Friday, September 30, 2011

American Holidays - Everybody Happy For Everybody - Rosh Hashana

It is very American-like to be “very happy for you” and “wish you well” and “wish you all the best” on any possible occasion.  By nature Americans, as a nation, are open towards foreigners.  “We are a nation of immigrants; we all came here from somewhere else”. According to popular belief, even the native Indians, historically, came from Asia.

This general attitude of friendliness carries over to celebrating holidays.  American Holidays such as New Year's Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving are, of course, followed by everybody.  On top of that there are a number of special days and occasions: ethnic, religious, a.s.o. (and so on) that, even though observed only by limited groups of people, have become a part of American tradition and culture.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why Is American English Spelling So Complicated Complex Weird?

Simply speaking - because it has been influenced by so many different languages.

You probably know that another word used for English is Anglo-Saxon.  Did you know, though, that the “Anglos” and the “Saxons” were two out of three German(ic) tribes or people, which (or that or who) moved to Britain from current day Germany and Denmark?

The legend has it, and according to historians it’s not just a fairy-tale, that at first they were invited by the King to help the native Britons, who spoke Brittonic languages (modern Welsh), fight off the neighbors after the Romans had left.

Monday, September 26, 2011

American English Spelling vs. Pronunciation

Spelling versus (vs.) pronunciation or writing and reading.

Every language has rules, which, from the perspective of a foreign language student, make it easier to learn.  The principle followed here is association.  You know one thing, you see something else like it, you think it works in exactly the same or a similar way.  There is even an old English proverb for that. 
 “Like father like son”.  This truth is so universal that you can probably find an equivalent saying in most if not all languages.

Friday, September 23, 2011

American English or British English?

I came across this discussion on the headline subject.

What does science have to say about it?  A lot!  A lot have been said, already, too.  Many Ph. D.’s have been done.  Much more research and many more doctoral dissertations will be done on the topic.  That’s for sure.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why I Love American English?

Why I Love American English?  It’s simple - It Is Simple!  When you compare American English to British English, it’s just much more simple.  Yes, yes, yes: more simple not simpler – for all you English purists.

It’s not just the language, it’s the whole American set of mind and way of thinking that I got to love and admire.  For its pragmatism and down-to-earth approach to just about everything and anything including lavishness.  Yes, yes, yes – again!  Even wasting money, the American way, is done in an efficient, economical way.  But that’s a different story …

Monday, September 19, 2011

In America Time Is Money

Time is money.  Not only is the clock “different” here and there.  Let’s say the time is 1 hour past noon (12:00).  Here, I mean in Poland or more generally in Europe, you say thirteen.  Over there, in America that is, and nobody refers to the country as the United States of America in everyday conversations, you would say 1pm.  You can say thirteen hundred, but that is known as the military time.

And now getting back to my original thought … People here (in Poland, in Europe) still seem to have much more time.  Over in the States there is no such a thing as free time.  You either work to make money or rest to be able to work to make money.  Even if you are unemployed, you value your time in monetary terms.  It’s simply the set of mind.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Back from the USA

Just one year ago, at the very end of August 2010, I came back to Poland after close to a quarter century in the US.  When I was leaving in 1987, Poland was still a communist country.  I had hard time getting out of here.  When I got there, to the States, on a J-1 exchange student visa, I had hard time justifying that I wasn’t a communist spy.
Now I’m back in Poland.  I live in Lodz. … What a change…
What shocked me most?  Where do I start?
See ya …