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August 28, 2005


Chevy Rose

It sounds sort of like herding cats, very tedious. Take care, get sleep too.


Sounds worse than herding cats to me CR. Maybe herding cats with dogs chasing them. :)

Granma Ruth

I'm exhausted just thinking about the process.
I once tried to hold a conversation with a mother who was deaf from birth and tried to talk. Her children would come when she snapped her fingers and translate. I went home exhausted. But I really admired how disciplined her children were.


I once spent several weeks in a small village in Italy where no one spoke English. Communication was frustrating, but often entertaining. Fortunately, our word "beer" is very similar in Italian.


Yep. I started to learn Arabic once to communicate with some guys at work in their native tongue. I could handle reading backwards but that cursive alphabet and textbook instructions like "English speakers only make this sound when choking" caused me to through in the towel.

Give it your best shot. Good luck and en-joy.

Thank you for your service!



I suppose the best way is to learn simple phrases to and use these until they are mastered. Such phrases may include things like: "Clode the door. Sit down. Are you thirsty."

Thanks again.



Sounds to me like your preparing for parenthood. I just got done translating from "9" year old to medical-ese, with a "cellular" stop in business-tounge to my husband.

My solution, keep it simple & straight forward, keeping the hand gestures to myself.


"Clode the door" Dan ?. ;-)

Lucy K

You did a great job in Mexico City, no one would ever know it was your first time there. I can still remember the laughter from the jokes you told (sin traduccion). Be well..I love you!


Here take a tiny break:



I am an Arabic linguist for the Army. The whole program needs reworking. What I was taught in school was the Arabic spoken on the news and written in the newspapers. But it is not what Iraqis speak in their daily dialect. So coming over here, linguists are woefully underprepared.

The thing is that it's easier to hire on native speakers than it is to train up soldiers to get to that level of proficiency.

But along with that, you'll need soldiers who are taught or at least familiarized with the culture and the language. And this makes me wonder if it should be treated more like a basic soldier (or officer) skill to know a target language/culture. There's hardly enough time for training as it is, so that would be a difficult plan to implement.

But I think we need to start approaching language and culture from different angles in the military, because it's such a huge impediment to our operations, as Major K. described.

jj mollo

We need to start taking languages more seriously in the US. We should be teaching kids a much greater variety of languages. For instance, a given high school might specialize in Urdu rather than splitting its resources into Latin, French, German, Spanish. The Social Studies courses could be coordinated. Each high school could have a couple of foreign cities to study in detail rather than getting the usual background in geography and cultures which is a mile wide and an inch deep. The individual would know something substantial, and the population would collectively have a diverse background.

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