Tuesday, September 26, 2006

TV Comedy skits

Channa's angels

Live and Cooking

Download the audio recording for Gender and Communications

You can download the audio recording for Gender and Communication (ALC). You only have 7 days to do this so better hurry.

Track 4 (Part 1)

Track 5 (Part 2)

Track 6 (Part 3)

Please note that these files are mp3 files. You can download them by right clicking the link and save to your computer hard drive, then transfer them to your mp3 players. Listen to the lecture again and again until you get the gist.


Download the audio recording for Gender and Communications

You can download the audio recording for Gender and Communication (ALC). You only have 7 days to do this so better hurry.

Track 4 (Part 1)

Track 5 (Part 2)

Track 6 (Part 3)

Please note that these files are mp3 files. You can download them by right clicking the link and save to your computer hard drive, then transfer them to your mp3 players. Listen to the lecture again and again until you get the gist.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Using Powerpoint

The easiest way to create your photostory is to create it using Powerpoint. Add your pictures and audio narration, and save the file as 'pps'

In other words the end file should, 'pps' not 'ppt'

If you want to make your audio to play continuously, then here are some tips. Click here to read more

If you just insert a sound without any other settings, you'll find that it stops when you go to the next slide. So how do you insert music or narration that continues throughout the presentation? This is a frequently asked question.

(The instructions here are for PowerPoint 2002 or 2003.)

Follow these steps:

1. Choose Insert, Movies and Sounds, then choose one of the options, such as Sound From File. Locate the sound and insert it. (You see a sound icon, which you can drag off the slide if you don't want it to appear during your presentation.)
2. A message appears asking if you want the sound to play automatically. Usually, you choose Yes, but if you want the sound to wait for your mouse click, answer No.
3. Right-click the sound's icon and choose Custom Animation from the shortcut menu. The Custom Animation pane opens with your sound file listed.
4. Click the arrow directly to the right of the sound icon and choose Effect Options. In the Play Sound dialog box, choose the Effects tab.
5. In the Stop Playing section, choose the After XXX slides option. Enter 999 in the box (the largest number allowed) so the sound will play throughout all your slides. Note: PowerPoint counts each display as a slide, so if you show some slides more than once, they count.
6. Click OK to close the dialog box.

Microsoft Windows Movie Maker tips, tutorials, forums and more

Microsoft Windows Movie Maker tips, tutorials, forums and more, click here

Video: See how to make your first movie

Click the link to watch the video tutorial on how to create a photostory or short movie using Windows Movie Maker

Click here

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Contact Information

Writing a letter to the Editors

The letters to the editor section of your local paper is an ideal forum for sharing your opinion and story with the local community. In addition, it is one of the first pages many elected officials turn to. Letters to the editor show that an issue is of concern to the community and are excellent tools for education. Here are a few guidelines for getting your letter to the editor printed.

Localize your letter -- explain or include examples
Make your letter timely - if the newspaper has recently printed a story or column about the issue of marriage and same-sex couples, you can reference the article and use it as a springboard for your letter.

Keep your letter short and to the point -- 250 words maximum.
Your letter should carry its most important message in the first paragraph.

Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Editors like to call to confirm that the letter was actually written by the person whose name appears on the letter.
Limit the number of points you make, and stay on the same subject.

Don't be disappointed if your letter does not get printed. Newspapers get many letters every day and can't print all of them. Most papers won't print the same writers over and over again.

Don't be afraid to ask for action -- tell readers what you want them to do. This includes your elected representatives; you can be sure they read the letters to the editor.
Source: Human rights Campaign

Monday, September 18, 2006

What is a name?

Good read, click here to read the article. Right click mouse, select 'save as' to save the pdf file.

Gymnastics with Onomastics

How different languages and cultures form names

Structure of names
There are many different ways a culture can structure a name, and the people who speak your language may use any of the following, or a different way besides:
[given name] - Jeffrey
[given name] [family name] - Jeffrey Henning (American)
[family name] [given name] - Mao Ze-Dong (Chinese)
[given name] [home town's name] - John Zamoyski (Polish, from town of Zamosc; toponymic)
[given name] [occupation name] - John Smith (English)
[given name] [maiden name] [husband's family name] - Karen Flynn Henning (American)
[given name] [middle name] [family name] - Jeffrey Alan Henning (American)
[given name] [middle name] [confirmation name] [family name] - Karen Lee Kristina Flynn (Catholic Irish)
[given name] [family name] [occupation name] - Mark Jones-the-petrol (Welsh)
[given name] [son of] [father's name] - Bjørnstjerne Bjórnson (Norse)
[given name] [daughter of] [father's name] - Vigdís Finnbogadøttir (Norse)
[given name] [father's name + "child of"] [family name] - Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (Russian)
[given name] [middle name] [maternal grandfather's family name] [paternal grandmother's family name] [paternal grandfather's family name] -- Eliana Marcia Villela Gomes Soares (Brazilian)
[given name] [middle name] [maternal grandfather's family name] [paternal grandfather's family name] [husband's mother's name] [husband's father's name] -- Maria Beatriz Villela Soares Veiga de Carualho (Brazilian)
[given name] [father's family name] y [mother's family name] - José Aguilar y Fernández (Spanish)
[given name] [father's family name] de [husband's father's name] - María Álvarez de Aguilar (Spanish)
[given name] ["father of" eldest son]
[given name] [father's given name] - Tafari Makonnen (Amharic)
Source: LangMaker.com

Forming names of nations
Many groups of people (races and nations) see themselves as "the people" of the world. If they are isolated from other tribes or realms, they are even more likely to name themselves "the people", as the Innuit (Eskimos), the Bantu (an African tribe) and the Illeni Indians (for whom Illinois is named) did. The Chinese were chauvinistic about it; their name is derived from the dynasty of Chin, with Chin being the word for "man".

The more different realms a group of people are aware of the more likely they are to name themselves after the place where they live: the Canadians live in Canada, the English live in England, the Germans live in Germany. But the Jews live in Israel (the name of one of their greatest ancestors).


Onomastics=the branch of lexicology that studies the forms and origins of proper name, and naming practices.

The word is derived from the Greek word ὄνομα (onoma), meaning name. Toponymy or toponomastics, the study of place names, is one of the principal branches of onomastics. Anthroponomastics is the study of personal names.

# foreign characters: mueller or müller, juerg or jürg. note that some systems use juerg instead of jürg cause of character sets, and some ppl need to be written that way. If your name is written "juerg müller" in your passport, you can't go and open a bank account as "jürg müller".
# nicknames: peggy for margaret, bill for william.
# short forms: b. gates for william gates (ouch!).
# localization: andreas from germany, andré from france, andrei/andrej from russia and andrea from italy is the same name, just translations. moved to the us, and all become andrew because those americans can't make a difference. mr. hundertwasser may also become hundredwater or so. with italians 'andrea' we have another problem, cause in germany andrea exists too, but is feminin.
# name families: adelheide, adelheidi. especially nowadays it's cool to invent new names, or at least new spellings. the americans might be different, having michael as #1 baby name since 1964 *shakes head*. in this example, heidi may be a different family member and a nickname, both is possible.
# titles and qualifiers: dr. prof. ph.d. nat. ... may be written as "dr. smith" or "smith, dr."
# prefixes: Di Caprio, D'Agostino, Al Afif, Mc Donald, ...
# married: "peggy smith" becomes "margaret johnson". bingo. she may aswell become "peggy johnson-smith" or so, which leaves us a chance to still find her.
From Blueshoes

Further readings on onomastics

American Name Society

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What is Language?

Many animal and even plant species communicate with each other. Humans are not unique in this capability. However, human language is unique in being a symbolic communication system that is learned instead of biologically inherited. Symbols are sounds or things which have meaning given to them by the users.

A word is one or more sounds that in combination have a specific meaning assigned by a language. The symbolic meaning of words can be so powerful that people are willing to risk their lives for them or take the lives of others. For instance, words such as "queer" and "nigger" have symbolic meaning that is highly charged emotionally in America today for many people.

A major advantage of human language being a learned symbolic communication system is that it is infinitely flexible. Meanings can be changed and new symbols created. This is evidenced by the fact that new words are invented daily and the meaning of old ones change. For example, the English word "nice" now generally means pleasing, agreeable, polite, and kind. In the15th century it meant foolish, wanton, lascivious, and even wicked. Languages evolve in response to changing historical and social conditions. Some language transformations typically occur in a generation or less. For instance, the slang words used by your parents were very likely different from those that you use today.

A language is a set of rules for generating speech.
A dialect is a variant of a language.

Which language is spoken depends on the social situation.

The dialects of a society are ranked relative to each other in terms of social status.
Source: O'Neil, 2006

Terms that you should look into:

Regional dialect and Social dialect
Pidgins and Creoles

Language and Culture

Source: ams.usda.gov

Language and Culture are connected to each other as much as a chicken is to an egg.

Language is the principal means whereby we conduct our social lives. When it is used in contexts of communication, it is bound up with culture in multiple and complex ways. To begin with, words people utter refer to common experience. They express facts, ideas or events that are communicable because they refer to a stock of knowledge about the world that other people share.

Culture, on the other hand, refers to what has been grown and groomed (from the Latin colere: to cultivate). The words culture evokes the traditional nature/nurture debate. Are human beings mainly what nature determines them to be from birth or what culture enables them to become through socialization and schooling?
Source: Language and Culture, Claire Kramsch, 1998, Oxford, p. 3-5

To examine our language, then, is also to examine our values, norms, and standards.
All of us who wish to improve relations across cultures and groups of people must be concerned with the effects on others of they way we talk and write. To communicate effectively, we must consider the feelings and perspective of the audience we're addressing, just as we hope that audience will consider our own perspective.

You ask yourself about the way you think, and the way you think about others, through the language you use.


Source: The Funny Pages


Each of us from different cultural backgrounds has a unique way of doing things, analyzing situations, and reacting to circumstances. Our individual way of viewing a situation is called 'perception'.
Genzel and Cummings, 1994. Culturally speaking.

Perceptions can be changed depending on how one looks at people, things and events. This difference in perceptions makes up cultures.

Let's test this theory. Look at the following pictures and tell me what you think. You could send your response by clicking on the 'comments' button below.

Many factors (including experience, expectations, and physical, emotional, and psychological influences) affect what we perceive. Personal experience, emotion, and motivation are also important in determining our perception. Experiments have shown that the perception of form, color, pain, and touch differ between cultures and age groups. Therefore habits, customs, and education also influence perception.
Source: The Learning Curve

Here's another photo from analytictech.com

More optical illusions are available at the literarylink.com.


Hello and welcome to Language and Culture Class. I will be using this blog to publish all the support materials that we will be using this school year. The URL links on the right panel should provide easy access to the files and documents that you need to download. You can also use the 'comments' area to post your opinions, questions and other comments that you may have.

I look forward to a fruitful semester and I hope that you will learn something new and meaningful.