About Us The Definite Article is Durham Universityâ€™s Modern Languages and Cultures magazine. It was TT established in 2013 and is written and edited by students from the School of Modern T Languages and Cultures.
Editorial Team: Rebecca Kennaugh, Ellie Stefiuk, Ollie Bains, Tom Chance, Becky Wyde, Chloe Treasure, Ryan West, Harriet Bantock
Front Cover Photography: Olivia Rosenthall Title Graphic: Alex Bennett
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Editor’s Note Welcome to the fourth edition of The Definite Article!
ith only three issues behind us we’re still a relatively new addition to media at Durham. We were so pleased with how much interest we got at Freshers’ Fair- thank you to all of you who signed up! I’m so glad that we’ve been able to carry on with last year’s hard work to bring you the fourth edition of The Definite Article.
For the second year students amongst us, we get into a new year at Durham, only to be immediately reminded that we have to start organising a whole year away. However, the prospect of spending a year in the sun is enough to ease the stress of organising the year abroad (sorry to those of you going to Siberia!). This time of year not only brings the dreaded summative deadlines; it’s also a time for good food, silly hats, and your favourite Christmas tunes on a loop- nothing like a bit of Paul McCartney to get you in the party spirit.
I’m excited that we’re able to offer you such a diverse range of articles to look at in between (boxes of) mince pies. Our interview with Durham graduate Nick Isard gives a large dose of inspiration to us languages students; Naomi Ellis speaks about a life far-removed from Durham in her article on Nicaragua; Tim Blore gives good advice to those teaching English to children; Emma Bradding’s guide gastronomique will make you want to eat in every restaurant in Paris; and we even have some year abroadinspired poetry written by Claire Ewbank. All of our contributors have made this such a fantastic issue!
I’d like to thank this year’s wonderful team; Ollie Bains, Harriet Bantock, Tom Chance, Ellie Stefiuk, Chloe Treasure, Ryan West, and Becky Wyde. A special thanks to Ellie for putting this issue together all the way from Italy, showing The Definite Article to be a truly international magazine!
A big thank you also to all of our contributors; Nick Isard and Dr Melanie Henry for taking part in the interviews; our proof readers for this issue Rose Marengo (French) and Dr. Khaled Al-Shehari (Arabic); Olivia Rosenthall for our front cover photo; and finally Dr. Mike Thompson for his continued help.
Have a great Christmas break and a happy New Year! Rebecca Kennaugh
Contents FEATURE: An Interview with Nick Isard p.5 FILM, MUSIC & BOOKS A Real Femme Fatale p.7 La Nouvelle Vague p.8 Pisa Book Festival: libri senza frontiere p.9 FEATURE: An Interview with Dr. Melanie Henry p.11 TRAVEL Le Mont-Saint-Michel p.12 A French Exchange Near Saint-Tropez p.13 Workaway Adventure p.14 FEATURE: 21 Things You’ll Know If You’ve Lived in Sevilla p.16
CUISINE La Cuina de La Maribel: Tres Plats Típics Catalans p.18 FEATURE: Les Tickets Restaurants dans le Neuvième : un guide gastronomique p.20 YEAR ABROAD Frogspawn: Working with French Children on Your Year Abroad p. 23 The Silence of Oradour-sur-Glane p.24
Sur le Point de Traverser la Manche? 4 Choses que vous n’êtes pas prêts de retrouver p.25 Pruja p.26 Nicaragua : Not Your Average Year Abroad p.27 FEATURE: Arabic: An Endless Ocean p.28 CURRENT AFFAIRS The Fate of ‘Abenomics’ p.29
The Case for Modern Languages p.30 The Scottish Independence Referendum in a European Context p.31 FEATURE: In Defence of the German Language p.32 Some More Photo Entries p.33
An Interview with Nick Isard
ick Isard left Durham in 2010 with his BA in French, Spanish and Russian, heading off into the bleak world of graduate (un)employment that usually consists of a two to three year job search, living with the parents, and spending your life on Facebook and Twitter. Nick, however, trended on Twitter! Now, only four years after graduating, he’s back in Durham to talk about his new best-selling book,‘The Lemony Pear’ and his translation company, Molmola.
So, how did your translation company come about?
Well on my year abroad I met two great friends, Daniel Vivas and Marielle Lambrun in Limoges, France, and we kept in contact. After some time, each one working or studying, we decided to set up Molmola, the translation company. And these are the same friends who you worked with to create ‘The Lemony Pear’?
Yes they are! What was the inspiration behind ‘The Lemony Pear’?
Our office is multilingual, a mixture of French, English and Spanish, and so we constantly switch between all the languages. We realised that the direct translations of certain expressions were very different to their actual meaning and the book just seemed to stem from there. So what exactly is the book about? The book aims to teach English to Spanish-speaking individuals in a fun, easy and useful way. We use idiomatic Spanish phrases and translate them into English in order to make it fun, and include words that we actually use from a day-to-day basis rather than more literary and formal language. For example, one of our pages talks about drinking i.e. how to order drinks, and we include vocabulary such as wast-ed, drunk, trollied…which is always useful! Was it hard to get a book deal?
Luckily for us it wasn’t; we were actually approached by Planeta (Spanish equivalent to Penguin) and they really liked the product. Thanks to them, their contacts and support, the book is really going down well in Spain. We even trended on Twitter in Spain, only second to the Scottish Referendum results! When was the book published then?
The beginning of last year. Wow, it is so popular already!
Yeah we’ve done lots of press stuff, all thanks to Planeta! What has the publicity process for the book been like then?
(Laughs) It is safe to say it was an interesting experience! I was once on live TV, which was horrible as we had to have makeup done (I’ve never had that done before!) Then they gave us earphones which were really bad quality. We had to answer to a camera in front of us but I couldn’t understand what they were saying because it was such bad quality and it was live! Considering the success of ‘The Lemony Pear’, have you got any other versions in the pipeline?
Yes! As Marielle is French, we are starting to create a French version. Unfortunately it’s not something that would work in every country. In England, for example, nobody really knows any other language apart from English. All of the designs are absolutely amazing, did you create those as well?
No. They were done by a company that started at the same time as us, so we’ve kind of always gone in parallel with each other- they are really great designs! Many of our readers are starting to sort out their year abroad. What did you do for yours?
Well I’d already spent a gap year in Chile, living with Chileans, and spoke nothing but Spanish for the whole year. Then for my year abroad I just did a few months in Spain. I was speaking Spanish in France as well because I was living with a Spanish Erasmus student. It’s a good idea to live with people from the country you’re staying in, even just for learning domestic vocab! I did Russian as well so I spent five months in Siberia- that wasn’t the highlight for me! Do you keep up with your Russian?
Not really. I did some classes but it’s a hard one to keep up unfortunately. So with all your success, where do you see yourself and the company in the next five to ten years?
I don’t know. We are definitely planning on moving forward with a French-based book and of course Molmola, the translation company, because these kinds of opportunities can come and go. We could sell loads of books really quickly and then it could fizzle out, but the translation company is something that’s more stable; we’ve always got it. And lastly, where did the name ‘The Lemony Pear’ come from? An inside joke?
(Laughs) It actually means ‘great’ or ‘cool’. We just wanted something positive to put on the cover!
Chloe Treasure and Rebecca Kennaugh
A real femme fatale Introducing French actress, Léa Seydoux, as the new Bond girl… Age: 29 From: Paris, France Height: 5’6” Family: Youngest of seven siblings, she was born to a powerful French family (her grandfather is chairman of Pathé films, her mother Valerie Schlumberger is a former actress and her father, Henri Seydoux founded the wireless technology business Parrot). She grew up between France and Senegal. Femme Fatale: She will play Madeline Swann in the new Bond film, Spectre. She is the 24th official Bond girl. Major Hollywood films: Inglorious Basterds,
Robin Hood, Midnight in Paris, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Best known for: Playing Emma in the critically acclaimed,
Blue Is The Warmest Colour (La Vie d’Adèle) for which she was awarded the Palme d’Or at 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Upcoming films: The Lobster,
Journal d’une femme de chambre and Spectre. Killer heels: Her father’s best friend is Christian Louboutin, who designed Léa her first pair of Louboutins when she was 12! Random fact: Seydoux featured in
the music video for the popular French singer Raphaël and his song ‘Ne partons pas fâchés’ in 2009 (give it a listen – it’s good!) Favourite song: ‘Ainsi soit-il’ by Louis Chedid.
La Nouvelle Vague
he French 'New Wave' in cinema was a movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s which completely revolutionised film technique. After the Second World War France was desperate to reassert its lost influence in the arts and culture. A revival of French influence occurred in a range of fields, such as the 'New Look' in fashion designed by Christian Dior. Furthermore, the cult of "youth culture", which originated in the USA with films such as Rebel Without a Cause starring the iconic James Dean, had begun to obsess France. The concept of the 'teenager' created a new audience for cinema and the New Wave directors created films which for the first time were specifically aimed at young people; the young, elite cinéphile was emerging. Film journals such as Cahiers du cinéma were gaining prominence in society and these helped to nurture film enthusiasts into directors. The three most important directors of the New Wave were François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and Claude Chabrol. They all began their careers as critics for the Cahiers du Cinéma in their early twenties. François Truffaut was arguably the leader of the New Wave. His first main feature film, Les Quatre Cents Coups (The 400 Blows ), was a portrayal of his own childhood and he revealed many similarities between himself and the main character, the 12-year-old Antoine Doinel. Antoine was played by Jean-Pierre Léaud and Truffaut chose to use the same actor for a series of films spanning Antoine's life. These films followed the character's journey into adulthood and reflect the idea of art mirroring life, which the New Wave directors aimed to display in their work.
During the post-war period, existentialism was becoming increasingly fundamental to French thought. Led by philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, it was described as "A modern philosophical movement stressing the importance of personal experience and responsibility and the demands that they make on the individual, who is seen as a free agent in a deterministic and seemingly meaningless universe". This idea of the importance of the individual is reflected in such New Wave films as A bout de souffle (Breathless), made by Godard in 1960. In the film, a thug impulsively shoots dead a policeman on a motorcycle. By displaying the individual's importance over society's rules, the film reveals the existentialist idea of the absurdity of life - death is treated with indifference and as an everyday event. The techniques used in making the films were just as important as the content in reflecting the almost anarchic attitudes of the directors. Breathless was filmed to resemble a documentary and Godard aimed to let the action unfold in front of the
camera. Scenes were shot on location without permission and the puzzled looks of passers-by can even be seen in the film! This improvised feel was increased by the fact that Godard used a wheelchair instead of an expensive camera dolly to film moving shots. The only light was natural light which gave New Wave films a very dingy look, adding to the dark, existentialist feel. The filming process was always as short as possible due to low budgets with Breathless only taking 23 days to complete. Godard would write lines in a private exercise book during the process which he gave to actors for only a few brief rehearsals before filming straight away. The New Wave was characterised by a very experimental approach, with much of the films virtually improvised on the spot.
One of the other main features of the movement was the way in which its main figures were part of a close circle of cinéastes. This was a term which arose to describe directors of art films who saw themselves as sole creator of their films. Truffaut, Godard and Chabrol knew each other from writing for the Cahiers du Cinéma and went on to work closely together. For example, Breathless was directed by Godard, written by Truffaut and Chabrol acted as technical adviser. In a similar way, certain actors were central to the New Wave. Jean-Pierre Léaud, the star of Truffaut's series of Antoine Doinel films, went on to take further roles in Truffaut films and other works by Godard. Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg who played the lead roles in Breathless also became iconic figures of the movement. The New Wave actors often became a muse for the directors, inspiring them through their distinctive naturalistic style of acting. In conclusion, New Wave cinema was shaped by the concept of individualism. The films have a very personal connection with their directors and the idea of the 'auteur' emerged from the director taking a direct role in the writing and production of their films. The movement was a unique product of post war France and the cultural and philosophical changes which characterised this era. However, perhaps what made the New Wave such an important part of cinematic history was the huge revolution in film technique that it helped to bring about and which has continued to influence filmmaking ever since. Caroline Ridler (Sources: newyorker.com, telleestmatele.com)
PISA BOOK FESTIVAL 2014: LIBRI SENZA FRONTIERE
he weekend of 7-9th November 2014, the iconic city of Pisa played host to its 12th annual independent book festival. Welcoming authors, publishers, journalists, translators and artists from around the globe, the festival offers talks, workshops and exhibitions celebrating all things books, literature and freedom of thought…
LITERATURE With the book club series offering interviews and discussions of books with authors and academics, Pisa Book Festival is undoubtedly the place to be for any self-respecting bookworm. This year’s guest panel included the likes of the author and translator, Christian Raimo and the writers Elena Stancanelli and Sandro Veronesi. Each of them took part in discussions of their works at the Repubblica Caffè where, for the three days of the festival, meetings and debates were organised by editors of La Repubblicà. Besides discussions with authors about their works, many seminars were hosted on contemporary issues facing the world of literature and publishing, such as ‘Writing and Health: Writing as a Form of Medicine and Care for One’s Self’; ‘Poetry in the Time of Twitter’; ‘An Ebook is not a Book’.
TRANSLATION Nevertheless, the festival is all-encompassing. Indeed, with its association with the PBF Centre for Translation, every year the festival dedicates a day to translation with conferences and workshops run by experts in their respective fields (Susanna Basso, Ilide Carmignani, Rossella Bernascone, Luisa Finocchi and many more). In all, it’s a fantastic opportunity not only for those seeking entry to the translation industry or further specialization, but also for those who appreciate the art of literary translation. This year’s talks included ‘Translating and Publishing Poetry Today’ and ‘Working in a Time of Economic Cri- sis’, to name just a few.
ART Finally, Pisa Book Festival, in collaboration with Fondazione Palazzo Blu, presents an annual art exhibition alongside the book festival. This year saw a collection featuring Fabian Negrin and his illustrations of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. The 21 pictures on display are taken from his books of illustrations entitled Le fiabe di Andersen. The exhibition opened on the eve of the festival and will remain open (with free entry!!) until 15th February 2015. So, if you happen to find yourself in Pisa in early November and seek some intellectual nourishment after battling through hordes of tourists to take a series of selfies at the leaning tower, Pisa’s annual book festival is a must-visit! Ellie Stefiuk (sources: pisabookfestival.it)
An Interview with Dr. Melanie Henry What is your main area of academic research?
Broadly, I work on the Spanish Golden Age, and my specific area of research is Golden Age theatre and Miguel de Cervantes and his theatre. I did my PhD on Cervantes’ theatre which was then published as a book last year. My interest in the Golden Age came about because of a very enthusiastic and inspirational teacher who taught the Spanish Golden Age and incited my love for it. When I came to decide on a PhD project, I was taken by the fact that Cervantes- who is the author of the most influential novel in Western history, ‘Don Quijote de la Mancha’wrote drama, and there were little positive or valuable comments on the drama. It was a little studied area and that struck me as being really exciting, so I seized the opportunity and decided to explore it and that’s how I decided to do my PhD on Cervantes’ theatre. I had previously studied two of Cervantes’ plays in my MA dissertation, so my PhD was a really good opportunity to extend that and look at it in depth. At undergraduate level, I studied a module on Golden Age drama at Level 2 and that was my first exposure to the Spanish Golden Age. At the time, I was absolutely taken by the fact that at that time in Spain, there was so much remarkable literature being produced, hence it is called the Spanish Golden Age. Up until that point, I had been a great lover of Shakespeare and I was really interested in the fact that, in a very distinct ideological context, Source: taringa.net there were other fantastic dramatists producing theatre at that time. As I said, my teacher was wonderful, and I became so interested in it and thoroughly enjoyed it and I love it, and now I am privileged to teach those very plays that I studied myself. What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment, I am continuing to work with Cervantes and his theatre because so little has been done and remains to be done on the subject. I want to extend what I did in my first monograph across Cervantes’ entire dramatic corpus and I am currently loo- king at how Cervantes stages selfhood and subjectivity in his drama, which is a pertinent area because lately criticism has established that Early Modern Spain is an underdeveloped locus for ideas of self -fashioning. I recently presented a paper at a conference in Galway on ‘Subject to Control: Staging the Self in Cervantes’ La gran sulta- na’, which I felt was a great achievement for me. What is the best thing about working here at Durham? Are there any downsides?
I would say it’s a combination of the wonderful research that is pro- duced by MLAC, the calibre of the institution and the highfunctioning students that Durham has. Durham students are wonderful, they are such a treat to teach; they are engaged, curious and love to learn. The students here are a great perk of the job. Well, I underestimated how busy I was going to be. It is an incredibly busy and taxing job. I guess there is a perception that academics don’t do terribly much but that is not the case, although that’s not necessari-
ly a bad thing. What do you like to read outside of your research?
I am a vivacious reader and love to read. My kindle is filled with books which I have had not yet had the time to read, so I have a reading list of books I like to read for pleasure! In terms of genre, my favourite type of book to read is historical fiction. My favourite book is ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ by Betty Smith, I read it when I was a teenager and it had a massive impact on me; I loved it so I make a point to reread it once a year, and every time I read it I react a little bit differently as I grow up and as I see things differently. What would your advice to Spanish students at Durham be?
My advice to all students is first of all to enjoy and cherish your university experience; it is one of a kind and I know it is sometimes hard to see that when you embroiled in the middle of summatives and formatives and preparation of work, but it really is an absolute joy and privilege to learn and you will never have that opportunity again. I would say to all students; be curious- university teaches you to be curious about your world- and to interrogate and seize the opportunity with both hands. It really is a unique experience. Particularly for Spanish students, and this applies to all language students; immerse yourself in Spanish language and Spanish culture. Do your best to immerse yourself in as much as you possibly can and remember that language is more than words on a page; it’s a living, breathing, and dynamic culture.
Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us. Harriet Bantock
imez-vous les livres d’Harry Potter? Bien sûr: tout le monde –moi y compris- aimerait aller à Poudlard. Malheureusement, cela est impossible, mais l’été dernier j’ai eu la chance de découvrir le Mont St Michel, véritable Poudlard du monde réel.
Le Mont-Saint-Michel est situé sur une petite île au bord de mer, et est par conséquent inaccessible à marée haute. Quand on aperçoit le Mont au loin, c’est une vue formidable- on entre par une porte médiévale, et la rue principale serpente vers le haut, jusqu’au château qui est situé sur le sommet du mont. Cela fait penser à Diagon Alley dans les livres d’Harry Potter, avec les vieilles boutiques, une foule continue, et de multiples attractions touristiques. Et qu’est-ce qu’on peut y faire? Eh bien, quand j’y suis allée avec mes amis, j’ai passé plus d’une demi-journée à explorer les sites anciens de la ville. On peut explorer le château, les vielles bâtisses et les authentiques boutiques qui donnent au Mont une atmosphère si particulière. A l’origine, le château au sommet de la ville était un monastère autour duquel on a construit la ville au cours du XIVe et XVe siècles, et le Mont-Saint- Source: maxisciences.com Michel était un lieu de pèlerinage. Le Mont-Saint-Michel est vraiment un endroit qui en vaut le détour, à voir absolument si on voyage en Bretagne ou en Normandie.
How much do you like the Harry Potter books? If you’re anything like me, you’ve always wanted to live in that world- specifically, travel to places like Hogwarts. Sadly, that’s not possible, but last summer I had the chance to visit the next best thing: namely, Mont-Saint-Michel.
he city itself is actually situated on a small island next to the sea, and therefore during high tide it’s impossible to access. When you see it in the distance, though, it’s truly breathtaking: you en- ter via the medieval gates and just beyond them the main road snakes upwards towards the castle that is perched on the summit of the mount. The best way I can describe it is like Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter books: picture old-fashioned shops, huge crowds and lots of tourist attractions. And what can you do there? Well, when I went with my friends, I happily spent more than half a day exploring the ancient sites in the city- like the old prison, the city walls and small nooks and crannies that you really have to go and look for. The castle is actually a monastery around which the settlement was built during the 1400’s- and ever since the 800’s Mont-Saint-Michel has been a place of pilgrimage. Mont-Saint-Michel is truly a lovely place to go and visit, and if you ever pass by Brittany or Normandy, at least one day spent absorbing the culture and history of the place is well worth the time. Vicky Jessop (proof read by Rose Marengo)
A French Exchange Near Saint-Tropez
fter discovering that my school no longer offered a French exchange, I was all too keen to arrange my own. Using an online forum which luckily didn’t end in my gruesome murder as my mother was convinced it would, I was matched with what seemed like a perfect family; house near Saint-Tropez, right on the coast. Of course, I pictured myself becoming at least twelve times more attractive, being able to speak French perfectly, and charming the locals with my quirky British ways. What I had so conveniently forgotten? My French was strictly average, I was ghostly white, in a rather chubby stage, and those ‘quirky British ways’ I thought I had were nothing more than my desire to put gravy on everything. So in that sense, someone probably should have told me to stop dreaming of the impossible and just to sign up for some conversation classes. Ideally, these would have been with a teacher who wouldn’t look like I had murdered a small puppy farm every time I asked ‘est-ce qu’il y a de la sauce pour les frites?’ On arrival, the family were as lovely and as welcoming as they had seemed over email and Skype. I had to hide my surprise when I arrived at their home; being from a small Welsh town, I felt like I’d hit the proverbial jackpot when it was revealed that they had two living rooms. As I was taken round the wonderfully French house and Source: en.wikepedia.org introduced to the family it seemed all too perfect, especially when I reached the floor they had prepared for me. I played this ridiculous turn of events as cool as I could, picking up my jaw subtly from the floor when told that I was welcome to any of the three bedrooms and two bathrooms on this apparently so-normal-to-have guest floor. It could have stopped there, but it was then decided that a shopping trip to Saint-Tropez should immediately be taken. Of course, this had to happen in the Porsche.
And I must admit, sitting in the back of a Porsche was cool for all of 4 seconds. That is, until the wind picks up and you get beaten up, choked, and/or viciously whipped by your own hair. Also – overshare – it was the single sweatiest experience of my life, leaving a genuine pool on the seat once we had arrived. Awkward. I can also confirm that there is no way to play this even slightly cool, and the best reaction would probably have been to jog all the way home: an experience from which I would probably have escaped less red, embarrassed, or covered in sweat. Needless to say, I did not ride in the Porsche again, and retreated as soon as possible back to my non-judgemental guest floor. So all in all, I would definitely recommend an exchange because I did actually learn a lot of both linguistic and life skills; now I can laugh my way out of awkward situations at an international level. The family were lovely for the two weeks I spent with them, and invited me back for the following summer despite our awkward first trip. Even if I had stayed there two months, I still don’t think I would’ve got used to that guest floor. Hannah Evans
t the end of last Epiphany Term, as I was desperately looking for some way of engaging with French culture during the long summer holiday, I came across the Workaway website and it seemed like the perfect solution.
The premise of Workaway is at first sight flawless: work is exchanged for cultural interaction and free board and lodging. There is a huge range of activities to choose from on the website. Once you have signed up (around 21€ for a two-year membership) you then complete your profile by filling in information about the type of work you are prepared to do during your stay abroad such as gardening, DIY, language teaching and childcare. This allows you to tailor your stay to your strengths and interests so you and the hosts can get the most out the stay. You can specify the place you want to stay, narrowing down by continent, country, region and even city and also by activity. Hosts are reviewed by other Workawayers and therefore you can filter through the many thousands of options to find one that will best suit you. It is then a case of getting in contact with the host, either by email or by telephone and arranging a stay ranging from 2 weeks up to 18 months depending on the needs of the host. This site is not targeted specifically at language learners, rather to people who are willing to help out for free, in exchange for cultural interaction. Despite this, many of the site's users are language learners looking to gain an authentic cultural experience. Whilst this system may seem like the perfect way to get a free holiday (you are only required to work a maximum of 6 hours per day according to Workaway regulations), sometimes the reality can be very different. I chose to spend my time in the Château Hôtel de Brélidy in a tiny hamlet in Brittany. I booked my flight, packed my
bags and set off, not entirely sure what to expect. I arrived and caught a glimpse of the beautiful chĂ˘teau and met the genial hosts -Ben and Gwen. I was shown to the accommodation, which was very basic, effectively a storeroom with a mattress and a shower cubicle, shared communally between five Workawayers. I was shocked, naturally, having expected a furnished hotel room however I took the plunge and decided to stay. At first, the experience was very tough and not at all what I expected. The hours were not too long, but the work hard and very physically tiring in the hot August weather. Despite its beautiful setting the chateau was very isolated, with the nearest tiny settlement being at least a mile away and although there was the opportunity to use the host's car, having never driven in Europe before this was a daunting and dangerous prospect. Yet, despite its flaws, I enjoyed my time immensely. I interacted with the hosts and the other Workawayers and made firm friends, getting to experience a little of the Breton culture I had expected. I used my language skills, but as the common language between all the Workawayers was either English or French (a second or third language), English became our lingua franca. My time in BrĂŠlidy was unique, but challenging. I would tell anyone stuck for ideas of how to engage easily with a foreign culture to use Workaway, but to do their research meticulously. Research the hosts, location and type of work you will be required to do as some hosts really do use you as very cheap labour. It was unforgettable, ultimately positive and despite its flaws I would Workaway again, but next time I would do my research properly to avoid any disappointment!
The link to the Workaway site: http://www.workaway.info Ryan West
21 Things You’ll Know If You’ve Lived In SEVILLA… It’s not just magnificent architecture and Flamenco that are typical of the capital of Andalucía…
ne afternoon as I was enjoying the ‘siesta-style’ calmness of the streets on the way to the hotel where I was completing my summer internship in Seville, I felt a drop of water land on me from one of the apartments above. Now, this had definitely not been the first time this had happened. In fact, it had happened every day on my journey to work. Not only did these odd drops start to become quite bothersome, but they also made the perfect start to my list of things which, to me, are typical of Sevilla... 1. When you walk down the street there is a 99.9% chance you will get dripped on. It’s a mystery I still haven’t solved. 2. There is no such thing as being in a rush; hibernation starts on Friday afternoon, so your fridge will be fixed the following Thursday (if you’re lucky). 3.Needing to smoke is an acceptable excuse to take a break, and yes, I mean a work break.
4.“Mascarpone” thinks itself to be the top ice cream chain; you can’t miss all its hot pink store banners… 5.Be prepared to be scared by hovering heads, golden men, and women trying to hand you weeds in the busy centre as you clamber over all the tourists. 6.Taking a horse and cart is the fanciest way to waste your money. (Centre of Seville, Wonkandy café)
7.La Plaza De España is more impressive than the cathedral, plus it’s turned into an open air library!
8. You get given a countdown within which to cross the road (relatively) safely. 9. Every table at every tapas bar is wobbly, so as soon as you sit down, you think: ‘why did I choose this little lively tapas bar with the laminated menu on the corner and not that little lively tapas bar with the laminated menu (Mascarpone shop) across the road- it looks far better.’
10. If you pretend to be a couple or if you are a girl you will get into Seville’s most overrated summer club, Bilindo, for free. 11. ‘Una cervecita’, sangría, tinto de verano, and chupitos are Seville’s cheapest drinks. Spent all of your money on Mascarpone’s over-priced ice cream? Then hit the strip of bars, Calle Betis, with 1 Euro and you’re good to go. 12. If you want to extend your night, simply walk from Calle Betis to the night clubs. It will be dawn by the time you get there. 13. You will be greeted with “Buenas” and thanked with “Gracias”. If you want to get super pally with los Sevillanos, you better jump on board the “I can’t be bothered to pronounce my ‘s’s” bandwagon. 14. There are two sides of the river: the pretty and historical tourist-y bubble, and the not-so-cute reality rocking that ‘tall grey apartments everywhere’ look. (Limoncello shots in Seville)
15. There is a serious lack of outdoor public swimming pools… to the extent that you have to pretend to be an interrailer with an invisible backpack as you sneak into the youth hostel’s roof top pool.
16. ‘Día’ and ‘Más’ were either created at exactly the same time, or the owners were completely unaware of their rival’s existence. 17. People attempting to do all sorts of fancy tricks in rollerblades around the centre is quite a casual thing. 18. When everywhere else is closed, McDonalds and the pharmacy will be open. So, when you find yourself on the verge of fainting after way too much dancing in the boiling club, will it be the big yel- (Shopping street in the centre of low ‘m’, or the flashing green cross? Decisions. Seville) 19. If you walk on the wider, nicer side of the pavement you will get knocked over by a bicycle. Simple as. 20. Judging by the amount of homeless people, you’d think that the orange trees, with their own complex irrigation system, get looked after better than the citizens. 21. “¡Qué calor!” is Sevilla’s most popular phrase; as if you needed another excuse to venture into one of the hot pink ice cream stores. Just watch out for the mysterious droplets, ¡no digo nada más! Francesca Bull
(Orange trees in the centre of Seville )
La Cuina de La Maribel: Tres Plats Típics Catalans
uring the summer, I was lucky enough to spend a month with a family in the town of Sant Carles de la Ràpita in Catalonia. I loved everything about the town: the fun-loving and friendly people who were so passionate about their culture, the language, and to top it all off, the mouth-watering food. Cargols, botifarra, fideuà, la crema d’arròs; sharing tapas on the terrace of a bar in the evening, huge plates of paella for lunch, (apparently ordering paella
for dinner instead of lunch at a restaurant makes it obvious that you’re a tourist), drinking canyas at Alex’s bar because you know it comes with a free tapa… Maribel told me that it was this ‘Mediterranean diet’ which kept everyone in the town looking amazing, so I saw this as a good reason to eat as much as possible. Here are three of my favourite-and easiest to make- dishes from La Ràpita ; many thanks to ‘Papa Dan’, Maribel, ‘Dan Junior’ and Alba!
Pa amb Tomàquet i Pernil Difficulty: Very easy. Ingredients (a starter for 4 people):
A loaf of bread of your choice (I went for jalapeño and cheese bread even though it’s probably not very Catalan) A packet of Jamón Serrano, (I used prosciutto) 3 tomatoes ¼ glass of olive oil Salt to taste Instructions: Using a cheese grater, grate the tomatoes into a bowl. Mix with the olive oil and salt. Slice the loaf of bread. Spread the tomato mixture thinly onto each slice of bread, and add a slice of ham onto each slice.
Truita de Patates Difficulty: Easy. Ingredients (a main for 4 people): One white onion Three potatoes (600g) 6 eggs 150ml olive oil
3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste Instructions: Peel the potatoes. Chop into thick slices. Chop the onion. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and potatoes and stew for 30 minutes, partially covered, until the potatoes have softened. Remove from pan. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the salt, pepper and parsley. Stir the potatoes and onions into the egg mixture and pour into the frying pan. Cook on a moderate heat. Shake the pan slightly. When the truita seems firm, use a spatula to detach the edges from the pan. Place a large plate over the pan, and carefully turn it. Slide back into the pan to continue cooking for a few minutes. Cool for a few minutes and serve!
Crema Catalana Difficulty: Medium. Mine didnâ€™t turn out perfectly- using cinnamon powder as opposed to sticks changes the colour slightly- but it tasted really good and I discovered that heating a teaspoon is perfectly fine for caramelising sugar if you donâ€™t have a blowtorch lying around! Ingredients (for 4 people): Â˝ litre of milk 4 egg yolks 125g sugar 20g corn flour or cornmeal A strip of lemon peel A cinnamon stick (or powder)
Instructions: Boil 2/3 of the milk in a saucepan with the lemon peel and the cinnamon on a low heat. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the remaining milk. Add the sugar. Add the corn flour/cornmeal, mixing very well Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon stick from the heated milk Add the egg/milk/sugar etc. mixture to the heated milk using a sieve Mix on a medium heat The mixture should thicken. Pour into individual ramekins, cover with Clingfilm and leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours. Distribute a thin and even layer of sugar onto each mixture. Using a blowtorch, (or a teaspoon heated over the ring of a stove for a minute), caramelise the sugar! Bon Profit! Rebecca Kennaugh
Les tickets restaurants dans le neuvième : un guide gastronomique Plusieurs mois avant d’arriver à Paris, j’ai décidé que j’écrirais un guide sur les meilleurs endroits où dépenser les tickets restaurants. En effet, cet article m’a servi comme excuse pour déjeuner et dîner dans le plus de restaurants possible ! J’ai consacré ce guide aux neuf meilleurs restaurants du 9ème, un arrondissement que je connais très bien, puisque c’est mon lieu de résidence et de travail !
9) Café M - Français
Recommandé : Le burger servi avec des frites – 17.50 € Un plat simple mais bon Une ambiance géniale, surtout en été quand on peut s’ins- taller en terrasse
Il n’accepte pas de tickets le samedi soir Un peu cher, surtout les boissons
8) Pâtes Vivantes - Chinois
Recommandé : Des nouilles aux crevettes et gingembre – 13.50 € Les crevettes sont délicieuses Une portion généreuse de nouilles fraîches - on peut regarder les chefs pendant qu’ils les cuisinent
Le restaurant était comme un sauna !
Les baguettes étaient très glissantes - même mon amie, métisse japonaise, a eu du mal à les utiliser !
7) Albayader - Libanais
Recommandé : Le plat végétarien - 8 € On a reçu beaucoup d’houmous et de pain avec le plat végétarien Le fallafel était très délicieux Un seul ticket paye pour tout
C’était très lourd… Le dessert est une crêpe à l’orange. Je l’aime bien mais je connais pas mal de gens qui détestent !
6) Odette & Aimé – Français
Recommandé : La tarte salée – 8.60 €
Une ambiance très conviviale- exactement ce qu’on cherche quand on déjeune avec des amis
Un manque de choix
5) Zicatela - Mexicain
Recommandé : La formule: sangria, fajitas et gâteau – 17.50 €
Les épices étaient très bonnes Les plats sont bien présentés
Ils n’acceptent pas de tickets le samedi soir Un manque d’ingrédients frais
4) Momiji – Japonais
Recommandé : Le menu nêmes – 10.90 €
Un prix imbattable ! Une grande portion Option de menus à volonté 10% de réduction sur les plats à emporter Le saumon manquait de goût
3) Castro - Français
Recommandé : le sandwich chorizo, fromage de brebis, tomates confites avec un yaourt et un soda - 8 €
On peut choisir les ingrédients pour créer son sandwich La sélection est très variée Les produits sont frais
La première fois que j’y suis allée, j’ai attendu au moins 20 minutes
2) Black Beans Mexicain – Mexicain
Recommandé: Le burrito au poulet – 8.90 €
Le burrito est succulent et bon marché ! Le décor était authentique
Il faisait un peu froid dans le restaurant
1) Moriarty – Italien
Recommandé: La pizza primavera - 13 €
La pizza est simplement exquise Le chef est très accueillant On peut utiliser un nombre de tickets illimité
Nous étions plusieurs fois les seuls clients
Frogspawn: Working with French Children on Your Year Abroad
did not originally plan on working with children in France. In fact, I initially tried to avoid it like a five year old avoiding bath time. However the job application process became so arduous, and I was so fed up of rejections, I decided to broaden my horizons. Sure enough, a CV, cover letter and quick Skype interview later and I was working in Paris for the company Babylangues as an English language instructor and despite my previous apprehension, I absolutely loved it.
My little monsters were two extremely lively boys, 7 and 9 years old, which means they were in between the ages of being cute and obedient, but were not yet going through that rebellious period which comes with the stresses and pressures of big boy school. I won’t pretend that being Mary Poppins was always a walk in the park, despite much of it being spent watching the boys flipping off climbing frames and pushing other children down slides. However, I found it extremely rewarding and have learnt a lot about children, myself and the mechanisms of language-learning in the process. Looking after French kids is like taking care of tiny drunk people. They shout a lot, get into fights, fall over, cry, struggle taking their shoes off, spill things all over themselves and often can’t understand a word you say. The difference is that you can put drunk people to bed when you get them home. Kids, on the other hand, seem to have inexhaustible supplies of energy, and can Source: babylangues.com leave you completely run-ragged at the end of a nine hour day. This is why it is important to keep them busy otherwise they’ll find other ways to entertain themselves, for example by poking each other in the eye or eating sand. Therefore, plan ahead. Always go to work with some kind of activities, learning ideas or objectives in mind. These don’t necessarily have to be boring and static. In fact, you’re more likely to engage them if your activities are particularly hands-on or involve some exercise. Games like ‘Simon Says’ are great ways of introducing new English words to them and seeing how their understanding is progressing. You can get really inventive with this. The boys and I even invented a game called ‘the English Monster’ which consisted of me chasing them around the living room in a cloak (somewhat resembling the hunchback of Notre-Dame) and when I caught them they'd have to tell me five new words or phrases they had learnt that day. The result is that they (and I) had so much fun and practising English becomes a pleasure rather than a chore. Music is also an extremely important tool. Kids love it if you sing songs from your childhood like ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ and ‘Old MacDonald had a Farm’. Also try to get your hands on a CD for young language learners as these are developed especially for the purpose of easy comprehension. Plus you get to learn great tunes such as ‘This is a Cat’ and ‘Red Light, Green Light’. The repetition of lyrics means that the chil- dren pick up certain words extremely quickly and learn entire songs in no time. If you add actions then they’re likely to grasp the meanings of the lyrics easily and don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself whilst you’re doing it! I can’t tell you how many times I crawled on my hands and knees mooing, baaing or clucking at a seven year old. Make them laugh and they will become even more enthusiastic.
Get them to repeat anything they learn as often as possible. It is the cornerstone of language learning. Incorporate set phrases from the daily routine so they hear them regularly. They will naturally start to repeat what you are saying and after a while begin to anticipate what they are supposed to respond before you even ask them. It doesn’t matter what; it can be ‘can I have the keys
please?’, ‘take off your shoes and wash your hands’, ‘I need to poop’. Whatever it is, it improves not only their vocabulary and commitment to memory but also their confidence and they’ll be more willing to try to learn new phrases once they’ve mastered those they have already acquired. A major concern I had when starting work with the boys was not being able to practise my French as much as I would have liked. After all, improving my language was my main reason for going on a year abroad. While working for Babylangues it is a requirement that you speak solely English with the children, so that they are completely immersed in the language and learn it in the same way they did French. However, although I wasn't able to communicate with them in French, they inevitably tried to speak it with me and through this I picked up a lot of new vocabulary, including idioms and slang. It also doesn’t stop you from speaking French with teachers, classmates and parents who take their kids to the park. I had many interesting and sometimes heated discussions with one of the dads concerning AngloFrench relations, cultural differences and the concept of ‘the pint’ as opposed to the ridiculous 25cl rubbish they try to serve you in France. You just have to take every opportunity you get to whip out the français. It may not have been my first choice, but applying to work with children was the best decision I could have made, and from what I’ve heard from friends, it sure beat being stuck in an office making coffee and Facebook stalking for eight hours a day! Tim Blore
With thanks to thirdyearabroad.com
The Silence of Oradour-sur-Glane
ou cannot leave this region without visiting Oradour,' said one of the English teachers as we drove through the Limousin countryside one late autumn afternoon. 'What's Oradour?' I replied, in hindsight a little naively. I don't remember exactly what he said in reply, bar a single phrase: 'un endroit qui fend le cœur'. A place which breaks the heart. Driving through the idyllic Haute-Vienne countryside, it is impossible to believe that this region could have seen the worst Nazi massacre of civilians on French soil. Yet, when a group from the 2nd SS-Panzer Division 'Das Reich' arrived in the small, tranquil village of Oradour-sur-Glane on 10th June 1944, this is exactly what happened. After combing the streets and rounding up the inhabitants on the premise of checking their identity, the soldiers carried out a brutal massacre, killing virtually the entire population of the village and setting all the buildings on fire. 642 people, all innocent civilians, were shot or burned alive in the atrocity, the precise motive of which remains a mystery. What makes Oradour-sur-Glane especially poignant, and unique in Europe, is that the original village remains preserved in exactly the same state it was left in on that fateful day 70 years ago. 'SOUVIENSTOI', reads a plaque on the entrance gate: 'REMEMBER'. From that moment, entering the village is like stepping back in time. The original tramlines, their overhead wires still intact, run along the ground between the burned-out buildings. Charred remnants of everyday items, from sewing machines to bicycles to tables and chairs, are strewn across the floors of what were once houses, garages, boulangeries and boucheries, stark reminders of the community they once served. The shell of the mayor's car still sits where it was parked 70 years ago. Most haunting though is the harrowing, ghostly silence that shrouds the whole village. The church bell no longer chimes, for it sits melted in the bullet-speckled tower, destroyed by the fire that killed the 350 women and children inside the building; the youngest of whom could still have been alive today. Not even the visitors say a word, for what words could possibly express the horror of what happened here?
But no sound is needed to remember the martyrs of Oradour-sur-Glane, for whom justice was never carried out. Their village remains to tell their story for years to come; a truly incredible story which, like the place itself, will indeed break the heart. Chloe Nash
Sur le Point de Traverser la Manche? 4 Choses que vous n’êtes pas prêts de retrouver
lors que la fin du premier trimestre approche, les candidatures des étudiants en langues étrangères affluent d’ores et déjà. Et l’heure est désormais à la préparation. Celle-ci est d’abord psy- chologique et correspond au moment où les étudiants réalisent que l’année prochaine sera culturellement, gastronomiquement et socia- lement différente. Mais elle est également matérielle. Il est ici question d’organiser son périple, et toute une pléiade de questions apparait sou- dainement : “Que vais-je donc emporter avec moi?” “Vais-je vraiment avoir besoin d’emmener telle ou telle chose?” ou bien encore “Que se passerait-il si j’oubliais quelque chose d’essentiellement important?” Il y a, cependant, certaines choses que l’on ne pourra jamais emporter Source: dur.ac.uk avec soi. Certaines traditions, certaines coutûmes, certaines habitudes que l’on ne retrouvera pas en France. En voici quelques unes: La proximité : elle est intrinsèque à Durham. La ville c’est l’université, l’université c’est la ville. Ce qui est loin d’être le cas ailleurs. La générosité de ses habitants : Un service? Un conseil? Un besoin? La réponse n’est jamais loin. Le temps : imprévisible, impétueux et particulièrement frisquet en hiver. Mais tellement typique et char- mant. Le paysage : quoi de plus agréable que de se promener de bon matin dans les rues de Durham tout en admirant l’architecture de la ville? Et qu’en est-il de son exquise campagne? Il existe une pléthore d’autres choses que vous ne retrouverez probablement pas l’année prochaine. En revanche, il y a fort à parier que la France, sa nourriture et sa culture ne vous laisseront pas non plus indifférents.
he end of term is fast approaching, applications are flooding in: Modern Languages students are already planning their years abroad. Not only do you need to be emotionally ready, but you also need to prepare yourselves for the huge cultural, social and gastronomic differences you will encounter over the course of the next year. There is also the stress of organising your own journey, and questions appear out of nowhere- ‘What am I going to bring with me?’ ‘Will I need to bring this or that?’ ‘And what if I forget something important?’ There are, however, certain things unique to Durham that you simply can’t take with you on a year abroad: things that you just won’t find in France. For example: The relationship between the university and the town is intrinsic to Durham. Both the university and the city are interrelated and you’ll hardly find such a city anywhere else! The generosity of its inhabitants: Need a piece of advice or information? The answer is never really far. The weather: unpredictable, changeable and especially freezing in winter- but completely charming all the same! The landscape: what could be more delightful than walking the streets of Durham in the early morning while enjoying both its architecture and its lovely countryside? There are many other familiar things, and habits, you simply won’t encounter next year. However it’s a safe bet that France, its food and its culture won’t disappoint you either! Olympe Krima
(Je suis guérie – praise God for your words to me) hree years ago you told me
And you recite to me
Your name meant rain,
Your latest poem: of forgiveness
You listened to mine, the sun,
And the beautiful spaces you discover,
Those mountain peaks we climbed,
And here now, I’m here again.
It was grâce à the smell
You listen I talk
Of your croissants that we met,
I listen you talk
I remember following the scent,
And we walk through our new memories together
It twisted through Perpignan’s alleyways
Your glasses are black with green stripes on them,
And passed outside café chairs
Keep you young, and white flour on their edges,
Up to your front door.
On your cheek.
The open door of your Palace Bakery Where, no exaggeration,
People come every five minutes
To ask for your Rosquilles And are so disappointed When they are told there are no more. Bon, alors, je vais les regarder de loin Au moins Words of the white-haired lady
Travelling to see your white cakes. And I’m here too, but to see you (and smell the croissants) And to surprise your face As I walk into this space of yoursHalf in Perpignan, half in somewhere ParadiseYou double/quadruple take, embrace, And I smell-in all the things
I love about being here,
The fourth wall window Of paper forests and rivers and mountains And the post card I sent you Leant on the shelf, Heidelberg’s kiss upon you
Nicaragua: Not Your Average Year Abroad
utumn last year I headed off to work in a children’s home in the mountains of Nicaragua. I thought I was going to change the world. I didn’t. Instead my eyes were opened to the apathy and uncertainty that surrounds the very human rights of Nicaraguan women and children who have suffered horrific abuse to access justice.
In my naivety I thought in going to spend my year abroad playing with kids and teaching them English I would be challenged, but come home largely the same, perhaps with a few interesting stories, and a desire to give more money to charity. But in caring for a newborn abandoned at the hospital by her 12 year old mother, crying with the girls whose abuse they themselves couldn’t even understand, and disciplining those who had never been cared for enough to be disciplined, I learnt that abuse and neglect is the everyday reality for most women and children in the region. Sitting side by side with a 13 year old girl as she spoke to a police psychologist, quietly and falteringly raking up the memories of a lost childhood, having been raped by her own father, I came to realise that justice is not a given, but something far off and almost impossible to attain in Nicaragua. There are reportedly 940 cases of domestic violence committed every month in Nicaragua, and those are only the ones who have been brave enough to report their abuse. Eighty-five percent of the victims are under the age of 18 years old and one in four of them are girls younger than 10 years old. The most shocking of all is that 80 percent of these occurrences of rape and sexual abuse are committed by boyfriends, family members, stepfathers, or fathers. Despite the landmark Law 779 being established in June 2012 that secured the right for women to access justice and protection from violence, thus finally holding abusers to account, the national problem of interfamilial rape and abuse of women and minors continues to blight Nicaragua. In the last few months the government has continued to diminish the power of this law to protect women and girls from the sexual violence they face in their homes and communities. Justice seems harder and harder to achieve in the face of drastic change in policy that complicates the process of reporting gender abuse. Hogar Amiguitos, the American run children’s home set within the lush northern countryside of Jinotega where I volunteered, is home to around 30 kids, aged from 10 days to 18 years old. Each one has experienced rejection by a parent in the form of sexual abuse, lack of proper care and psychological oppression at the hands of their own family. This home is a place of refuge and stability for kids during, and after the judicial processes concerning their future. Spending a year of my life living and loving a small community of young people may sound ‘amazing’, but in reality it was easy compared to the life of fear of violence that all of the kids I worked with had to suffer. All I did was invest my year in working for the wellbeing of a bunch of kids who really needed it. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I got to leave and go home to my family, the young people I
worked with did not, and for most of them, never will. I hope that the words of the victim, like the 13 year old girl I cared for, can at last be heard amongst the noise of both enraged feminist rhetoric and the machismo of politicians, and that the wellbeing of the most vulnerable be brought to the fore in Nicaragua. By Naomi Ellis
ﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﯿﺔ :ﺑﺤﺮ ﻻ ﺳﺎﺣﻞ ﻟﻪ ﺇإﺫذﺍا ﻛﻨﺖ ﻗﺎﺩدﺭرﺍاً ﻋﻠﻰ ﻗﺮﺍاءﺓة ﻫﮬﮪھﺬﻩه ﺍاﻟﺴﻄﻮﺭر ﻓﺄﻧﺖ ﺇإﺫذﺍاً ﻭوﺍاﺣﺪ ﻣﻦ ﻧﺤﻮ 480 ﻣﻠﻴﯿﻮﻥن ﺇإﻧﺴﺎﻥن ﻳﺘﺤﺪﺛﻮﻥن ﺍاﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﯿﺔ ﻋﻠﻰ ﻭوﺟﻪ ﺍاﻷﺭرﺽض ، ﻭوﺳﺘﺴﺘﻐﻨﻲ ﻋﻦ ﺳ ّ ﻤﺎﻋﺔ ﺍاﻟﺘﺮﺟﻤﺔ ﺍاﻟﻔﻮﺭرﻳﺔ ﺃأﺣﻴﯿﺎﻧﺎً ﻋﻨﺪﻣﺎ ﺗﻜﻮﻥن ﻓﻲ ﺍاﻷﻣﻢ ﺍاﻟﻤﺘﺤﺪﺓة؛ ﻓﻬﮭﮫﻲ ﺇإﺣﺪﻯى ﺍاﻟﻠﻐﺎﺕت ﺍاﻟﺴﺖ ﺍاﻟﻤﻌﺘﻤﺪﺓة ﻫﮬﮪھﻨﺎﻙك ،ﻭوﺳﺘﺘﻤﻜﻦ ﻓﻮﻕق ﻫﮬﮪھﺬﺍا ﻭوﺫذﺍاﻙك ﻣﻦ ﻗﺮﺍاءﺓة ﺍاﻟﻘﺮﺁآﻥن ﺍاﻟﻜﺮﻳﻢ ،ﻓﺎﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﯿﺔ ﻛﺎﻧﺖ ﺑﻤﺜﺎﺑﺔ ﺍاﻟﻮﻋﺎء ﺍاﻟﺬﻱي ﺍاﺣﺘﻀﻦ ﻫﮬﮪھﺬﺍا ﺍاﻟﻨﻤﻮﺫذﺝج ﺍاﻷﻣﺜﻞ ﻷﺳﻤﻰ ﻧﺺ ﻋﺮﻓﺘﻪ ﺍاﻟﻠﻐﺔ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺍاﻹﻁطﻼﻕق .ﻭوﻗﺪ ﺃأﺳﻴﯿﻞ ﺣﺒﺮ ﻛﺜﻴﯿﺮ ﻓﻲ ﻣﺪﺡح ﺍاﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﯿﺔ ﻭوﺍاﻹﻋﻼء ﻣﻦ ﺷﺄﻧﻬﮭﮫﺎ ﻗﺪﻳﻤﺎً ﻭوﺣﺪﻳﺜﺎً ،ﺑﻞ ﺟﻨﺢ ﺍاﺑﻦ ﺟﻨﻲ ﻓﻲ ﻛﺘﺎﺑﻪ ﺍاﻟﺸﻬﮭﮫﻴﯿﺮ" ﺍاﻟﺨﺼﺎﺋﺺ" ﺇإﻟﻰ ﺃأﻧﻬﮭﮫﺎ ﻟﻐﺔ ﻣﻘ ّ ﺪﺳﺔ ،ﻭوﺑﻐﺾ ﺍاﻟﻨﻈﺮ ﻋﻦ ﻣﻐﺎﺯزﻱي ﻫﮬﮪھﺬﻩه ﺍاﻟﻌﺒﺎﺭرﺓة ﺇإﻻ ﺃأﻥن ﺍاﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﯿﺔ ﺗﻈﻞ ﻣﻘﺮﻭوﻧﺔ ﺩدﺍاﺋﻤﺎً ﺑﺎﻟﻘﺮﺁآﻥن ﺍاﻟﺬﻱي ﻻ ﻳﺨﺘﻠﻒ ﻋﺮﺑﻴﯿّﺎﻥن ﻣﺴﻠﻤﺎﻥن ﻋﻠﻰ ﺃأﻧﻪ ﻫﮬﮪھﻮ ﺳﺒﺐ ﺩدﻳﻤﻮﻣﺘﻬﮭﮫﺎ.
ﺳﻴﯿّﺎﻥن ،ﻓﺎﻟﺸﻌﺮ ﻛﻤﺎ ﻳﻘﻮﻟﻮﻥن ﺩدﻳﻮﺍاﻥن ﺍاﻟﻌﺮﺏب .ﻭوﻟﻌﻞ ﺟَﻤﺎﻟﻬﮭﮫﺎ ﻭوﺇإﻟﻰ ﺟﺎﻧﺐ ﺍاﻗﺘﺮﺍاﻧﻬﮭﮫﺎ ﺑﺎﻟﻘﺮﺁآﻥن ﻓﺈﻥن ﺍاﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﯿﺔ ﻻ ﺗﻜﺎﺩد ﺗُﺬﻛﺮ ﺇإﻻ ﻭوﺍاﻟﺸﻌﺮَِ ﺔ ﻓﺤﻮﺍاﻫﮬﮪھﺎ ﺃأﻧﻬﮭﮫﺎ ﻻ ﺗﺼﻠﺢ ﻷﻥن ﺗﻜﻮﻥن ﻟﻐﺔ ﻋﻠﻢ ،ﻭوﺍاﻟﻤﻨﻄﻖ ﻳﻘﻮﻝل ﺃأﻥن ﻻ ﺗﻌﺎﺭرﺽض ﺑﻴﯿﻦ ﺍاﻷﻣﺮﻳﻦ؛ ﻓﺄﻳﻨﻤﺎ ﻭوﺑﻬﮭﮫﺎءﻫﮬﮪھﺎ ﺃأﻓﻀﻰ ﺇإﻟﻰ ﻣﻐﺎﻟﻄ ٍ ﺣﻞ ﺍاﻟﺠَﻤﺎﻝل ﺣﻠّﺖ ،ﻭوﺃأﻳﻨﻤﺎ ﺣ ّ ﻞ ﺍاﻟﻌﻠﻢ ﺣﻠّﺖ ﺃأﻳﻀﺎً ،ﺑﻞ ﺇإﻥن ﻣﻦ ﺿﺮﻭوﺏب ﺍاﻻﺷﺘﻘﺎﻕق ﺍاﺷﺘﻘﺎﻕق ﺍاﻟﻤﺼﺪﺭر ﺍاﻟﺼﻨﺎﻋﻲ ﺍاﻟﻘﻴﯿﺎﺳﻲ ،ﻓﻼ ﺍاﻟﻠﻐﺔ ﻭوﻻ ﺍاﻟﺘﺮﺟﻤﺔ ﻭوﻻ ﺍاﻟﻤﺨﺘﺒﺮﺍاﺕت ﻭوﺍاﻟﻤﺼﺎﻧﻊ ﺗﺆﻳﺪ ﻫﮬﮪھﺬﺍا ﺍاﻟﺰﻋﻢ .ﻗﺎﻝل ﺣﺎﻓﻆ ﺇإﺑﺮﺍاﻫﮬﮪھﻴﯿﻢ:
ﺃأﻧﺎ ﺍاﻟﺒﺤﺮ ﻓﻲ ﺃأﺣﺸﺎﺋﻪ ﺍاﻟﺪﺭر ﻛﺎﻣﻦ ﻓﻬﮭﮫﻞ ﺳﺄﻟﻮﺍا ﺍاﻟﻐﻮﺍاﺹص ﻋﻦ ﺻﺪﻓﺎﺗﻲ
ﻭوﺗﺘﺴﻢ ﺍاﻟﻌﺮﺑﻴﯿﺔ ﺑﻤﺮﻭوﻧﺔ ﻛﺒﻴﯿﺮﺓة ﻋﻠﻰ ﻣﺴﺘﻮﻯى ﺍاﻷﻟﻔﺎﻅظ ﻭوﺍاﻟﺘﺮﻛﻴﯿﺐ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺣﺪ ﺳﻮﺍاء ،ﻭوﺫذﻟﻚ ﺑﻔﻀﻞ ﺃأﻣﺮﻳﻦ ﺟﻮﻫﮬﮪھﺮﻳﻴﯿﻦ ﻫﮬﮪھﻤﺎ : ﺍاﻻﺷﺘﻘﺎﻕق ﻭوﺍاﻟﺘﺸﻜﻴﯿﻞ .ﻓﺎﻻﺷﺘﻘﺎﻕق ﻫﮬﮪھﻮ ﻧﻈﺎﻡم ﺗﻮﻟﻴﯿﺪ ﻻ ﻣﺘﻨﺎ ٍﻩه ﻟﻸﻟﻔﺎﻅظ ﻣﻦ ﺟﺬﻭوﺭر ﺛﻼﺛﻴﯿﺔ ﺃأﻭو ﺭرﺑﺎﻋﻴﯿﺔ ﺃأﻭو ﺧﻤﺎﺳﻴﯿﺔ ﺃأﻭو ﺳﺪﺍاﺳﻴﯿﺔ ﻭوﻓﻖ ﻣﻴﯿﺰﺍاﻥن ﺻﺮﻓﻲُ ﻣﺤﻜﻢ ،ﻳﺒﻌﺚ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺍاﻟﺪﻫﮬﮪھﺸﺔ ،ﺑﻴﯿﻨﻤﺎ ﺍاﻟﺘﺸﻜﻴﯿﻞ ﻫﮬﮪھﻮ ﺇإﺛﺒﺎﺕت ﻟﺤﺎﻻﺕت ﺍاﻟﺮﻓﻊ ﻭوﺍاﻟﻨﺼﺐ ﻭوﺍاﻟﺠﺮ ﻭوﺍاﻟﺠﺰﻡم ،ﻭو ُﻳﻌﻴﯿﻦ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺗﺪﻭوﻳﺮ ﻣﻮﺍاﻗﻊ ﺍاﻟﻜﻠﻤﺎﺕت ﻓﻲ ﺍاﻟﺠﻤﻠﺔ ﺑﺤﺮّﻳّﺔ.
Proof read by Dr Khaled Al-Shehari
The Fate of Abenomics
hen the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo (安倍晋三)triumphantly returned as the 63rd prime minister of Japan, Japan’s economy was seriously damaged. The nation was rapidly losing its confidence after several natural disasters
as well as the Fukushima radioactive leaks. Despite all the hurdles facing him, the PM was determined to smile at all the obstacles ahead. With his proud promulgation of “Abenomics” Abe dreamt of following the successful footprints of “Reaganomics” or Roosevelt’s “New Deal”. However, after just one year in effect, Abenomics is clearly not following the glorious path of “Reaganomics”. Why? Japan has been contemptuously boasting its economic superiority over the last few centuries. But after the Japanese asset price bubble’s col- lapse from 1991 to 2000, (known as the ‘Lost Decade’) its economy rap- idly started to crumble. Confidence was lost, the people and the markets were not invigorated enough to return their country to its glorious days. More critically, the 2011 great earthquake vastly exacerbated economic woes. Then, Abe came into power; his grand launch of Abenomics was Source: theeconomist.com mostly an assimilation of the US Federal Reserve’s “Quantitative Eas- ing” policy. His primary focus was to rescue the Japanese economy from the seemingly endless double-dip recession. By continually printing notes and devaluing their currency, Abe’s Japanese style of QE had been greatly successful until bad news arrived from Washington. In reality, Abe’s policy relied on the unwavering commitment of the US Fed to QE. However, after the arrival of Janet Ellen, the Fed was officially contemplating an exit policy with gradual tapering. As when President Roosevelt declared war against Japan, seventy-three years ago, it was again, truly tragic news from Washington.
So with the US Federal reserve officially entering the tapering process, Abenomics was pre-destined to collapse. GDP growth was not sufficient and inflation was about to hit the ceiling. The governmental deficit and skyrocketing unemployment rate quickly became headline issues for Abe. To deflect the limelight away from the economy to politics, Abe decided to dissolve the House of Representatives (equivalent to the House of Commons in the UK) and nimbly enter the election phase. Abenomics will immediately halt if his party (LDP) loses on December 14th; however, it will continue, if the Japanese voters decide to stand with him. So, with Election Day shortly approaching on December 14th, the fate of Abenomics is soon to be decided.
Moon Soo Kim
The Case for Modern Languages “Everybody speaks English. I can get through life without needing to know another language.”
he stereotypical British aversion to learning languages is a worrying truth. After the Labour government decided in 2004 to make it optional for schools in England to teach GCSE languages, there has been a huge decline in the number of foreign language students. According to the BBC, the number of pupils taking GCSE French went down by 45% in less than ten years. However, rather than looking at the negative, here is a list of reasons why it is good to learn languages. One of the most basic reasons to learn another language is to break down the language barrier between different nationalities. There is a wide range of practical applications, both personal and professional, to learning a language and, whatever the reason, the ability to speak another country’s native language opens up a whole different world. I am sure that many linguists reading this will know the feeling of pride and satisfaction when you say your first phrase in the foreign language in a country and are understood. This amplifies as fluency increases granting an ever expanding variety of practical uses whether just ordering food in a shop or finalising a business deal. Similarly, another reason to learn a language is personal interest. Many language students will often first begin learning out of interest and curiosity rather than necessity. Along with the knowledge of a language, you gain the opportunity to learn all about a culture, its history and traditions. Languages are a way to gain an insight into other peoples and their ways of life. Intercultural cohesion would be impossible without such a working understanding of the other culture. This new perspective that you gain is key in making you more open-minded and, consequently, helps you gain a deeper understanding of you own culture. This idea was neatly summed up by the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who believed that: “Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.” One of the most popular reasons to learn a language is employability. Nicholas Ostler, Chairman for the Foundation of Endangered Languages asserts that, “Nowadays, no one can pose as a man or woman of the world without fluent English”. Therefore, one of the most obvious ways to distinguish yourself is to go beyond monolingualism. In a global workplace, fluency in more than one language can be an attractive trait for employers. Firstly, most linguists can demonstrate good conversational and socially interactive skills derived from the oral aspect of language learning. Secondly, studying languages demands an extensive range of skills. These could include studying literature, history and culture or analysing films, cultural elements, and the language’s composition and grammar. Thirdly, the year abroad is evidence of valuable experience in proving self-reliance and independence. Finally, in an increasingly globalised market, you could have useful skills for international business communications and connections. The Economist points outs that while, according to one estimate, half the world’s people might speak English by 2050, “that still leaves billions who will not, and billions of others who remain happier (and more willing to spend money) in their own language”. Knowing another culture and language fluently can gain you unrestricted access to that country’s job market. There are benefits from your very earliest days at school as has been shown by Ellen Bialystok, a psychologist at York University. She found that students who study foreign languages will tend to score better in tests than monolingual students, particularly in maths, reading, and vocabulary. This is not just a feature among those learning languages as, compared to monolinguals, bilingual children averaged higher scores in cognitive performance tests and had greater attention focus, distraction resistance, decision-making, judgment and responsiveness to feedback (American Psychological Association, 2007). There are also benefits later in life, as has been proved by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, who found that the ability to spontaneously switch between languages is strongly linked with better multi-tasking abilities. In addition, those studied were more perceptive, having a better ability to focus on relevant information and block out the irrelevant – a crucial skill when translating. The study further showed that linguists have better overall memories (such as for sequences or shopping lists) due to practise in increasing vocabulary. Languages have benefits all the way through to old age. A study from the University of Edinburgh demonstrated that learning a second language helps to keep your brain sharp as you age. They detected a pattern of slower mental decline among the bilingual people within a test group. The cumulative results of various studies have calculated that the mean age for the first signs of dementia is 71.4 but 75.5 for bilingual adults. One suggestion for this is that your mind is made more flexible as a result of constantly thinking of ways in which to express and to be understood.
Finally, a recent phenomenon of social revivalism has been emerging in which people learn languages so that they do not become extinct. Many people view such revivalism as necessary in order to maintain lin-guistic diversity. The UN estimates that over half of the languages spoken today have fewer than 10,000 speakers and a quarter have fewer than 1,000 speakers. Without the efforts of these people it is likely that by 2100 most of these languages would be extinct. One of the main reasons for the revivalist move-ment is cultural interest, with people learning the languages of their ancestors in order to try and keep their traditions and history alive. One example of this is the Celtic language of Gaeltachtaí. With a heavi-ly declining number of speakers, a revival has begun that is based upon a selection of independent schools (over 30 in Dublin alone) teaching entirely in this language. In conclusion, it is important to learn languages. Studies have shown benefits in employability, intelli-gence, cultural understanding and personal satisfaction. An ever-present challenge, you can learn what-ever language you want for whatever reason motivates you but bear in mind that “The limits of my lankkguage are the limits of my world”(Ludwig Wittgenstein).
The Scottish Independence Referendum in a European Context
hen Scottish voters went to the polls on September 18th, they were not only voting for the future of their own country, but possibly even for the destiny of millions more people across Europe. From Catalonia and the Basque Country to Flanders and Brittany, nationalists across the continent watched with trepidation as the results began to trickle in from Scotland’s Independence referendum. The Catalan estelada flew proudly in the streets of Glasgow alongside the Saltire, independence supporters rallying together for one Source: @hargi final push. In the end, the United Kingdom remained intact and politicians in London breathed a heavy sigh of relief. That reaction, though, was nothing compared to the relief on the continent. In Madrid, the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had already declared his opposition to an independent Scotland joining the European Union, fearing the consequences in Catalonia. As by far the richest region in an increasingly impoverished Spain, Barcelona would be well-equipped as the capital of an independent state. Following Scotland’s referendum, the Catalan regional government held its own poll in November, declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court. It may have only been a symbolic victory, but with around 80% of those who voted (about 40% of the electorate) in favour of independence according to the BBC, this is clearly an issue that will not simply disappear. Again in March, voters in the Italian city of Venice voted overwhelmingly to separate from Rome, though this was only an informal poll with no legal influence. Just as in Catalonia, Venetians see their prosperous region contrib-uting far more to national coffers than it receives in re-turn.
In Brussels, European leaders watched with concern over rising nationalism in its member states. A vote for independence would have vast consequences for the future of the EU, but this is, for the time being at least, a bullet dodged. With the Scottish National Party’s membership skyrocket- Source: thetelegraph.com
ing since the referendum, polling experts predict a Nationalist landslide north of the border in next year’s general election. New SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has promised to “hold Westminster’s feet to the fire” over commitments to further devolution of power to Scotland, while the rise of UKIP threatens to wreak havoc across England in reaction to perceived pro-Scottish ‘favouritism’. With UK leaders promising ever more power to the Scottish government, and nationalist fervour continuing unabated in Scotland and Catalonia, you could be forgiven for wondering: who really ‘won’ this refer- endum? Tom Chance
In Defence of the German Language
ack in my home country of Chile, the study of languages is limited to high school English, with hardly any follow-up lessons at university. Therefore, it always comes as a shock to people to hear that I study German at degree level, even though I have always been a keen language learner – but shock isn’t as concerning as the prejudices that many people have towards Ger- man. My comments are usually met with mediocre impressions of dialogues from Downfall (think “Hitler finds out…”), or com- plaints that German isn’t as beautiful or useful as other popular languages out there. I think it’s about time for people to recon- sider their negativity towards German.
Ask anyone about the first person to come to mind with the mention of German, and it’s very likely it’ll be Hitler. There is really no other logic to why we think of German as “aggressive” – other languages have similarly harsh sounds but don’t get this kind of reputation. The fact that the Nazis committed some of the worst atrocities known to mankind doesn’t make the language itself worthy of such hate. Associating a language to a person or Source: mytravelguideposts.com a group of people is damaging to both the language itself and the culture it has been born into – how would we have embraced Germany’s rebirth had we continued to associate the language to a strain of evil? We need to avoid linking whole languages to the actions of criminals. Hitler’s screechy German isn’t everybody’s German in the same way that Pinochet’s equally screechy Spanish isn’t rep- resentative of Spanish, or even Chilean Spanish, as a whole.
As a beginner, one of the things that fascinate me about German is the variety of sounds, especially considering Spanish is spoken exactly as it’s read. Whether German can sound aggressive depends on our own way of communicating in it. Some accents are stronger than others, but that doesn’t make the language itself aggressive. Another thing that Spanish and many other languages lack are bigger words created by simply putting smaller words together. They may sound long and complicated, but by mentally separating them it is so much easier to learn vocabulary, and it’s a lot of fun figuring out what these long words actually mean! German is exactly the same as every other language, and at Source: en.wikipedia.org the same time it is uniquely special for us learners. The problem of its infamy lies in the people it is linked to, and we also need to accept that, coming from a different language family as Spanish or French or any better-liked language, it is obviously going to sound different, but by no means more violent. Perhaps we as MLAC students should begin to spread our love of German culture more actively, so that these negative connotations finally die out. Josefina Troncoso
Some More Photo Entries With thanks to: Katya Zarlas Claire Ewbank Olivia Rosenthall Ollie Bains Violet Nicholson Ryan West Lucy Brierley Jennifer Chan
Thanks from The Definite Article team Dear readers,
Thank you so much for reading the fourth edition of The Definite Article! We hope you have enjoyed our diverse range of articles. If you have been inspired to write something yourself, whether itâ€™s on politics, music, cuisine, travel or anything in between, get in touch with us!
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Next issue: March 2015