Monday, April 02, 2007

Show 334 Monday 2 April

Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
Today’s guest is Camille.
I asked Camille about his background and about what languages he has learnt.
His native language is French and he has learnt many languages including German, English, Swedish, Chinese and Japanese.
He is a musician. He’s studied computer science. He’s been a teacher and since December he has been living in Niseko.

You said you were from Switzerland but you learnt English in Germany ... ?
So, OK, the whole story is ... I was born in France. And I grew up in France until I was nine. And then I moved to Germany for five years. And then after five years, I moved to Switzerland, where I’ve been living mostly since.

What was the first foreign language you started learning?
I can’t really answer that question. I guess it was German. Like if you really look at the dates, the first book I picked up or the first sentence I had to memorise, I think were in German. But I started learning German and English pretty much at the same time.

Did you start learning English at school?
Not English. Ah, I started learning German at school, yeah, but English I mostly started learning with my friends. My neighbours from America and one of my best friends from ah, from the UK.


Kia ora this is Stick News. It’s election time in Japan and damaged ear drums aren’t the only worry – sites like YouTube are also causing concern.

Japanese politicians have a long tradition of charming voters by driving around shouting at them through loudspeakers.
This is definitely legal.
But blogging about politicians near the election apparently isn’t.
Election laws in Japan restrict media coverage during the 12 official days of campaigning.
Some people are worried about the legality of blogs and vlogs during this time.
Yesterday, the most popular blogger in Japan, Kikko, deleted her post criticizing Ishihara and replaced it with an apology.
According to Japan Media Review this restrictive law was made more than 50 years ago.
And critics of the law say the LDP are in no hurry to change it since the most tech-savvy people are not likely to vote for them.

And that was Stick News for Monday the 2nd of April.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#206 Why did you start studying Chinese?

Step 1: Repeat Sarah’s lines.
Step 2: Read Sarah’s lines and talk to Camille.

Sarah Do you like teaching?

Camille Yeah, but not in the usual way. I don’t really like classes and school. I think they can be fun, but um ... I love teaching in the sense sharing knowledge or bringing knowledge to someone. But I don’t like to stand in front of a white board, or black board ... exercise number na na na ... I don’t enjoy that.

Sarah What were your English classes at school like?

Camille Boring. Yeah, I, I don’t have ... I could speak English before I got in class. And I was always ahead of the class. I was pretty familiar with the language before the teacher brought the knowledge in the class.
It didn’t mean that I was good at it but it meant that I had no problem to hear it or read it or whatever. So I never really got interested in it. Except for the last years when we started studying like more cultural and, and literature. And then I could put myself into reading text and stuff like this. But ... I guess most of the time I was just annoying the teacher and fooling around.

Sarah How did you learn English?

Camille OK, with friends in Germany. And since I was in kind of an international school it was easy to keep on speaking with other (?) and other people. And then I spent three months in Canada when I was in high school. Living in a family so that was also a really big input. And then, yeah, other little trips here and there.

Sarah Why did you start studying Chinese?

Camille Well, it’s pretty much the same story again. I went to China last year. And since I was in China I thought it would be interesting to learn the local language. Cause um ... Language expresses a lot of things about the culture and the, and the people of a country. So if you’re in a country and you’re taking time being in this country, I think it’s a good point to maybe not learn a language, but still understand some basic um ... concepts and vocabulary. Cause it’s really interesting how people express ideas in a different way than you do.

Sarah How did you study Chinese?

Camille I took classes in Beijing for ah, about a month, a month ... yeah, about a month to get some basics brush off like really yeah, learn some basic grammar concepts. And work on my pronunciation since in Chinese pronunciation is a really important part of the language.
And then the biggest input I had on my language was when I, ah, when I was working in Shanghai. I been working in ah, in an association for handicapped people for about six months and then I had to use the language every day. Talking to my co-workers and stuff like this. So that was the immersion program. Extensive learning every day.

Sarah How have you been studying Japanese?

Camille Mainly at work. Um, for a while I had one of my co-workers, we were teaching each other language every day for an hour. I would teach her some French and she would teach me some Japanese. Um, yeah, and I have like a small hundred words in Japanese book. I have a dictionary. I have a mobile phone, which is wonderful. Ah, yeah, and talking with people and trying to talk with people, that’s ...

Sarah What advice do you have for people studying English?

Camille Practice. I was sitting in the bus on my way here and this guy was sitting, like ah, two rows behind me. He walked up to me and just like “excuse me, excuse me” and just started talking to me. And I think that’s the right attitude. I mean it might be scary for a lot of people, I don’t know I would do it, but I think he’s doing the best thing he could do for his English right now. Just run into a guy on the bus and starting to build a conversation with the little bit of English he knows. I think that’s the, the right attitude. It’s just like, yeah, go for it.


Today's news (Japanese only)
Kikko's blog (Japanese only)
Japan Media Review