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22 juin 2010

LVDC 19 - Di Hunter can do everything!

I have now been working for nearly two month in a German company which does linguistic stays. I have therefore been writing a lot about language courses - and thinking back to my own classes, when I started learning German and English.

I am too young to have known the old book everybody always thinks of (the one which rich tailors and where Brian is in the kitchen). But nevertheless, I have quite a lot of fun remembering those early classes.

I won't write long about learning German, although it would be even more fun. Like, the first things I learnt were Strubbel ist ein Meerschweinchen (Strubbel is a Guinea pig) and I still know all the dialogs and stories of that damn book. But i don't want to be translating all the time :p

So let's go back in time to Junior High. By then I was a terrible English speaker and, having already learnt German for three years before starting English, had a weird mixture of French and German accent when trying to speak. I had a teacher, whose name I forgot, who was presumably teaching for the first time and whom I and my friends all but hated. We were using a book which was very stupid; the main character, Di Hunter, was a British actress who was going to be the star of some American movie, filmed in New York, so she was living there at the moment. The family was very diversse and international vecause the parents where living somewhere in Sussex or any English countryside you would never care to find on a map, the younger sister being a pupil -so very much younger- and the elder brother living in Sydney, Australia. I'm pretty sure that was just a trick from the teachers who made the book to have us learn things on all three countries, since we were starting English late in our lives and presumably needed a crash course.

To get back to this bloody movie, Di Hunter was going to be Superwoman, or some copyright-free character looking like a Marvel female Hero. Superwoman can do, by the way, everything -it was on the pictures we had to describe: she can ride a motorbike, she can fly a helicopter, she can swim with squales... but somehow we never got to know if she was needing any of those tampons in the ads when having her periods. Her role partner was a very famous American actor, Josh or something like that, who was going to be annother hero I guess.

What happens next is, her boyfriend, whassisname, let's call him Andrew, comes for a surprise visit to New York. He "rings her up" (calls her) when arriving, to ask her where her appartment is. She says "but where are you" and he answers "Manhattan. I can see the Twin Towers!" Here I must say this was May 2001. Some months later, when remembering the tape we heard over and over again, we would have (I'm ashamed of it) lots of fun. Anyway Andrew finds his way through West Village (or just tells the address to the taxi driver) and starts climbing the stairs. But when Di Hunter opens the door of her appartment, who's there? Josh, arrived only seconds before Andrew, with a bunch of flowers -inviting her to lunch.

Somehow we never went through a quarter of the book. I guess we must have been bad students or had a German accent too strong. I only remember some stuff, like the dog making ads for dogfood (who must have been a Montagne des Pyrénées) is in the studio once and the Director, a big Black woman, says "Oooh my Gooood, he is reeeally biig!" but sometimes I wonder what happened next to old Di and her friends. I mean, her boyfriend is the kind of lame English type, like most British guys I met so far, while the actor is much more sexier with a broad chest, like most American guys I... let's say met. But on the other hand, people in Junior High English books don't cheat, do they? (It's the students who cheat. What? No I didn't!)

Now I kind of try to imagine the next capter of the book. Like, #3, "Di Hunter and Josh go on a date", then #4 "Di Hunter and Josh go back to her place", then #5 "Di Hunter and Josh have passionate sex"- they can do everything: she can b*** his d***, he can f*** her up the b***, then the neighbor yells "stop being so f***ing noisy or I call the f***ing cops!" and so on. And then #5, "Di Hunter has to abort", which would be the occasion of learning about the Puritans and the pro-life movement. The text would also be nice and full of vocabulary: #6 Back in England, "Andrew gets pissed in a bar". Di has ditched him for a gorgeous, soulless American freak and he is seriously considering killing himself. He could hang himself, or maybe drown in the Thames river (so we know about London); finally he decides to harass a homeless.

Needless to say, even when I was a small child learning the French conjugaison and vocabulary I was fed up with those cheesy books. Like "il a eu un accident de voiture mais il n'a pas été blessé" (he had a car accident but was unhurt). I remember telling the teacher it was stupid, and she answered "what, do you want to read he died?" Well, Maîtresse, perhaps it would be actually quite cool. Anyway, it's water under the bridge now, and I think I made up for saying crappy creepy things during my last years of learning English, when our poor teachers were confronted with people having lived in the States and only trying not to get us bored and we just had to make some scenes and played immoral lawyers and hippies on drugs, when not gossiping about the sex life of acorns and dolphins.

So if I ever write a language book, you should evaluate the potential evilness of your kid before handing it to him or her. It could seriously damage his morals...

10:41 Écrit par chax18 dans Livre | Lien permanent | Commentaires (1) | Tags : english, lessons, school, di hunter |  Partager sur Facebook |

27 novembre 2009

LVDC 6: LVDC in English

As one of my wishes is to travel and live abroad as much as I can, I feel some posts in English are relevant to this blog. So I will start with a short introduction of myself:

My name is Charles Dechoux and right now I am a fifth-year student in E-commerce and IT. I was born on September 21st, 1987 in Bourges, a small city in the center of France which had its Golden Age 25 centuries ago and is now kind of unimportant - but this will be the subject of a later post. Just keep in mind that I grew up there, the center being nice, the surroundings typically French with castles, great landscapes and people who did not change their mentality since the Revolution. It is a lovely location for kids, but as soon as I neared 16 my only wish was to get the HELL out of there.

My first step was to join the former elite French educational system, the Grandes Ecoles - system that I may write about in another post. This lead me, first, to Orléans - I was so half-way from Paris - where I lived two years and had one of the greatest times in my life, studying hard maths and physics and having simple but true fun with my fellow students at the boarder.

I then moved to my school in Lille, where I should study until April 2010 IT, E-commerce, as well as project management. Here I also made some friends, I go to parties, play the violin in an orchester and try to figure out my future while watching each and every episode of Sex & the City.

I LIKE reading big sagas - whether fantasy, science-fiction or historical ; I like feeling the sun on my skin and the wind in my hair ; I love watching the reflection of the sky on the water and the collective rape that is the way ducks reproduce. I also simply enjoy sipping cocktails on a beach while eating tasty treats and listening to lounge music.

I DON'T LIKE feeling alone more than a few hours - though I enjoy lonely trips and wanderings. I dislike people judging others and not letting them do what they want although it does not affect them. Finally, I hate when bouncers - or anybody with some power over you, however temporary - are rude and mean just because they can.

My notion of time is also fluctuant: it is the case for many people, who say it is an example of Einstein's theory of time being relative to the observer. I will not dare interpreting what Dr. Einstein said, suffice it to state that two weeks are eternity to me, and after one month in a new life I feel I never experienced anything else.

I realize that this short introduction is now close to matching the totalized French posts; now you know that I like hearing myself talk or reading myself write. Also, I hope that you are convinced of my fluency in English.

Charles Dechoux, LVDC 6

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