September 8th, 2010


Semester off/Italian language programs in Italy

Hi all,

I have two questions: one, does anyone know of any Italian language programs in Italy where one can take classes for only a month or so?  One of my friends mentioned that someone she worked with this summer participated in a program like that.  I know one school in China does something like that, but I'm not sure if that's just China or other universities in other countries.

Two, I'm in the midst of my undergrad career and working towards a BA in foreign languages and literatures.  I'm considering taking a semester off from my formal studies because I don't feel that I'm getting a lot of the exposure that I want (and honestly, I'm pretty burnt out on school at this point).  If I did this, I would plan on taking a couple of online classes (I don't want to completely halt my degree progress), but I would also use the time to spend some time in the countries where the languages I'm learning (Mandarin, Spanish, Italian) are spoken.  Has anyone ever done anything like this?  Does anyone (whether or not you've done this) have any advice?  Or just advice about taking language courses in a country where the language is spoken?

Thank you all!
waterhouse rose
  • amles80

Show, don't tell - in French

Bonjour à tous. I’m trying to write a book review in French, and one thing I want to mention is that the author seems to be unaware of the “show, don’t tell-rule”… Is there a French expression/term/phrase with the same meaning I can use?

Edit to clairfy:
Okay, so "rule" was a bad choice of word, and I don't need an exact equivalent to the concept. What I meant to say was: is there a common phrase/word/expression that French people use when they talk about literature and mean to say that the writer "doesn't let the reader think for him/herself, the characters are flat and lifeless, and the story gives the impression of a user manual rather than a novel, etc" --- the Swedish phrase "bristande gestaltning" (= bad shaping) contains, roughly speaking, this and more... I just took "show, don't tell" as meaning roughly the same with less words. I mean, in Swedish, a very brief review could start with "the 'shaping' is very good/bad; for example this... and that... blah, blah..." When I have read texts in English about writing, I don't remember having read the term "shaping" (or whatever the best translation of "gestaltning" is), but I remember the phrase "show, don't tell". When Swedish creative writing teachers explain what gestaltning is, they often say something like: "... and this is what the Americans call 'show, don't tell'..." But maybe it does make sense also in English to say that "the story is badly shaped"?

The literal translation of "gestaltning" is "interprétation", "forme", "figure" but I don't know if it makes any sense to use any of the words in this contexts. (Does this question even make sense at all?) Anyway, I wrote the text.
Demon Lord


Thought this would be as good a place to ask as any. Any of you fellow linguaphiles do a double major with Linguistics and something else?
  • Current Music
    Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, BWV 1047: III. Allegro Assai - Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,

Any Old English communities?

For no really necessary reason, I wanted to add Old English to my Frère Jacques collection, I can't even find a bad translation through the online translators. Is there an Old English community anywhere that folks know of who could translate the three lines of the song that aren't bells?

:eyeroll at self:
  • kalagni

Capitalizing places

So I got into an interesting (but short lived) discussion with a friend of mine based on what she perceived as a capitalization error on my part.

I live on the Scarborough Bluffs, the real ones on the shore of Lake Ontario, not the British ones. Anyways, I said "the bluffs" at one point, and she said bluffs should be capitalized, because I'm referring to the Scarborough Bluffs. I think when I refer to the bluffs by their full name (Scarborough Bluffs) then I capitalize, but when I just say bluffs or the bluffs i don't need to. My logic is when I refer to Lake Ontario it is capitalized, but we don't say the Lake with a capital, it is the lake.

What do people think, should bluffs, on its own, be capitalized or not?