Telling tales in Greek

For Christmas I got this book. It is a children’s book to help English speakers learn the Greek language. It is the tale of the Odyssey and Odysseus. However the Greek that is taught in this book is the original Ancient Greek. This means extra learning of words that they no longer use. It’s interesting looking at the origins of the language though. Some words however remain the same.

The best part of this book is it’s focus on grammar including the most difficult point I have come across so far – the genitive sandwich.

This is very difficult for an English speaker because we don’t really have cases, declension or even gender in our language anymore. We therefore don’t ever need to worry about genderised conjugation or even really conjugating.

English is a hodgepodge of rules that have been adopted from all of the different invaders. This makes it a difficult language to learn because it’s not as pure as older languages are. You do however get compensated by having many cognates with other newer languages.

Another reason for the inherent difficulty in processing Greek from an English speakers perspective stems from the genitive case being the one that you use to indicate possession. In our enlightened times we wouldn’t ever think of saying ‘of Daniel’ to indicate that something belongs to Daniel unless we were referencing The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s anti feminist and very archaic to think in terms like this.

Grammar wasn’t taught much in schools when I was attending in contrast to previous eras. I believe they have changed that now with an emphasis on more exotic foreign languages like Mandarin instead of just European. This means that today’s school children are better equipped to handle the linguistic diversity that is present in the world. At least in my opinion.

Best wishes

Angela

Ebooks vs real books vs audio books

This is an interesting conundrum as there are positives and negatives for all sides. I have addressed this previously in my books here on My author page. I have also written several articles about reading – Different types of Reading, The to be read pile etc. As it’s such an essential skill there is always more to examine so, today I’m going to delve into what happens when I read an ebook as opposed to the real version and add in a little about audiobooks too.

When I had a Kindle and started reading the e versions of books as it was too expensive for me to continually buy the real versions I noticed that I wasn’t enjoying them as much. I’m not one of those that particularly goes in for the smell of old books, the feel of the paper, the weight of the book or the cover design but the fact you can disconnect from the digital world is brilliant. This doesn’t happen if you have stopped working using a screen but progressed to reading using a screen. The book may be fiction and it may be an author or subject you really enjoy but the electric light interferes. Your not relaxed because the photons don’t allow that. You also can’t go to sleep reading an ebook as the light does the opposite in keeping you awake.

I used to think that the reasons I didn’t finish books was because of the style, subject matter, author but the format also has some input into my overall enjoyment. I read the paperback version of Organised Mind by Daniel Levitin. Or tried to read it as I should say because although it’s a very interesting book it was like trying to walk through a quagmire. I gave up. Then I come across the book on Blinkist. I read it very quickly as with all books on there because there designed like that. However, to me it didn’t feel like I was reading the same book at at all. It was summarised so it had all the salient details but as far as I know, by someone else. Therefore, to me, it doesn’t have any of the authors insight or stamp on it. It’s just a collection of words that teach you something, albeit better than the original, but bearing little resemblance to it. I’m really starting to dislike abridged versions of books.

I remember listening to a Jane Austen audiobook and it was enjoyable but since it was abridged it skipped out a lot. Sometimes when traveling my attention is diverted elsewhere so I lose the thread of the story and I found this happening frequently. I think I need all that extra information to keep my focus as it’s a bygone era.

I don’t like listening to audiobooks much as I have sensitive hearing that seems to be affecting me more than when I was younger. I could however just be noticing it more. I know alcohol dampens the senses but it’s not good to use that to cope with noisy situations. Anyways I find I pay less attention to an audiobook but it’s more relaxing that way as I can just switch off.

So in conclusion Real Books are best for absorbing information information, e books if you want a wide variety that doesn’t take up any space and audiobooks if you need a distraction from every day life.

Do you agree with my conclusion?

Best wishes

Angela

Architecture

I recently went to Tenerife on holiday and while I was there I took numerous pictures of the different styles of buildings. I’m a very visual person so I like line, shape, form, colour and all those things which an architect might consider when designing a building. I had also been watching the Art of Design on Netflix along with the Art of Architecture on Sky Arts.

Amistrad Circus
Amistrad Circus

Whenever I go anywhere the buildings are what interest me as I like to see the craftsmanship that has gone into making them. You can tell just by looking whether it was put in a hurry or whether it was a labour of love over many years. This may seem an odd thing to contemplate while you are away but I’ve never been like anyone else. Also when everyone your surrounded by is in involved in building or property in some way it seems in if it didn’t already reside in you.

Since I like drawing, painting and photography it would seem natural for me to be drawn to art galleries and museums. While in Tenerife I went to pretty much everything available in Santa Cruz which is the capital. I gained an insight into their culture and the light which is available there.

College of Ildelfonso
College of Ildelfonso

When I was in Berlin I also went to many art galleries and museums but there is so much more to absorb here that you need to take a break. I got overwhelmed with the amount of information that I was taking in and physically couldn’t read anymore. The architecture here is more of the kind that while is impressive, it’s so dark that it’s not the kind of thing you want to be pictured by. The history associated with these buildings is immense and thought provoking. There certainly not the happy colours of Tenerife.

The Reichstag - German parliament
The Reichstag – German parliament

Bauhaus

This is a German style of art from the turn of the 20th century. It is a reaction against the horrors of the First World War. It was trying to create a new society as the old one had been so thoroughly destroyed. Old habits have a habit of creeping back in though so it wasn’t long before the attitudes of the older tutors started to corrupt the ideas of the younger generation.

The women who attended were soon segregated to the weaving department and this led to development of innovation in the world of thread. Annie Albers developed fabric that could be used for sound proofing that was much better than what was previously in use. This was mentioned in the covering program by the BBC as well as in her own program. Her work was recently exhibited at the Tate too.

After this input I had to visit the original Bauhaus exhibition when I went to Berlin. It was wonderful to learn all that I could about the preliminary exercises, the tutors and pupils, the locations and the effect that it has had on the world of design since. It has made me realise that as much as I think I’m innovative, everything truly has been done before. Therefore it’s freeing to know that I don’t need to try to reinvent the wheel in my art or photography.

I liked the idea they had of exploring colour, paper, light and shade like you had never used them before. It was the throwing out of everything you knew before to start afresh. I have been doing this over the course of the past year at least to explore where I need to go with my artistic projects. This is in conjunction with my therapy to understand myself and the world better.

Best wishes

Angela

Sanitation

I was recently watching on Netflix a show examining Bill Gates brain(I’m not allowed to link to it?). In one of the episodes it demonstrates the fact that most of the world still doesn’t have clean water with flushing toilets. There is in fact a lack of water. There has been much money raised to build sanitation plants all over the world but they are too expensive to run. They sit idle while the inhabitants still use pit latrines and catch all of the diseases that are associated with having raw untreated sewage lying around.

This is also brought up in a comic way in the The Book of Mormon play that I have seen twice but that doesn’t mean it’s a laughing matter. It is far from this in fact.

In the news we have also had reported to us the drying up of Victoria Falls. The drying up of Victoria Falls.For such a huge thunderous waterfall to dry to a trickle is devastating for our planets ecology. Global warming is upon us as also espoused by Greta Thunberg. She is young and full of fire but she cares deeply for the environment.It is her dedication to her cause that may bring about change.

I’m also disgusted about the amount of countries that I travel to (Greece, Mexico, Tenerife, Morocco etc) where the sewage system means you can’t put the toilet paper down the toilet! These are not third world countries that receive massive amounts of aid to help them raise out of the direst poverty. These are countries that earn millions in tourism yet can’t provide toilets with big enough pipes to prevent their airport toilets from blocking!

It’s the 21st century and almost 2020 yet we still live in a world where we have to deal with unhygienic conditions such as the ones mentioned above. I wish I didn’t have to write this article for I grew up in a country (UK) where I didn’t need a bin beside my toilet for my used toilet paper. However if I had grown up in Greece, Mexico, Tenerife and no doubt Morocco too then this would be the norm. They just deal with it but I think it’s time for someone to make a stand to correct this injustice.

If we can’t change our planet through money and influence aka Bill Gates, if we can’t change our world through humour aka the Book of Mormon and if we can’t change our planet through activism aka Greta Thunberg then what is going to motivate us to change our habits?

Ubiquitous words

Uber is one of those words that is now universally known as the car firm that you can call up anywhere, anytime and you will get a cab to take you any place you like. It has had a couple of changes though from its German meaning. When it first came to my attention in English it was being used to be mean ultra or exceptional as it was a foreign word to most who didn’t know what it meant so it was special and therefore it could mean anything in advertising terms. In German I learnt that it was just a lowly common garden variety word meaning above as in uber teche being a simple phrase saying above the table.

Kinder Bueno is an unusual word as it combines German and Spanish. Kinder is German for children and Bueno Spanish for good yet it enabled me to make a funny joke about my husband being a good child that’s why he got a kinder bueno ice cream without him getting the joke whatsoever. Another marketing joke that most I don’t expect realise as to them it’s just a chocolate bar.

Mojo is another phrase popularised through its use in the Austin Powers Austin’s mojo movies of the 1990’s. This one may have jumped onto the Spanish bandwagon as that language was popular in songs later on in the decade especially. Mojo as defined by Austin was his sexual energy had been stolen so he could no longer woo women. In reality mojo is just the word for sauce although most of us would recognise salsa for sauce instead.

Adelante is another 90’s word that got its spot in the sunlight through the hugely popular Sash Sash – adelante song of the same name. It was rave culture and dancing under the influence of drugs means you are unlikely to care what the song is about since the beat and rhythm is more important. Club music is often stripped back to the bones and this song invites you to come on in. However if you don’t know Spanish you might never twig that adelante means precisely that.

Have you got any examples of your own to share with me? If so drop me a line in the comments section.

Best wishes

Angela