Lost in Translation
Does the language we speak influence our personality?
Do languages themselves have “personalities”?
Can one language be more aggressive, more passive, more emotional than the other?
What happens when paralinguistic cues (like body language and gestures) are misinterpreted?
Are there some words and expressions that are untranslatable into English? What does this tell us about the limitations of language?
1. Group together in your Language B teams (Chinese, Spanish, French, Japanese).
2. Find out some idioms, slang terms (keep it clean, and you might want to investigate “textspeak” ), terms of endearment, gestures and other body language that differs significantly from English/American. Since this is a group effort, you should delegate subtopics and inform me of what you are doing (maybe start a Diigo forum planning area?)
3. You are expected to ask your Language B teachers for assistance (they know about this)
4. Make a brief presentation for the class in the form of a collaborative Prezi, PowerPoint, Google Presentation, Projeqt, Vuvox, YouTube video or the like. You can do some acting / demonstrating as well.
BBC: Don’t Try This Abroad – watch humorous video vignettes of travellers who have mispoken in different countries
BBC: Language and Identity (forum) – in what ways does language shape our identities? People from all over the world write in!
The Cult of the Hyperpolyglot – includes a must-see VIDEO!
100 Most Beautiful Words in the English Language – do you agree?
Hugh Laurie and Ellen discuss American vs. British SLANG: VIDEO
Here’s my friend Martin: