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Wow, Michael -- yours is a fascinating background. I have a long history of flirting with live or presumed dormant volcanos . . . in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Indonesia. 

 

Betty, good luck with all those angry twisters. Are we humans in danger? Let me count the ways.

 

Edo

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18 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Wow, Michael -- yours is a fascinating background. I have a long history of flirting with live or presumed dormant volcanos . . . in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Indonesia. 

 

Betty, good luck with all those angry twisters. Are we humans in danger? Let me count the ways.

 

Edo

 

I hope it was just the volcanoes you were flirting with Edo 😀

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2 hours ago, MDM said:

 

That is definitely the case in Spain. I think most Spanish people learn English in school but they don't use English officially although many people do have some English. It would be a massive and extremely expensive task to make the country officially bilingual. Spain is still predominantly a Spanish country away from the holiday resorts. It is no different in most other European countries - the native language is the official language and they are not officially bilingual (native language - English). 

 

There is the other side to the coin.

If or when taught a foreign language in school or other institution and the student/s become proficient with it unless it is used often and only their native language is used the foreign language tends to be forgotten over a period of years. Certainly, due to lack of use, the finer points of the German language elude me these days so much so I prefer to speak in my native tongue all the time even to the german speaking peoples.

 

Allan

 

Oh! and thanks for not lambasting me Mick.

 

ITMA

 

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2 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

There is the other side to the coin.

If or when taught a foreign language in school or other institution and the student/s become proficient with it unless it is used often and only their native language is used the foreign language tends to be forgotten over a period of years. Certainly, due to lack of use, the finer points of the German language elude me these days so much so I prefer to speak in my native tongue all the time even to the german speaking peoples.

 

Allan

 

Oh! and thanks for not lambasting me Mick.

 

ITMA

 

True. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

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1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

True. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

Not entirely true, my wife studied French to age 18 (would have done French degree if she had not gone into nursing). She did not use it from18 until her 40s when we first started going to France. A week into trips (1-3 weeks every other year) she was holding conversations in shops and with people we met. Now (in our 60s) we spend much more time in France and she drops straight into it when we arrive.

 

A friend had almost identical experience.

 

So it does appear it can come back with exposure and practice.

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Posted (edited)

I still speak Italian as much as I did, more or less, back in the '60s. I have a friend who lives in Maine who speaks rapid-fire Italian, French, German, and Swiss German. My Spanish is about on a par with my Irish. . .  I can order a beer. 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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7 hours ago, MDM said:

 

 

 

 

I am Irish and I moved to England to do my doctorate degree (PhD) in geology, funded by the EU to work with one of the world's top volcanologists, something I could not have done in Ireland. I met my English wife while studying and life circumstances led us to set up our permanent home in England which is basically why I am still living there. I did my PhD research on a volcano in the Andes and subsequently worked for the British Government monitoring Montserrat Volcano in the Caribbean. 

 

If I was to classify myself, I would say I am a humanist internationalist with no religion. I believe in fairness and propagation of truth. I think of nationalism and blind patriotism as problematic rather than something to be celebrated so my beliefs are not founded in nationalism. If I make comments about Ireland, they are generally intended to enlighten and to correct misconceptions.

 

I find that a lot of British people, including my friend Allan, have little or no knowledge of Irish history. This is no doubt due partly to the fact that Irish history is not taught in British schools. My son finished school a few years ago and learned absolutely nothing about Ireland or indeed anything much else about British colonialism. Inaccurate or biased reporting of Irish issues in certain parts of the British media also compounds the lack of understanding of Irish issues among the British public in general. Therefore I often feel it as a duty to correct and enlighten in a forthright, truthful and objective manner. No malice intended towards anyone.

 

And we are now seriously considering moving back to Ireland but that is not going to happen overnight.

 

The situation is similar on this side of the pond. Americans apparently learn little or no Canadian history and geography in school, despite the fact that the two countries are basically joined at the hip. Watch Jeopardy on TV sometime, and you'll see otherwise knowledgeable contestants immediately draw a blank on questions dealing with Canada. Things are a bit better on the Canadian side. Students here do learn some US history, plus Canadians are generally very curious about their powerful and complex neighbour to the south. I guess you could say that it's a matter of survival for us -- when the US sneezes, Canada gets a cold, as the saying goes. My parents were married on Montserrat (I was born on Antigua). Montserrat looks like a beautiful island.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

 

The situation is similar on this side of the pond. Americans apparently learn little or no Canadian history and geography in school, despite the fact that the two countries are basically joined at the hip. Watch Jeopardy on TV sometime, and you'll see otherwise knowledgeable contestants immediately draw a blank on questions dealing with Canada. Things are a bit better on the Canadian side. Students here do learn some US history, plus Canadians are generally very curious about their powerful and complex neighbour to the south. I guess you could say that it's a matter of survival for us -- when the US sneezes, Canada gets a cold, as the saying goes. My parents were married on Montserrat (I was born on Antigua). Montserrat looks like a beautiful island.

 

Amazing your parents marrying on Montserrat - must have been very unusual, presumably in the 40s or early 50s. I only spent a few weeks on Montserrat as most of my work was doing geochemical analysis in a lab on rock samples that were being sent back to Britain. It was hazy the whole time I was there as well and I got very few decent pics. I would love to go back sometime. It is by far the friendliest place I have ever been and that was at a time when the whole society was being decimated by the eruption. They built the capital city right under the volcano without realising that is was actually only dormant and it was wiped out in no time once the eruption got going.

 

Canada seems like a great country to live in these days. I have never visited yet but Vancouver looks like an amazing city. I love the accents.

 

 

Edited by MDM

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35 minutes ago, MDM said:

Canada seems like a great country to live in these days.

You bet. I moved to Quebec in 2002 and would not consider going back  to live in the UK. 

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

 

Amazing your parents marrying on Montserrat - must have been very unusual, presumably in the 40s or early 50s. I only spent a few weeks on Montserrat as most of my work was doing geochemical analysis in a lab on rock samples that were being sent back to Britain. It was hazy the whole time I was there as well and I got very few decent pics. I would love to go back sometime. It is by far the friendliest place I have ever been and that was at a time when the whole society was being decimated by the eruption. They built the capital city right under the volcano without realising that is was actually only dormant and it was wiped out in no time once the eruption got going.

 

Canada seems like a great country to live in these days. I have never visited yet but Vancouver looks like an amazing city. I love the accents.

 

 

 

 

Yes, the 40's. Long story. My British parents both ended up working in the West Indies, where they met, after WWII. Vancouver is a great place to live, but it's increasingly more expensive like many other places on the planet. Lots of young people from Ireland here on work and student visas. Funny, when you live in a place, you don't notice the accent(s). I'd say the maritime provinces have the most distinctive accents given their Irish and Scottish roots.

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Posted (edited)

I must have a drawl or something. Not a Texas drawl. We speak a lot slower than people on either coasts, and I’ve been known to have trouble with New York City peoples’ rapid-fire speech. My brain doesn’t catch up to that cadence, lol. I worked with a woman from NYC once and I think each of us understood two words out of ten the other spoke. She couldn’t understand the natural friendliness and openness of the Oklahoma people, either. When we meet someone we like, within an hour they know our entire family history.

When we took a car trip to the east coast, somewhere along the way we started getting, “Where are you from?” in restaurants, the minute we opened our mouths to order. 😁

Although recently in Tennessee, considered “the south”, a woman I chatted with at the market referred to me and her as “we Southern women.” So I must’ve fit in okay speech-wise. We were discussing making banana pudding. God bless southern women. 😉

Edited by Betty LaRue

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16 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

There is the other side to the coin.

If or when taught a foreign language in school or other institution and the student/s become proficient with it unless it is used often and only their native language is used the foreign language tends to be forgotten over a period of years. Certainly, due to lack of use, the finer points of the German language elude me these days so much so I prefer to speak in my native tongue all the time even to the german speaking peoples.

 

Allan

 

Oh! and thanks for not lambasting me Mick.

 

ITMA

 

 

I was assured that Mexico City people would speak English.  Other than two computer guys in two different iStore, they didn't.  I've found that the fastest way to find someone who speaks English is generally in computer shops. 

 

Near native fluency generally takes six to ten years with rather intensive working on it.  The only credible account of someone learning Spanish in a year I've read was someone who'd heard Spanish spoken as a boy in Arizona.   Often when people tell me they speak good Spanish, when I hear them talking, not so much. 

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12 hours ago, MizBrown said:

 

I was assured that Mexico City people would speak English.  Other than two computer guys in two different iStore, they didn't.  I've found that the fastest way to find someone who speaks English is generally in computer shops. 

 

Near native fluency generally takes six to ten years with rather intensive working on it.  The only credible account of someone learning Spanish in a year I've read was someone who'd heard Spanish spoken as a boy in Arizona.   Often when people tell me they speak good Spanish, when I hear them talking, not so much. 

 

Also, I think it's fair to say that, in general, we native English-speakers aren't very adept at picking up other languages for a variety of reasons. I grew up mainly in Quebec and my French is only comme ci, comme ça. In addition, I've been studying Spanish off and on since the 80's and have travelled extensively in Latin America, yet my Spanish is only passable. I do, however, make a point of speaking in Spanish only when in Latin American countries. That's the best way to improve, I've found.

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I'm booked on a non-stop Ryanair flight from Seville to Dublin. 

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Good luck, Ed. At least it won't be raining and cold for a while, probably.

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Good luck and happy travels, Edo, from my temporary digs in FIDI. 

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41 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Good luck, Ed. At least it won't be raining and cold for a while, probably.

Erm might need a brolly today its wet again. 😐

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55 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Good luck, Ed. At least it won't be raining and cold for a while, probably.

 

Not raining and not cold? Mark, I didn't know you were such a romantic dreamer. 🌧️

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Very smart. Sevilla in winter and Ireland in summer. Follow the weather.

 

Paulette

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5 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

I'm booked on a non-stop Ryanair flight from Seville to Dublin. 

 

And trains every two hours to Sligo.  I think you'll be more comfortable in Ireland.  

 

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10 hours ago, NYCat said:

Very smart. Sevilla in winter and Ireland in summer. Follow the weather.

 

Paulette

 

Not so smart, Paulette. I feel as though I'm running in front of a lava flow. 

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Posted (edited)

Two good things then Edo. Firstly, has been no volcanic activity in Ireland for over 60 million years (the main reason I left actually) and secondly, lava flows usually move very slowly so you get time to get out of the way 😀.

 

There are some beautiful places around Sligo with Benbulben, Ireland's limestone table mountain, the king of the sights I think. Best of luck with your journey.

 

evening-light-on-the-limestone-mountain-of-benbulben-county-sligo-D7K7Y8.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by MDM
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Thanks, Michael. Thanks, all. I did witness a lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii. Yes, slow . . . but serious stuff. 

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I was in Sligo a few times and I didn't like it - just saying.  Would you not try Cork city?  Oodles of stock possibilities, second largest city in Ireland and good public transport.

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3 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Thanks, Michael. Thanks, all. I did witness a lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii. Yes, slow . . . but serious stuff. 

 

Best of luck in your new venture Edo.

 

Allan

 

 

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