it's totally different from the Canadian one: in the year 2000, the population was only 312, and they expected it to go down to 285 by 2006!