My phone is confused

I have no idea why my phone offered me a Portuguese or English option, but I decided to display Portuguese and input English. For a while, those two languages stayed separate, but one day, the display got mixed up. I don't know what caused the mixture, but it's like my phone is code-switching.

So now, within one menu or screen, I might have four options in Portuguese and one option in English, or there might be several options split evenly, or all the options might only be in Portuguese. The mixtures are so random, I wonder what rules my phone is following. If at all!

Another development is that apps or mobile websites will give me directions or displays in Portuguese, sometimes with a splash of English. It was amusing for a while, but today, I ran into some trouble. I downloaded the Nobex Radio app, and it assumed I wanted Portuguese, so it's all Portuguese, all the time. As a result, I ended up getting a few New York stations (probably because a lot of Brazilians live there) and other stations that I don't recognize. The app is useless--doesn't work at all. It's probably confused, too.

So now I have to exit the mixed Portuguese-English world to go back to all English so that I can get some stations that work.

I'd still like to know why my phone came up with Portuguese as an option. There are way more Spanish speakers in Chicago than most other languages. Why such a selection? Maybe because my Facebook was in Portuguese at the time (it's now in Canadian French).

Oh well, such is the latest installment of my language adventures :D


German grammar podcast

Even though I studied German and was able to communicate when I went to Germany, and have even translated it, it's really declined due to my focus on trying to improve my Japanese reading. But I've decided to shut out the world when walking around downtown and listen to language podcasts. One I found is "GerGerman Grammar Podcasts: German Grammar for Chagrin Falls High School German Students." I think Chagrin Falls is in Ohio.

Unfortunately, the teacher has not posted new audio files, but there are a lot in the archives. I hope he doesn't take his site down.


the Malaysian equivalent of "eh"

Jordan, who now posts more to his Twitter than his blog, posted this comment, which went to his Facebook: "Was talking to my buddy Ron on the phone & ended a sentence with 'kan?' He's Canadian. I'm...somewhat less Canadian now, apparently."

I had no idea what he was talking about. I know that Canadians often say "eh" at the end of their sentences, like we say "You know?" or "Know what I mean?", so I assumed that "kan" had the same meaning. However, I wanted to know exactly what it meant, so a Malay friend of his explained that "kan" comes "From the word 'bukan', which means 'not'. Cantik, kan? (Beautiful, not?)."



The guy who gave me a tour of a TV station let me interview him

A couple of years ago, I was invited to a TV station, and since then, I haven't seen the guy who gave me the tour at all.

Well he stopped working at that station as an anchor and now works at another one as a reporter, so I decided to see if he would agree to let me interview him for my podcast. Surprisingly, he said yes, so here's the interview. I've also enclosed the direct audio link if you're a subscriber to this blog.


My quiz is number one

Wow, over five years ago, I posted an American Culture quiz, and it's become number one in an online search. I know a couple of ESL teachers who use it in their classes, so I'm glad it's been useful. I remember when I first posted it. I got some feedback from the Great Language Hat, so I ended up revising it. The quiz was based on questions that non-Americans asked me, and I planned on doing a follow-up, but I didn't get any more questions. If you think I should create another one, let me know.


Another annoying accent

It's the end of another long day, and right now, my husband is watching Cake Boss. It's interesting, but I've gotta say it: Buddy's accent is very annoying, and his sister has an even more annoying one. I don't even know if that's the sister I'm thinking of because he has a few, so maybe they're all annoying. But she's very nasal and shrill and constantly nags him, and seems so high maintenance, which makes it worse.

But back to him: his accent sounds whiny and squeaky, and he seems like a mama's boy. I know he's not an actor, so it doesn't matter, but still. Maybe because I don't live in New Jersey, I just find those nasal, high-pitched accents grating, especially because they seem to deal with a lot of drama and are consistently complaining and explaining.

I just want to tell everyone to relax, it's going to be okay. Then maybe their accents would mellow out as well.


News over manga

I haven't been reading my Japanese manga lately because I have been reading the Yomiuri online (with help from the wonderful site Popjisyo). I really like the Yomiuri more than the other news sites. I don't know if it's considered the best, but it works for me.

I think because of the tsunami and earthquake devastation, it's hard for me to get involved in a seemingly trivial manga because I feel so bad for the people over there. At this point, it's hard to read both: I took on more work, and by the time I get home at night, my mind is too stretched to try to comprehend a lot of Japanese, so I try to read a bit of the news earlier in the day.

Honestly, I'm starting to regret taking on more work because it's really cut into my Japanese reading time, and has even affected my podcast. However, we're getting a spring break soon from school, so I will probably really enjoy that time off to resume more heavy-duty Japanese pursuits.

I hope they're okay over there.


Writer's block

Horacio, a guy I met offline after meeting him online via another online acquaintance, is an up-and-coming comedian who's been complaining lately about writer's block. Here's a video that he said he identifies with.


A brave man

Late last year, I decided to not watch much TV anymore, but I've been sick with the flu and cold (which is why I haven't posted anything here in almost a week), so I've been watching TV to get my mind off how I feel. Actually, I don't usually get sick, and I'm frustrated that I am. Plus, I stupidly went back to work too early, so I haven't recovered, and was too sick to go in today.

Anyway, I watched a Frontline episode about the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, and I highly recommend it. Earlier this year, his studio was destroyed by the government. His dad was also punished by the government, forced to clean toilets because he was a poet.

So I will join the thousands of others who think Ai Weiwei is a very brave man who will probably have to pay severely for his boldness.