Het verbazen!

“Mahmoud is een wonder!” Anne teased him at the moment when comprehension dawned: the lightbulb went off and Mahmoud got it: heel goed! I can tell you that I need a few more miracles if I am going to pass de examen in Januari.
I agree with Amin, who said “remembering” when we were discussing our various challenges with learning Nederlands last week:

“Heb ben jullie problemen?”
“Amin hebt een probleem speciale!”

“He’s so young for Alzheimer’s!”
Maar Amin is niet alleen.
Me too. :-/

Marinela answers questions on my behalf when I am too confused! (Even though a few weeks ago she was, like, uh, “How many different ways are there to say the time?!”) Bouchra lets me look at her huiswerk. Excellent examples of teamwork! Topi is my role model: she thinks for awhile to see if she can figure out what Anne is asking, then she asks, “Wablieft?” Come again? Yea, and if you repeat what you said about zeven times maybe I will get it. Misschein. (sigh)
The propaganda about America and the European Parliament that I distributed for fun is obviously not enough. Papa Obama or not: ik weet het niet = nul! And I’m referring only to the vocabulary – the grammar is totally guesswork as anyone with a smattering of Nederlands is painfully aware. :-/
Marsi – even though she abandoned us to jump to level 1.4 (!) – has dropped in twice: once with candy from Sint Niklaas and just before the break (eergisteren) with cookies she says she baked herself. Uh huh. (Mahmoud had to be convinced to share them with the rest of us . . . ) Meanwhile, Tolu tells me I look like a teenager (?!) and Patricia says, “Steph is a teenager.” The nerve! ๐Ÿ™‚
My accent is also awful. Tim had to ask me, “Wat?!” after nearly everything I tried to say in Nederlands. “You think I can jump that high?” I asked him. “I hope so,” he replied, fervently. Jammer! I did give Susan a double take when I pronounced “Daag” properly – a feat I am not sure how I accomplished and probably cannot repeat. Marsi will never let me live down that I said smakelijk is the opposite of moeilijk. (The right answer is gemakkelijk.) [You understand why she is amused: easy, not tasty, is the opposite of difficult.]
The three days I was absent hurt. Gewledig! Big time problem. Although I did realize our infamous soap opera was poking fun at Amerikanen, even before Anne reminded everyone that I’m American. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Neemt u mij niet kwalijk! We’re not all bad! Then the soap turns and makes fun of itself, touching on very politically incorrect topics with the kind of humor that would not find its way into most language classes in the United States. The videoprogramma generates a special voor buitenlanders (that’s us in this level one course: strangers from another land) to address kultuurimperialisme and profile the karacter op de Belg.

positief karacteriesteken op de Belg:

  • diplomatic talent
  • anti-authoritarianism
  • respect for privacy

with accompanying negatief karacteriesteken op de Belg:

  • indirect communication (niet zo open)
  • separated (individualistic rather than communal)

All of this talk of stereotypen led our conversation back to kultuurshok. I realize part of my trouble with the trams and trains is that I am used to driving – which requires paying attention. When someone else is ‘driving,’ my mind goes elsewhere – with a book, writing, or daydreaming – then whooooooooooooooosh those stops just fly right on by! I’m amused by the supremely ordered traffic lights – specifically designated signals for automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians – which nearly everyone obeys! There is no “language of klaxons” as Mahmoud labeled the incessant honking he, Amin, and Patricia miss from Egypt, Iraq, and the Dominican Republic. The food, we agree, is good and (!) – nearly everyone has a dish or several that they miss from home. Except for Bouchra. No kultuurshok. Grrl got it all together.
๐Ÿ™‚

32 thoughts on “Het verbazen!”

  1. goede eigenschappen van de Vlaming:
    ๐Ÿ™‚
    – eet als een bougondiër en doet dit graag in gezelschap
    – maakt plezier en vertelt graag moppen
    – is graag met vrienden (maar niet te veel)
    – kent vele goede biersoorten
    – spreekt meerdere taal min of meer verstaanbaar
    slechte eigenschappen:
    :-/
    – vloekt veel
    – spuugt op de grond
    – wast zijn handen niet als hij van het toilet komt
    – peutert in zijn neus
    – drinkt alleen bier
    – boertig en platvloers
    ;-D

  2. Indirect communication, not so open? I would say not so in your face, not so rude. The Dutch can’t take a hint, they speak loud, overrun the Sunday market in Antwerp and out of their country behave like they never would at home. Flemish people: yes as spooky said: farmers, rough around the edges, dirt under their fingernails, but pussycats. In cycling you can understand: The Flandrien will suffer and be tough for honor… and cry at the finish. So not open/closed but sensitive/obtuse.
    Like this computer program must be Dutch:it kicks me out saying ‘wrong text entered’. Censorship!!

  3. Well, thank you Tumbleweed for complementing Spookie’s homegrown list of notable Flemish characteristics.
    The babelfish translator that I prefer (at least partly because of the name)cannot handle:

    • bougondiër
    • biersoorten
    • boertig

    Spookie’s list of Flemish virtues:

    • Flandrien are connoisseurs of good food which they enjoy sharing
    • Tell good jokes and enjoy humor
    • Are pleased to have friends (within limits)
    • Knows a lot about _______ (brewing beer?)
    • Is passably multilingual (can get along in several languages)

    Spookie’s list of “bad properties” of the Flanderen:

    • The Flandrien are experts in swearing
    • spits on the ground (a rather disgusting habit which seems peculiar to men)
    • does not always wash their hands after using the toilet (a matter of hygiene that might be improved if a bit of HEAT was added to the water in the washbasin!)
    • picks his nose (tsk tsk)
    • only drinks beer (and pees it out, I might add, stinking up many public places)
    • is ______ (rough?) and coarse

    I like Tumbleweed’s reframing of Spookie’s exaggerated list of slechte eigenschappen as rural sorts without affectation and rather unconcerned with appearances. How intriguing, though, that for means of contrast you pick the Dutch instead of the French! Any measurement is always relative &emdash; it is always established in comparison to a perceived standard or point of distinction. My first reaction (as a cultural relativist) is to feel bad for the Dutch: surely they present their own modes of communication in positive terms and find fault with the un-understandable (because different) Vlaming way? ๐Ÿ™‚

    On the one hand, it’s a relief to break out of the Flemish-French linguistic/cultural battleground for a while, on the other hand . . . you know I think even these small microsocial interactions tell us something about the larger macrosocial forces that mold and shape our movements and possibilities. But what are these socialpsychological forces and how do they constrain us?! I wonder if the Dutch and French may get along “better” (than Flemish- and French-speaking Belgians) because of a commonality in the directness of communication? I pose my conjecture on the basis of a recent case:
    I’m engaged in a pleasant conversation with a British couple at a bed and breakfast. Enter another couple with an infant. The man opens by asking where we are from. When the British lady answers, he says, “Nobody’s perfect.” I recognize (and appreciate) the humor: he is French. Later he asks me quite directly about my relational status, questions no Belgian would ever pose on first encounter! (At least, not outside of formal language class.) Here I am, the American, situated at the table between relatively proper older Brits and a Frenchman who appears to be just itching to start something! (The second day he embarked immediately on a tirade about the Pope, realizing only a few sentences later that someone at the table might be religiously inclined and thus offended at his disregard for higher religious authority. Of course, I like him immediately, but talk about needing to be diplomatic!)
    By way of contrast, I embarrassed myself with a young man on the train by causing him to squirm uncomfortably with what I took to be an entirely innocent question. Some confusion about seating provided an entre to conversation but I clearly asked too much by inquiring if he was on his way to visit family for the holiday. He was (I think!), but he misinterpreted my question to be more about the details of his route than the purpose at its destination. His puzzled look and awkward answer informed that me I was in violation of some invisible norm. Is it this continuum of direct/indirectness? You see, I read the “open/closed” and/or “sensitive/obtuse” continuums with another cultural code! The sensitivity of the Flemish sometimes gives me a sense of evasion &emdash; as if there is something to hide, while the overt naming of obvious (historical/cultural) factors strikes me not as obtuse, blunt, or rude but as an honest appraisal of dynamical forces present in the interaction.

  4. Sorry for my language!
    I am Flemish:farcical/coarse but honest without complexes. I am what I am! En daarmee basta.

  5. Well, on the train to Holland, the young man might just have been on an weedy errand, so it would be awkward to have to say why he was on the train…
    i think Flemish have more problems with the Dutch because they do speak the same language, thus not expecting the stark difference in approach. Of course one of the biggest differences is the catholisism in Flanders and the protestantism that invented capitalism in the Netherlands. it is a bit gross but near the mark. The French culture is generally admired in Flanders. For a long time it was a mark of distinction and education if one spoke French well. The Flemish / French thing in Belgium has to do with who wields the power. I do believe there is a Belgitude. I refer to Maigritte, Ensor, beer, chocolate and lace, to great painters and writers. Flemish writers would be considered Flemish even if they wrote in French. (jacques Brel, Maeterlinck). So power and the changing basis of wealth is what goes on in Belgium now and a horribly misguided bunch who think they canb rule by forcing their point of view upon others and who think they should send 1600 more soldiers to Afghanistan. NO! NO! to that.. But what do I know, i too am just imported here.

  6. The two of you fly to fascinating extremes! I think it is too much to call it a polarization, because I happen to know that each of you can move to more moderate positions along the continuum, possibly even all the way to the other end at certain times. What is striking to me is that conversation (apparently) required such opposition: one of you diving deeply to the personal and the other soaring to the social superstructure!
    I think this interaction illustrates something about discourse, about the constant spiraling of linguistic forces that Bakhtin labeled centrifugal (centering, like Spookie grounding within the self) and centripetal (scattering, such as Tumbleweed does by stretching out to a wide range of disparate, impersonal phenomena). Even though there appears a chronology with the timestamps of each of your postings, I know neither of you knew of the other’s response prior to submitting your own comment: there was a spontaneous divergence. (Which leads me to wonder if we had been together, speaking in person, whether you would have both burst out simultaneously with these views? Mere speculation, yes, but the quality leans to such a possibility.)
    The sequence of turns and topics up until this last exchange is relevant. Again, it may be too much to label the flow causal, but if we review the continuums already posed (Flemish:Dutch, Flemish:French, and communication cut three ways: direct/indirect, open/closed, subtle/obtuse) then it is not beyond imagination that tensions were already working upon each other, resulting in an accumulation of tensionality pressing upon the inherent dynamical properties of language and thrusting respondents (who happened to be the two of you but possibly, perhaps, could have been anybody) to a balanced opposition. Balanced, I suggest, because there is a kind of equilibrium established within these boundaries: they delineate the zone of possibility for all other positions. No one can go further into the intrapsychic than a strong statement of individual identity, nor can anyone go farther away from the individual person than to the disembodied historical forces of religion and capitalism. Each response situates power quite differently, establishing a stark triangulation.
    Language does this &emdash; it reveals the dynamics of our interactions by showing various logics at play in any given moment, and simultaneously casts us forward along patterned trajectories with various degrees of momentum. Depending upon the established boundaries of the discursive field, the historical force behind an utterance may be relatively strong or weak; taken in combination with complementary and competing utterances of other participants, the power of the boundary is effected exponentially.
    At the moment, I will refrain from adding an example because I can’t think of one specific to anything we’ve already mentioned. I do wonder if the continuums I mentioned (Flemish:Dutch, Flemish:French, and communication cut three ways: direct/indirect, open/closed, subtle/obtuse and a fourth one I just recognized – evasive/honest, plus French-British) succeed in labeling the discursive dynamics evident so far, or have I missed something important? I will clarify that the young man on the train had quite a large duffel bag with him which, coupled with the fact of it being the day before Christmas, made my question about going home at least sensible and certainly gave him a plausible excuse even if he was also going to buy some weed! And, translations have been provided for the Flemish terms I could not locate:

    • bougondiër as in Burgundian, which in this context seems to refer to an enjoyment of feasting
    • biersoorten = sorts of beers &emdash; so, not necessarily the brewing of, but being able to distinguish among varieties (presumably by taste?)
    • boertig is given technically as “farcical” but I’m thinking the more common American English word would be comical &emdash; probably in the proactive sense intended by Kenneth Burke (as the opposite of tragic) rather than as a source of comedy for others’ amusement.
  7. mmm… interesting …
    i think it all depends on with who / what one compares somebody / – thing to .
    as far as my experience goes, i try to see a human being, not a charicature based on some easy (obvious) assumptions .
    off course, it can be amusing trying to picture a global catch of A nationality..
    but but but
    what about all the exceptions that confirm the rules ?

  8. i mean,
    does it matter ?
    when hearing this miserere by gregorio allegri
    ( 1630 ) :
    http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=yDRoL7ziDP4
    who can tell what nationalities the singers are ?
    what matters is the feeling and imprints they create together .
    and i’m sure every flemish, dutch or french person i know would get at least sliiiiiiiiiiiiightly irritated when hearing this stereotypes charactarized /
    ( though , off course, the ideas+music+performance etc. are brilliant .. also art is about polarisation and being rebellious )
    http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=b1aeGVpcXrA
    http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=T6rvMZnWKZc
    http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=ccUJ4kjOcps
    http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=2ErjTdU7tis
    this last video is an interview taken in 1968 .
    i think it expresses in words a bit what the music from 1630 is about …
    … and it’s always a good thing to have some music on a blog, especially when a movable
    ‘ type ‘ ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Boertig: coarse might be better, rough around the edges. Obviously the so called civilised society might find it farcical and the Flemish character certainly has been portrayed that way, also by our own comics like Urbanus van Anus who therefore was very succesful in Holland.
    And yes I looked at the superstructure, at the biggest desert on earth, knowing I am a grain of sand in the sea of time. Sometimes that is reason enough to go for the hollistic approach. Nationalisms are not my cup of tea, and generalisations are just that, knowing that it is no rule but that there is a (un)certain statistical relevance. The difference is distance from which one speaks to each and how loud differs markedly between the US and Flanders and leads to misunderstandings… I know, of have erred both ways.

  10. so, tumbleweed, you mean :
    flemish – coarse (therefore sometimes farcical)
    US – civilised society ?
    my experience with US communication is quite different , i must say .. it scared the hell out of me !
    but you might be right when you say that the difference is situated in the distance from which one speaks .
    i think ( and heeeere we go generalising ๐Ÿ˜‰ )that, the moment a flemish person LIKES another person, he or she is probably more willing to leave the superficial more easily than ( in my experience ) an american person .
    which – obviously – doensn’t have to be a problem, as far as both people are willing to keep communication going .
    and thats where it becomes interesting .
    ís it possible to keep a natural communication in which both people feel at ease ?

  11. Ja, so now we have a challenge, “we” being a loose designation for the people who have participated in this conversation so far. Perhaps there are others who will read/join in at some point, too, adding their ideas and examples and . . . ๐Ÿ™‚
    Each of us has taken up what could be considered a role, these roles are what establish (I think) the “distances” Tumblewood suggests regulate the relevance of generalizations.
    The challenge is if we can maintain enough energy/interest on some content of discussion to keep us talking together, instead of fading away as the differences in role start to become evident.
    By saying we’ve taken up roles, I mean that other people could just as easily say the things that we have said. Indeed, other people have and do say the things that we have each said! Someone (in a group), always makes identity claims (like Spookie, and also like Tumbleweed – who identifies as “an import” and as someone who has “erred”).
    Someone (in most groups, if people keep talking long enough) probably acts all nerdy (like me, ahem, an identity claim!) making abstract observations about ‘what is going on.’ Someone else questions the abstract observations, or offers an alternative observation, and choices are made (consciously or not) about which ideas or agendas to say something about.
    The content, originally, was cultural differences, in particular how humor is expressed regarding cultural imperialism (either its threat or its reality) by the Flemish and Americans (a distinction I think of as cultural, i.e., people do it differently). A tongue-in-cheek (joking) characterization of one group of people by themselves (!) led to a more serious comparison with other groups of people. Value judgments are interwoven with clarifications – again, these are the kinds of utterances people make in regular, on-going conversations.
    To a certain extent, these ‘things people say’ are predictable. Not exactly of course, the scope of variables is large. But there are rough patterns if one doesn’t focus just on individual statements but reads the turn-taking more like a story. So what? Well, maybe there’s no big deal in our specific case, but if many people are having similar conversations then you can wind up with very difficult dynamics between groups of people that are nearly impossible to change.
    Now, here’s the thing that gets me excited: I do not know the pattern(s) for Europeans and here I am getting the chance to participate in an unfolding of a very specific instance!
    Something that has come up twice in my fieldwork so far is a reference to “the European heart.” I suspect that “the European heart” is integral to the talking we have done so far… but I am not sure how . . . except that as each “member” of this loosely-constituted “group” says what you have to say, there’s a chance this heart may come clear.

  12. i must say this is getting intriguing ..
    so, let’s make this heart clear ๐Ÿ˜‰
    i think a lot has to do with how we look at things .
    and that depens on how PEOPLE are, not nationalities .
    some people look mainly with their head, almost LIVE in their head .
    other people look mainly with their heart .
    translated in ‘distances’ this would mean that ‘head’people always keep bigger distances than ‘heart’people .
    and off course, it would be very stupid to assume one of these two is always right .
    as for the ‘european heart’..no idea what that could be .
    doés it exist ?
    i’m no sage .

  13. Sorry my mothertongue is Dutch and I don’t understand your intellectual comments clearly. But I try to give you a comment.
    Of cause I was teasing and maked a caricature when I write my first comments (karakter van de Vlaming). But it makes sense because we have a history (cultural and politics an RELIGIONS), we have our relatives, our schoolculture, our education label….It makes sense that there is a difference between p.e. a Dutchman and a Flandrien, because the differences in culture.
    If I look in my ancestors tree I see that the boarder between the Netherlands and Belgium is strong enough to married with people of your own country. (Maybe very strange for an American who is mixed with a lot of different cultures….) My ancestors only married with people of the ‘other’ country when the both countrys where political one (16th century and between 1815 till 1830). So that make there is a big difference between the both cultures.
    Another discours is what Americans calls: political correct(be respectfull????). In my mind/culture it sound like: just think don’t say what you mean. (be a liar…sorry!-)That way of thinking of the Americans make me crazy and if I am in the States (once in 50 years….=teasing!-)I say not so much , because am I correct enough? Can I speak free in the States? I am not sure, because I don’t understand your culture enough.
    I mean that it is very difficult to understand an person with a various culture-background.
    But, be sure, I like you Americans ;-)and all the others.

  14. Schrijf je in het Nederlands! Seriously, I would like to encourage those of you who know Dutch to use it. It is ok to put me in the position of having to try and sort out what you mean. In fact, doing so would come a bit closer to the complexities of communication and language that I’m hoping we might sort out if we keep this conversation going.
    A lot of things continue to happen as we keep talktypewriting, which I’m going to make an attempt to identify and summarize from my (US american!) point-of-view &emdash; and (disclosure!) very particular theoretical lenses.
    Tracking chronologically, buzzzy already introduced another “language”. I put language in quotes because the modality is different than the talktypewriting we’ve used as the primary means of communication. Adding music is an interesting move for a few different reasons. One reason is its exclusive nature; music is not accessible to everyone. In sensory terms (i.e., being deaf) as well as by factors such as aptitude, inclination, and/or training. Creating boundaries between people is a feature of all languages, however, so this is not a problem, per se.
    What captures my attention is the argument that the nationality of musicians becomes . . . [invisible? irrelevant? unnoticeable? unremarkable?] . . . because “what matters is the feeling and imprints they create together.”
    It is the result of language use that is significant! The imagined and real borders of inclusion/exclusion created by the problematic of language difference composes my main foci. It seems we believe &emdash; and history has born out &emdash; that we need to share a language in order to create good feelings about each other. I don’t know, buzzzy, to what extent this logic applies to what you actually wrote; what I notice is that the assertion is close to a pattern of thinking about language which privileges homogeneity. It is as if whatever is generated together because of or through the use of the same language must be good! Now, I’m sure there are plenty of so-called musicians out there who produce crap (!), but then, the natural critique would be that they don’t “speak” the language well enough, wouldn’t it? Or they don’t “know” it or don’t “understand” it?
    In addition to the new theme of music, more comparison and contrast has occurred in the conversation. The Dutch:Flemish border has been contextualized and grounded (politically via shifts in the national borders, and in a segregated marriage pattern over generations). Concerning the Flemish and the Dutch, there is an EMPHASIS on religion (referring to the Protestant/Catholic divide that matters much more in Europe than in the US). At least one continuum of differences that may generate tension is recast (coarse/civilized), and more nuance added (either as refinement or new dimensions). Now that I re-read, I think formality/informality is closer to what Tumbleweed meant by “the distance from which one speaks to each.” The matter of volume (loud – quiet) is also named. There is an effort to get away from generalizing based on nationality, but this move also invokes a tension that we could think of us as individual-group. There are circumstances and conditions that allow or even encourage us to think of the other as a single, whole human being; there are likewise situations and interactions in which group identity is what matters.
    Concerning contrasts between Flanderien and American, I’m not sure how to label this, there is a sense that Americans stick with the superficial moreso than Flems. The critique of political correctness that Spookie offers (in which it seems Americans are encouraged to think one thing but say another, i.e., to lie) might be an example.
    Then there is a suggestion about some people (Americans?) living in their heads more than in (or from?) their hearts. Of course this is a generalization that exceeds nationality (in any culture I would imagine people could be sorted into those who privilege the head and those who privilege the heart) but, again, I notice a parallel. One of the cultural critiques that American Deaf people have of non-deaf interpreters (like me), is that we operate (communicate, function) only from the neck up. That is a situation in which the nationality is the same, but the language difference (and who knows what else) contributes to various frustrations because ways of orienting to the world and relating with others are not understood or valued similarly.
    Finally, or &emdash; as far as I’m going to get this round! &emdash; there was my question about the European heart. I was not asking about individual sensibilities, not one person’s heart or anybody else’s. Rather, the phrase has been used very specifically in two situations that caught my attention. The first was at an internal training for staff of the European Parliament on communication and language (blogged in detail here). A question I posed received an answer that was rather far from what I expected to hear: I was hoping for a response related to dialogue but the answer was a lesson about history and identity. My question garnered that kind of answer, someone later told me, because I had “touched the European heart.”
    About two weeks after that event, I was involved in a conversation with someone completely unrelated to the Parliament, and (for some reason, I forget what led up to this story), he spontaneously used the exact same phrase as an explanation for something that happened among participants at a large conference (@500 participants, if memory serves). The gist of the story is that during this meeting of representatives from every country in the European Union, whose goal was to discuss and agree upon common elements of, or for . . . [a European framework? a definition of what it means to be European? I do not recall the exact mandate] . . . there were the usual (?) arguments and agreements and disagreements, but on this one point everyone was unanimous. “There was full consensus!” he emphasized. Turkey should not be admitted to the EU. “That,” he proclaimed, “is the European heart.”

  15. In het Nederlands dus!
    Muziek is een universele taal met een universele grammatica. Waarom? Waarschijnlijk omdat muziek volledig verklaard kan worden vanuit de fysica: trillingen, boven- en ondertonen, reactie van tonen onderling….en dus minder vanuit de geografische, culturele…achtergronden. Hiermee wil ik NIET zeggen dat er geen culturele verschillen zijn! Maar deze cultureel bepaalde verschillen dragen bij tot de rijkdom (en soms evolutie) van de muziek. Muziek is veel beperkter dan gesproken taal. Het (Westerse) systeem bevat slechts 12 tonen (letters als je wil)en daarmee maakt men reeds eeuwen muziek, wonderbaarlijk! Andere culturele systemen zoals het Aziatische gebruiken heel wat meer tonen, hun taal is dus uitgebreider dan onze muzikale taal, maar voor ons Westerlingen klinkt hun muziek bijzonder merkwaardig en wordt het niet altijd in een juiste context begrepen. Dus ook hier krijg je dus culturele verschillen. Echter als je de terminologie onder de knie hebt van de muzikale taal dan kan je vlot leren begrijpen wat er gebeurt in die muziek die je niet van jongsaf (vanuit jouw cultuur) hebt leren beluisteren. Zit daar misschien een verschil met gesproken taal? In gesproken taal kan je perfect eenzelfde woord gebruiken en toch een totaal andere betekenis krijgen die misschien door je toehoorder niet wordt begrepen. Het woord ‘vrede’ bijv. betekent in vele talen iets totaal anders en de reactie hierop is dan ook ontzettend verschillend en kan tot desastreuse gevolgen leiden!
    Terug naar de muziek. Als men sommige muziek als ‘onzin’ beschouwd heeft dit waarschijnlijk te maken met minstens twee dingen: er zitten technische fouten in (de grammatica is niet helemaal correct!), of het is een stijl die bij bepaalde personen negatieve reacties uitlokt die niets met de muziek op zich heeft te maken, zoals bijv. hardcore wordt door velen afgedaan als inferieure muziek niet omwille van de muziek zelf die soms knap in mekaar zit, maar omwille van het geluidsvolume, wat slechts een nevenaspect is van de muziek, maar in dit soort muziek (hardcore) wel dominant aanwezig is.
    Kan je dit omzetten naar gesproken taal? Ik probeer. Misschien krijg je in gesproken dialogen tussen mensen van verschillende culturen tevens dat men eerder reageert op secundaire aspecten van de taal dan op de betekenis an sich.Bijvoorbeeld als een Vlamming zijn taal gebruikt die dus enkel in accent en in sommige woorden verschilt ten opzichte van de taal van de Nederlander dan gebeurt het meermaals dat de Nederlander meent dat de Vlaming zijn taal niet correct gebruik (volgens hun technische en vocabulaire normen) dus is wat de Vlaming zegt minderwaardig ten opzichte van wat zij vertellen. Ze luisteren in de eerste plaats naar het technische resultaat en niet naar de diepere betekenis. Dit kan verre gevolgen hebben in verband met de literaire taal in het Nederlandstalig gebied die tegenwoordig eerder klinkt als de taal van een journalist of van een wetenschappelijk geschoold taalkundige dan dat ze gegroeid is vanuit de creatieve taal van een artistiek iemand. We hebben de taaldiscussie zo ten spits gedreven in ons taalgebied dat enkel de volslagen technisch correcte taal (volgens de normen van DAT OGENBLIK en die wisselt nogal eens in ons taalgebied) in aanmerking komt voor publicatie.
    Laat de commentaar die ik bezig ben uit te schrijven maar eens uitvlooien door iemand die de Nederlandse taal heeft bestudeerd vanuit wetenschappelijke richting. Waarschijnlijk wordt dit volledig afgebroken, want mijn interpuncties staan niet juist, mijn woordenschat is waarschijnlijk te Vlaams, mijn zinsbouw technisch fout enz. En de inhoud van het verhaal? Geen aandacht voor!
    Je kan dit als je wil ook transponeren naar de zogenaamde ‘politiek correcte’ taal. Je hebt, denk ik, geen regels nodig die van bovenuit worden opgedrongen om je mening te uiten. Je persoonlijke en wederzijdse aanleg voor empathie zal wel bepalen in hoeverre je taal als voldoende respectvol wordt ervaren.
    Daar zit dus mijn ergernis ten opzichte van politiek correct taalgebruik. Niet in het feit zelf, maar in de wijze waardoor het onnatuurlijk wordt in de strot geduwd door een bepaalde opvatting van bovenuit.
    Veel succes met de vertaling Steph!

  16. ja,je vraagt er zelf om, stephanie jo, dus dan kan je op zijn minst verwachten dat er nu een aantal reacties in het nederlands volgen om ‘ u ‘ tegen te zeggen .. ik hoop dat je nog enkele vrije dagen in het vooruitzicht hebt .. ๐Ÿ™‚
    het is mij niet geheel duideljk meer waar deze discussie precies over gaat .
    om tot een omschrijving van ‘het europees hart’ te komen, overloop ik liever eerst een aantal andere aspecten van taal een taalvormen .
    interessant is het sowieso, uitzoeken hoe ieder individueel met taal omgaat, zij het met woorden, gebaren of muziek – of een combinatie van deze samen .
    taal aan de hand van woorden is voor het grootste aantal mensen de meest voor de hand liggende omgangsvorm . binnen eenzelfde taalgebied beschikt men grotendeels over dezelfde codes, omgangsvormen, opvoedingspatronen en grenzen, waardoor een groot stuk van communicatie in het algemeen een stuk vereenvoudigd wordt; zij het dan misschien alleen aan de oppervlakte; zij het dan misschien misschien uitsluitend als ‘tool’ : het is in elk geval duidelijk wanneer iemand ‘ja’ bedoelt en wanneer iemand ‘nee’ bedoelt .
    een – nog steeds penibele – uitzondering hierop is het contact tussen vlaanderen en nederland : weliswaar samen behorend tot éénzelfde taalgebied, kennen zij verstrekkende verschillen in omgangsvormen en accenten (dit zowel taalkundig als cultuurhistorisch gegroeide verschillen), waardoor het vaak al iets moeilijker te achterhalen valt of iemand ‘ja’ dan ‘nee’ bedoelt .
    ik heb als vlaming zo’n 10 jaar in nederland gewoond . in afstand ging dit slechts over 115 km . emotioneel en cultureel was het af en toe vergelijkbaar met de afstand tussen zon en aarde .
    waarom ?
    de volgens mij belangrijkste reden hiervoor is dat vlamingen en nederlanders mekaar heus wel appreciëren, ja, in de meeste gevallen zelfs van mekaar willen leren en/of samenwerken, maar dat het nu eenmaal geschiedkundig zo gegroeid is, die wrevel..en stiekem langs beide kanten gecultiveerd wordt ‘ omdat het zo de gewoonte is ‘, of er nu reden toe is of niet .
    ik heb dit fenomeen altijd bijzonder boeiend gevonden – ja, natuurlijk, mij er soms ook blauw aan geërgerd – maar in mijn ervaring valt het echt wel te overbruggen : ik werk nog steeds (nu zo’n 13 jaar) met heel veel plezier in nederland .
    wat ik bewonder in de nederlanders ( ik ken voornamelijk de culturele sector van binnenuit ) is :
    – hun niet-aflatende energie (ze zijn iets meer ‘up’ dan de gemiddelde vlaming)
    – hun creatief denken (ze staan open voor de meest gekke ideeën, waardoor er automatisch ruimte ontstaat voor vernieuwing),
    – in staat ‘open’ gesprekken te voeren waarbij er ruimte is voor kritiek (heb het meermaals meegemaakt dat er tijdens vergaderingen tussen twee mensen verhitte discussies ontstaan – ja, zelfs ruzies – en na afloop lopen diezelfde twee mensen samen naar het koffieapparaat en zijn weer de beste vrienden)
    – hun meesterschap in het organiseren
    – de mate waarin ze zichzelf au serieux nemen : ze weten wat ze waard zijn . (en ja, soms neigt dat naar misplaatste zelftrots, maar..uiteindelijk is dat een beter vertrekpunt als je ergens voor wil gaan)
    hun mindere kanten zijn dan weer :
    – ze praten luid ; maar als je hen gewoon vraagt op een beleefde manier of het wat zachter kan hebben ze daar in mijn ervaring geen probleem mee .
    – hun erg directe manier van communiceren ( dit in vergelijking met vlaanderen ) : ze zeggen wat ze denken, er vaak minder op lettend dat het soms kwetsend over kan komen . dit is iets waar ikzelf enorm aan heb moeten wennen ; maar langs de andere kant geeft dit je ook weer ruimte om net zo goed zelf ook ronduit je mening te geven – wat ruimte schept in je hoofd .
    – de -overigens zéér irritante- neiging om – in eerste instantie ! – neer te kijken op alles wat uit belgië komt . het aantal flauwe grapjes over de zogenaamde ‘domme’ belg dat ik in die 13 jaar de revue heb zien passeren, is ontelbaar geworden . het duurt een tijdje, maar eens ‘de nederlander’ weet wie hij voor zich heeft – ja, laat het dan een ‘domme’ belg zijn – krijg je in bijna alle gevallen niks dan eerlijk respect . en gelukkig is cultuur heel vaak ‘grenzenloos’… (hierover later meer )
    – de gustibus et coloribus non discutandum est, maarreuh..zijn gele (vaak te korte) broeken, gestreepte sokken, rose truien, sportgympen en oranje-groen geruite hemden écht nodig ? smaak dus .
    – de toch wel vreemde gewoonte om echt o-ver-al mélk bij te drinken ?? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    deze opsomming is een korte, ruwe schets van de meest in het OOG en OOR springende verschillen tusssen belgen en nederlanders .
    hierbij moet bovendien nog het verschil gemaakt worden per regio :
    nederlanders uit de randstad of het noorden zijn heel anders dan nederlanders uit brabant of limburg,
    net zoals er binnen belgië grote verschillen bestaan tussen oost-en west-vlaanderen, brussel en wallonië .
    graag wil ik een volgende keer eens bekijken hoe het zit met taalomgang tussen mensen uit een verschillend taalgebied .
    verbaal, non-verbaal en muzikaal .

  17. Oh my! ๐Ÿ˜€
    In the US we say, “Be careful what you ask for!”
    It’s going to take me some days until I have the hours to work through the babelfish translating process. No problem. I’ll post what I come up with here for other non-Dutch speaker’s information and everyone’s amusement. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I think the gist of the previous two comments involves comparison and contrast between “speech” and “music” as languages. I noticed no mention of gebarentaal, so I am guessing that signed languages have not been triangulated in? So, without knowing any of the details (let alone the nuances!) of the previous two comments, let me forge ahead with a couple of questions:
    1) What is it that links signed and spoken languages together as examples of the same thing?
    2) What are the similarities and differences between signed language and music?
    . . . and on we go!

  18. to help you out a little :
    my comment is an attempt (!) to find a description of the european heart , by using :
    – comparisons between same spoken languages / different cultures (as posted above)
    – comparisons between different spoken languages / cultures ( will follow, hopefully ๐Ÿ™‚ ) in a/ verbal , b/ non-verbal (e.g. ‘gebarentaal’) , c/ musical communication .
    so not only comparison between speech & music .
    your ‘ahead-questions’ are interesting and to the point ๐Ÿ™‚ i’ll answer those in dutch too – to help you learn dutch as quick as possible .
    ( yeah, one’s got to be cruel to be kind, sometimes ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  19. In Dutch therefore!
    (Steph’s attempt to translate Spookie’s comment in Nederlands of 8 January, corrections welcome!)
    Music is a universal language with a universal grammar. Why? Probably because music can be explained completely on the basis of the physical: vibrations, under- and overtones, the mutual responsiveness of sound… and therefore relies on little from the geographical and cultural contexts. I am NOT saying that there are no cultural differences! Cultures offer different contributions to the wealth (and sometimes evolution) of music.
    Music is much more limited than speech. The (Western) system contains only 12 tones (characters if you want) and with only this has produced music for centuries, miraculous! Other cultural systems use a lot more tones, because of this the language of the Asian system, for instance, is vaster than our musical language, but for people of Asian descent raised here, their music sounds particularly remarkable and – when played correctly in proper context – Asian music is not always understood. This is, therefore, another way you have cultural differences. However, if you have the terminology of the musical language in your bones, then you can understand what is happening in music even if you did not learn it smoothly by listening while you were young. Perhaps this is a difference between music and speech?
    In speech, you can use a word perfectly and possibly be misunderstood, because despite knowing the same word, the listener receives a totally other meaning. The word, ‘peace,’ for instance, means something totally different in various languages, so responses to the word can be radically different and can lead to disastrous results!
    Returning to music. If some music is labeled, ‘nonsense,’ it is probably based on two factors: there are technical errors in the piece (the grammar is not entirely correct!), or it is in a style that provokes a negative reaction from the person, which is not about the music itself. For example, many people critique hardcore music as inferior music because of the sound volume, which is only one cousin aspect of music. In this type of music (hardcore), however, volume is a dominant presence over all the clever manipulations.
    Can you convert this to speech? I will try. Suppose there is a dialogue between people of several cultures and it happens that someone reacts to secondary aspects of the language rather than to the meaning per se.
    For example, the Flemish language differs from Dutch only in emphasis and in some words, but it often happens that the Dutchman thinks that the Fleming is using language incorrectly (according to their technical and vocabulary standards), therefore the Dutchman assumes that what the Flemish person says is inferior with respect to what they themselves say. They listen in the first place to the technical output and not to the deeper meaning. A long-term impact of this tendency is the literary language of the Dutch-speaking region. It sounds nowadays more like the language of a journalist or of a trained scientific linguist than of someone whose speech is grown from the creative language of an artist. Because of this, we have made decisions in our field to follow an anarchistic method and use the technically correct language in vogue at THAT MOMENT for purposes of publication. (These terms do change quite often.)
    The argument I have made gives much for a Dutch speaker with scientific training to excavate. That person would probably demolish my argument completely, because my punctuations do not stand correctly, my vocabulary is probably too Flemish, my semantic construction technically wrong etc. Would they pay attention to the contents of the tale? Probably not!
    You could, if you like, transpose this example to ‘political correctness.’ You have, I think, no overarching principle that make it necessary to express your opinion. Your personal and reciprocal construction of empathy will determine the extent to which your language is experienced as sufficiently respectful.
    That is where my irritation arises with respect to politically correct language use. It is not the fact itself, but its result that forces an unnatural manner, constricting the throat to conform to only one higher form.

  20. Hi Steph, dat is een super vertaling.:-)
    Eén kleine opmerking.Ik schreef:
    …Andere culturele systemen zoals het Aziatische gebruiken heel wat meer tonen, hun taal is dus uitgebreider dan onze muzikale taal, maar voor ons Westerlingen klinkt hun muziek bijzonder merkwaardig en wordt het niet altijd in een juiste context begrepen….(citaat)
    Het is dus voor ALLE Westerlingen moeilijk om Aziatische muziek onmiddellijk te apprecieren, en niet alleen voor Aziaten die geboren zijn in het Westen.
    Ik denk zelfs dat Aziaten uit Europa nog heel voeling hebben met hun muziek, gezien ze hun cultuur maar al te graag doorgeven aan hun kinderen. Je kan dit merken tijdens het Japans Nieuwjaar in Antwerpen bijvoorbeeld.
    Maar het doet niets ter zake! Gewoon wat muggenzifterij van mijnentwege. ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. Sorry, Spookie, for mangling your meaning! Babelfish gave me many pronouns, subjects, and adjectives in uncertain sequence, which put me at pains to unravel the relationships among them.
    Thanks, buzzzy, for the brief overview of your comments in Dutch. I’ll get to work on those next.
    Meanwhile, I wanted to share something I overheard on the metro in Brussels yesterday:
    ~ “The Dutch are Dutch, the Belgians are Belgian, and the English are English. They’re going to have to get over it.”
    This sentence was uttered just a bit louder than the rest of their conversation, which I couldn’t quite make out (corporate? NGO?). The conversants were two white men, probably in their late ’40s or early ’50s, possibly British but the accent was not so strong as to give me complete confidence in making this identification.

  22. Buzzy! It took me a while but here it is! I hope it reads true. My response soon.
    Yea, Stephanie Jo, since you asked for it you can expect to receive several replies in Nederlands now . . . hopefully you can still anticipate celebrations! ๐Ÿ™‚
    It is not exactly clear to me what this discussion is about. In order to provide a description of the European heart, I will first explain some aspects of the forms of language. It is interesting how individual languages handle these aspects, whether they use words, gestures, or music &emdash; or a combination of these together. Language using words is the most obvious manner of language used by the largest number of people. Within the same language are codes, tenses, and patterns of relations and separation that one learns growing up, resulting in general simplifications that allow chunking of communication. These chunks are only the surface of language, which allows language to be used as a tool: this is what makes clear the meanings of “yes” and “no.”
    A painful exception is the contact between Flanders and the Netherlands: indeed both belong to the same language area, but they have far-reaching distinctions in tense and accentuation (linguistically and historico-culturally). This results in the common difficulty of determining “yes” from “no.”
    I spent ten years living as a Fleming in the Netherlands. In physical distance there was only 115 km. Emotionally and culturally it was from time to time similar to the distance between sun and earth.
    Why?
    According to me, the most important reason for this is that even though the Flemish and Dutch do appreciate each other’s house, and in most cases each one wants to learn and/or cooperate with the other, there is a secret rancor, cultivated historically and now become habit whether there is a current reason for it or not.
    I find this particular phenomenon captivating &emdash; and yes, of course, sometimes depressing or annoying – but in my experience it really can be bridged: I work still (going on 13 years) with a lot of pleasure in the Netherlands.
    What I admire about the Dutch, mainly from exposure to their cultural side, is:
    – their unceasing energy (they are more ‘up’ than the average Fleming)
    – they think creatively (they are open for the most crazy ideas, as a result of which opportunities for renewal arise automatically),
    – their ability to hold open conversations with the space for critique (it is a frequent experience that two people have a heated discussion during a meeting &emdash; yes, even to the point of a brawl &emdash; and afterwards the same two people converge for coffee and are bosom buddies)
    – their mastership in organizing
    – the degree to which you must take them seriously: they know what they are worth. (sometimes this is challenging to the ego, but this can be a fine departure point for launching you to another place)
    For the lesser box:
    – they talk loudly; but if you ask them simply in a polite manner to speak more gently, then, in my experience, this is no problem for them.
    – their very direct manner of communication (in contrast with Flanders): they frequently say what they think, without always paying much attention to what they say, which can be vexing. This was an enormous adjustment for me to get used to, on the other side, though, you reflect that the space is also open for you to give your own opinions, whatever is running around in your own mind.
    – The Dutch have the most irritating inclination to look down, automatically, on everything Belgian! The amount of insipid, so-called ‘dumb Belgian’ jokes that I’ve encountered these past 13 years is beyond counting. This lasts for awhile, until the Nederlander comes to know you… you have to ignore the jokes . . . and in the end you will gain honest respect. Happily, culture is most frequently completely ”grenzenloos” (more about “borderlessness” later).
    – their discoordinated sense of color and style: are yellow trousers (often too short), lined socks, rose pullover, tennis shoes, and orange-green checkered undershirts really necessary? I.e., taste.
    – and with all this the habit of drinking milk wherever they are? ๐Ÿ™‚
    The preceding enumeration is a short, harsh sketch of most of the EYE and EAR popping differences between Belgians and Dutch.
    Distinctions, however, must also be specified per region: Dutch from border towns or the north are very different than Dutch from Brabant or Limburg, just as in Belgium there are significant variations among people in east and west Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia.
    Next I will gladly discuss managing differences in tense between people of different language areas, including verbal, non-verbal, and musical.

  23. bravo !!
    ja, het is te lezen .
    een paar dingen :
    in de eerste zin aan het begin (die je cursief hebt gepmaakt) :
    ‘ ik hoop dat je nog enkele vrije dagen in het vooruitzicht hebt ‘
    ‘ hopefully you can still anticipate celebrations ‘
    in bepaalde zin zijn ‘celebrations’ ‘ vrije tijd’ , maar ‘ in het vooruitzicht hebben ‘ is gevoelsmatig toch wat anders dan ‘ anticipate ‘ .
    ‘ hoe ieder individueel met taal omgaat ‘ is about individuals, not individual languages .
    ‘ heus ‘ is not ‘ house ‘.. as you translated in ‘ according to me… ‘ BUT in some strange way you get away with it .. ๐Ÿ™‚
    ‘ from exposure to their cultural side ‘ : ik bedoelde dat mijn ervaringen zich vooral bevinden in de culturele séctor en organistaie . niet de culturele aard van de nederlanders zelf, want dat zou juist een veralgemening zijn .
    ‘ de mate waarin ze zichzelf au sérieux nemen etc. ‘ : i think you got the general idea, but not quite the right nuance .. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    voor de rest : i thin you’ve done a good job .
    and i guess it’s up to me now to continue this attempt to describe european heart matters .
    can take a while ..

  24. het europees hart..wel, ik zou hier natuurlijk nog eindeloos kunnen doorgaan met het vergelijken van de ene nationaliteit met de andere, elke kleine nuance respecterend en elke veralgemening vermijdend, maar uiteindelijk is juist déze zin de beste omschrijving van dat kostbare hart, namelijk de intentie om te kijken naar elk detail en de wil om elke nuance te begrijpen .
    en, zonder arrogant te willen overkomen : ik denk dat juist musici daar heel erg goed in zijn, JUIST OMDAT zij werken met en vaak ook afhangen van non-verbale communicatie .
    voor mij persoonlijk maakt muziek een heleboel dingen veel gemakkelijker .
    en het zou werkelijk een féést zijn, mocht iedereen op deze planeet die woordenloze taal begrijpen .
    uiteraard, dit is een utopie .. dat weet ik .
    maar erover nadenken op zich is best interessant !
    musici hebben namelijk geen woorden nodig om gevoelens over te brengen .. dus is het – misschien in minder concrete vorm – ook voor doven mogelijk de emoties van een bepaald muziekwerk in te schatten en/ of aan te voelen .
    ik wil ook niet belerend over komen, maar het is opvallend dat er juist in de kunsten heel vaak grensoverschrijdend werk wordt verricht en zelf opgezocht : het is misschien een cliché, maar denk hierbij bv. aan de divan orchestra van barenboim .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtb1tyf0Q6M

  25. Inderdaad buzzzy je hebt gelijk ook doven verstaan muziek perfect. Vele jaren terug zag ik op de Nederlandse TV een doof meisje musiceren met haar leerkracht (blokfluitduo!). Het ging feilloos. Toen men haar vroeg hoe zij de muziek kon waarnemen (toch wel noodzakelijk als je wil SAMENspelen)antwoordde ze: ik voel het overal op mijn lichaam: soms op mijn rug dan weer aan mijn arm….Ik voel (lees:hoor)het ritme en de toonhoogte en reageer daarop. Het geeft een enorm intense gewaarwording.
    En aan het gezicht van het (nog erg jonge meisje) te zien was dat meer dan waar: ze genoot.
    Ik blijf erbij dat muziek de meest universele taal is die door het grootste deel van de mensen exact kan waargenomen worden in zijn diepste emotie. Ook niet ‘horenden’ dus.
    Trouwens wie componeerde ooit zeer diep emotionele muziek terwijl hij volslagen doof was. Inderdaad Ludwig Van Beethoven. Hij leerde natuurlijk muziek toen hij nog in staat was geluiden helder te horen, maar toch.
    Leer alle mensen communiceren door middel van muziek en een hoop misverstanden zijn uit de wereld.
    Bij bepaalde gevallen van psychiatrische aandoeningen, waar mensen nauwelijks nog in staat zijn tot normale overdracht van communicatie is muziek in vele gevallen een oplossing om toch tot een zekere expressie te komen (net zoals tekenen en schilderen bijv.)
    Kunst is blijkbaar een enorm communicatief medium.
    Dat laatste doet me denken aan een gesprek met de componist Boudewijn Cox die in een soort eenzaamheid componeert maar steeds bezig is met de manier waarop hij met zijn publiek (en de uitvoerende musici) wil communiceren. Hij is pas echt gelukkig als dat inderdaad lukt. En het gaat hier echt niet om zeer oppervlakkige gevoelens zoals blij/droef enz. maar soms om zeer diepe filosofische aspecten.
    2de taal, naast de moedertaal in de scholen:kunst!

  26. 1) What is it that links signed and spoken languages together as examples of the same thing?
    – eigen notatiesysteem
    – wil tot / nood aan communicatie
    – human (belonging to earth)
    – history
    2) What are the similarities and differences between signed language and music?
    = geboren uit noodzaak
    = manier om emoties etc. te verklanken /
    verbeelden
    = KUNNEN allebei vierdimensionaal zijn
    = work in progress
    >

  27. ooops…. i think something whent wrong with my last comment ??? seems like bits of sentences just dropped out ..
    maybe has to do something with spaces between the words i used ?

  28. Now I am a few comments behind (again!), and I want to get back to analyzing what’s been said/written so far in “Het Verbazen” (It’s Amazing!) as I was doing before, but I was motivated to write this on the train to Strasbourg last Monday and am just now getting the chance to post it here. This is a partial response to the comment buzzzy made (in the comment I finally translated last week) about not knowing what this conversation is about. My answer will be both vague and as clear as I know how to say.
    The vague part of the answer is &emdash; it will be about whatever we make it to be about! The exclamation point is because language gives us the capacity to create. What each of you (so far, and still I hope others may join) will contribute is unknown to me; I also do not know how I will respond to whatever you give. With that said, however, I can predict certain tendencies from me based on the desire I have to write a compelling story about language (specifically, my dissertation about simultaneous interpretation at the European Parliament) that accomplishes (or tries to accomplish) a few particular tasks.
    Which means a couple of things. Although this began casually as a conversation &emdash; literally, sharing ‘verses’ with each other &emdash; what I have been aiming for is a dialogue: which I define as purposeful communication not in-and-of-itself (as conversation is) but toward a goal or desired end. But (here I get vague again), each one of us does not necessarily have the same end-product in mind nor do we necessarily need to, at least not yet and perhaps not ever, because it is the form of dialogue &emdash; meaning, how we build knowledge together &emdash; that I need to see, feel, absorb and interact with in order to write the story I want to tell. Granted, if we agree about where we want to collectively arrive together, that may enhance our chance of getting there, but I doubt any of us &emdash; including me &emdash; have a crystal clear definition or vision of what the ultimate outcome of this particular collaboration would, should, or could be. Of course this is also up for discussion. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Certainly there is an important question concerning what my dissertation has to do with you? Well, you each have to decide if you’re willing or interested enough to keep participating (or join in). My claim (which you may or may not accept or agree with) is that the story I want to write is your story &emdash; the story of Europe, of languages in Europe, of being European. I am asking you to “play yourself” (anonymously is fine!) as a real person living now (in this time), writing here what you really think about language, culture, differences, stereotypes, history…. whatever topics emerge as we keep talking.
    Here’s the catch: I will take your words (those that seem relevant to me, based on how they illustrate the story I discover as I continue with my research) and interpret them. I will take what you write out of their common context of surface meanings and show how they relate to or reveal underlying codes and structures of inherited assumptions. At least, I will do to my best to explain how I perceive these things (!), and I will write my perspective here so that you and others can read and evaluate my judgments and conclusions.
    Stories need, if you believe Salmon Rushdie, “motion and time and light” (The Enchantress of Florence, 2008, p. 95). This is what you give me: you give me the means to write the story I want to tell. What do you get in return? If this project is successful, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you played a foundational part. (If it fails, that will reflect only on me: it could be that the time is not yet ripe &emdash; even though I believe conditions are right, or at least ready &emdash; or that I do not manage to connect all the necessary trajectories.) Perhaps there are less grandiose pleasures as well? I wish the answer to be concrete! But I am also bound: the story will only let me say what rings true. If I sound false notes, my un-acculturated (non-European) ear may fail to recognize that I have slipped out of key. If the chords are dissonant yet indicative of a structure with potential, I will only know that I ought to pursue a new harmony based on your responses as we improvise this dialogue together.

  29. thanks for explaining, but i knew all that already .
    what i ment by writing ‘i don’t know exactly what this discussion is about’ is just that it feels a bit strange and surreal (?) sending these thoughts to a page somewhere in space . and you’re right when you say that it is a bit vague, without clear goal – at first sight !
    but : tell me something new, stephanie, i’m dying to learn .
    every story indeed needs motion, light and tim(e)(ing) – as in music .
    so : where’s the music in your ideas ?
    and i’m NOT being rude ๐Ÿ™‚ – just interested in what you think .
    ( i hope you don’t mind i write in english – it’s good exercise for me – so please feel free to correct )

  30. BIS ๐Ÿ™‚
    1) What is it that links signed and spoken languages together as examples of the same thing?
    – eigen notatiesysteem
    – wil to / nood aan communicatie
    – human (belonging to earth)
    – history
    2) What are the similarities and differences between signed language and music?
    similarities :
    – geboren uit noodzaak
    – manier om emoties te verklanken / verbeelden
    – KUNNEN allebei vierdimensionaal zijn
    – work in progress
    differences :
    – SL is manueel / visueel , MUSIC is manueel, visueel,auditief, sensitief
    – SL is silent ( uses signs to make meaning ), MUSIC is not (uses sounds to make meaning )
    – SL can be learned by everyone, MUSIC takes you a lifetime (or more), and a certain level is not accessable to everyone
    – SL is first recognized in 17th-18th century, MUSIC has existed as long as human nature exists ( but then, maybe also SL was, in a more primitive way ? not being seen as SL yet . or something . ๐Ÿ™‚ )
    meer kan ik…. etc .

  31. i think this video (as probably all videos of rehearsals with brilliant conductors are) shows two things :
    – non-verbal communication
    – use and meaning of light, time and motion
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Shc-4AZVaNk
    bumped into it by accident this morning, thought it made sense to post here, trying to explain what communication is to me .

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