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Wednesday, 16 November 2005

Oh boy, college applications!

"Describe the degree of your proficiency (reading, speaking, and writing) in languages other than English. List courses you have taken in each language. "

French: I can slowly read a newspaper. I can ask the man at the fromagerie to recommend a cheese and the guy at the electronics store for a computer power cable. I can write a note to my landlord. I've taken french 1 & 2

Esperanto: I passed my language exam at Wesleyan University in Esperanto. I can read a magazine if I have a dictionary handy. I can tell some puns that I know. I can write a note asking for tech support. I audited the Esperanto class at Stanford.

German: I cannot read a newspaper because the compound words are insane. I can explain that I'm a vegetarian and give directions on how one might get out of a catacomb if one were frightened of caves but decided to take a tour anyway wherein the tour guide only spoke Italian and English and the phobic individual spoke only German. I took German House in college

I don't think this is exactly what they want.



Les said...

Cxu avo de la papo estas PAPAVO????

Jean Sirius said...

no, i think that's pretty much exactly what they're asking.

what does your comment (above) mean, please?

Les said...

It's an esperanto pun. Avo means grandfather. Papo means pope. It's possible to combine nouns into compound words so that they modify each other in a way that is similar to english. For instance blubirdo is blue bird and birdblua is bird blue. However, the combination papavo also means poppy.

"Is the grandfather of the pope a poppy?"

another compound word:

Eksterulo: eks = ex, tero = earth, ulo = person :: a person who has left earth
ekstero = outside, ulo = person:: an outsider

some people have the idea that a constructed language would be easier for a computer to understand, because there's less ambiguity, but this is not the case with esperanto or probably any other really human language. It brings me geeky happiness that there exist esperanto puns.