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February 21, 2013


Beth -- Spanish is much closer to Latin than French is (colonized by Rome much earlier). I hear you on the confusion, but I remember getting very loused up between Italian and Spanish. How very exciting you're taking this on!

Montreal's multiculturalism is obviously inspiring, and with your "aptitude for hearing and repeating the nuances of sound", you've done very well learning so much French, and I'm sure Spanish will come easily. I've heard that the more lanugagues you learn, the easier it gets. I wish I had that aptitude. Though I had Latin and French in high school, we didn't learn how to speak. Years ago when we were planning a trip to Italy, we both studied Italian. F did well with his aptitude but I struggled. I learned some polite phrases but in practise once there, I mixed my French and Italian, sort of like your French and Spanish. That's because they are all Romance languages.

I wish you luck with the learning and much pleasure in using it on your upcoming holiday!

By the way, I love the second photo, especially those staircases that to me are "so Montreal".

Ah, those typos - that is 'languages'.

Babbel, eh? I'll check it out!

Beth, my Italian niece and her 10 yr old daughter are visiting me this week and our normal conversations are in Italian, French and English, alternating or combined. This doesn't seem odd because it's what's always been the case in my family since I was born, except that in earlier days, there was also a bit of Russian, then German (from a nanny) and then Spanish and Portuguese. Italian came later. People always say this kind of multi-lingual fluency is enviable and in a way, I guess it is. But some psychologists say that it's confusing for a child to have too many languages and leads to identity crises. Well, there's probably some truth to that. I don't feel any of those languages 'belong' to me nor could I say which of those cultures I really identify with. It could be any of them or none. So the grass is always etc. and sometimes I envy those people who 'know where they come from'....

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.