Lena Meyer-Landrut: Satellite

Good job. I like. So did the Eurovision jury. Congratulations, Lena!

I went everywhere for you
I even did my hair for you
I bought new underwear, they’re blue
And I wore ‘em just the other day

Love you, know I’ll fight for you
I left on the porch light for you
Whether you are sweet or cruel
I’m gonna love you either way

Love, oh, love, I gotta tell you how I feel about you
‘Cause I, oh, I can’t go a minute without your love
Like a satellite, I’m in orbit all the way around you
And I would fall out into the night
Can’t go a minute without your love

Love, I got it bad for you
I saved the best I have for you
You sometimes make me sad and blue
Wouldn’t have it any other way

Love, my aim is straight and true
Cupid’s arrow is just for you
I even painted my toe nails for you
I did it just the other day

Love, oh, love, I gotta tell you how I feel about you
‘Cause I, oh, I can’t go a minute without your love
Like a satellite I’m in orbit all the way around you
And I would fall out into the night
Can’t go a minute without your love
Oh, love, I gotta tell you how I feel about you
‘Cause I, oh, I can’t go a minute without your love

Where you go, I’ll follow
You set the pace, we’ll take it fast and slow
I’ll follow in your way,
You got me, you got me
A force more powerful than gravity
It’s physics, there’s no escape

Love, my aim is straight and true
Cupid’s arrow is just for you
I even painted my toe nails for you
I did it just the other day

Love, oh, love, I gotta tell you how I feel about you
‘Cause I, oh, I can’t go a minute without your love
Like a satellite I’m in orbit all the way around you
And I would fall out into the night
Can’t go a minute without your
Love, oh, love, I gotta tell you how I feel about you
‘Cause I, oh, I can’t go a minute wïthout your love
Love, love, love, love, love

song of the week :-) englisch lernen mit liedern

Celebrating language blogs

It’s been a rather self-referential month in the “teaching English as a foreign language” blogosphere. I’m extremely honored to be listed by Babla and Lexiofiles among the top 100 language blogs. They put in an enormous and much appreciated amount of work. Frankly, being in that list comes as a huge surprise, considering the players involved and the quality of writing going on at this Bring Your Own Blog Party. The list is impressive. I mean, it includes Word Routes by the luminary Ben Zimmer, executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus, “On Language” columnist for the New York Times Magazine, former editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press, consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary, and blogger at Language Log. Now, that’s a language blog.

Markus, Karenne, Barbara and Shelly did really well, which is splendid, and a huge number of bloggers in Karenne’s BELTfree are in that list, teacher colleagues who have become friends even if we’ve never met… which once again proves the power of social networking.

“Language blogs” are clearly a Good Thing. But what are they, and what are they for? It’s all a bit of an experiment. The kind person who nominated this blog wrote that this was a blog by a teacher who has some good grammar tips. That made me grin. As far as I’m concerned, we’re simply carrying on a conversation here, and that attracts people with similar interests.

Blogging is like hanging out at the bar, or at your local market. A blogger follows her natural inclinations. I happen to like my students, and Germans, so I write that grammar guru bit and pick up on what’s going on in the world mainly for them.

My thoughts migrate towards the everyday grammar issues I stumble across in the course of my work, and how to deal with them so my students will get it. But as I ramble on, I find more teachers and fellow ramblers and bloggers leaving comments. This guides the direction I’m heading. When connected teachers start doing show and tell about their work, I join in.

I’m a method blogger, I depart from the script. That does make it difficult to say where we’re going.

Thank you for walking with me.

Kleiner, uralter Gott – Ancient little god

In a week we’ll be burying my mother’s ashes on Drummond. We’ve decided to read some of her poems, with a translation into English. She published a volume of them in the Wilhelm Andermann Verlag in Vienna in 1944 when she was 21; a miracle, since paper was so rare towards the end of the war. Her friend Stefan Hlawa provided the cover illustration.

A note on translation: With this particular poem I found you really do have to change the sequence of adjectives in English. I also found it interesting to consider the different meanings of “little” and “klein” (descriptive, diminutive, romantic/endearing…) In German, for example, Little Red Riding Hood is simply Rotkäpchen. I briefly considered writing “Tiny ancient god“. Or “Little, ancient god“, after all? Still thinking it over.

My brother Chris first introduced me to the poem when he gave me these, from a cycle he drew in the ’70s, pastels and wash on paper:

Christoph Hodgson: Kleiner uralter Gott Zyklus

Kleiner, uralter Gott meines Herzens
Getrud Berninger

Kleiner, uralter Gott meines Herzens,
der lächelt,
wenn schon die steigenden Tränen
den Schmerz bespülen.

Zärtlicher kleiner Gott ohne Namen,
ohne Gesicht,
tausendjähriger, süßer Samen
des Frühlings,

in mich vergraben, untergetaucht,
schweigend und gut,
wenn schon die Trauer der Reife
jäh überströmt.

Guter, kleiner, geliebter Gott,
Eigentum,
einsam und dunkel wie meine Träume,
die dich verschweigen,

kleiner, uralter Gott meines Herzens.


Ancient little god of my heart

Ancient little god of my heart,
smiling
even as tears rise
to wash over my pain

Tender little god, without a name
without a face,
sweet millennial seed
of spring,

hidden deep down inside me,
silent and good,
even as suddenly the sorrow of maturity
overflows.

Good little beloved god,
my own,
solitary and dark as my dreams
that conceal you,

ancient little god of my heart.

Riddles upside down

A man went on a trip on Friday, stayed for 2 days and returned on Friday. How is that possible?
Answer: ¡ǝsɹoɥ ɐ sı ʎɐpıɹɟ

What has 4 wheels and flies?
Answer: ¡ʞɔnɹʇ ǝƃɐqɹɐƃ ɐ

What did the fish say when he hit the side of his glass bowl at 50 miles per hour?
Answer: “˙uɯɐp”

Think fast: There’s an electric train traveling south. The wind is from the north-west. In which direction would the smoke from the train be blowing?
Answer: ¡ǝʞoɯs ou sɐɥ uıɐɹʇ ɔıɹʇɔǝlǝ uɐ

Well, did you have fun hanging from the ceiling? A nice tool to fool with, that http://www.revfad.com/flip.html, ˙ʇuoɟ ʎɯ ɥʇıʍ ʞɹoʍ ʇ’usǝop ʇı ɥƃnoɥʇ

Animoto: Men with beards

Just testing some edutech tools this morning, this is my first attempt with Animoto, which lets you make free 30 second animated slideshows. I’m picking up on a topic I wrote about two years ago. – Do you recognize all of the bearded men in the pictures?

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

BTW: A group of us is going to see a great bearded man reading at Amerika Haus here in Munich on Sunday: Harry Rowohlt, quite possibly the greatest translator from English to German. He’s responsible for Winnie the Pooh, Shel Silverstein, Ernest Hemmingway,… and he’s been touring, reading the letters of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels with Gregor Gysi. On Sunday he’ll be reading from his translations.

Harry_Rowohlt_2009

Dorothy Parker: Superfluous Advice

Ian James presented a lovely recording tool, Vocaroo, on his blog, and I’ll be using it in online courses. But here on this blog, dear reader, it’s an easy way to record yourself and to practice your pronunciation. Listen to my recording to help with the more difficult words. Then record yourself (you might have to press “record” twice to make it work on the second go!)

Superfluous Advicedorothy-parker

By Dorothy Parker

Should they whisper false of you,
Never trouble to deny;
Should the words they say be true,
Weep and storm and swear they lie.

Powered by Vocaroo

Take a walk on the wild side

Chris sent me a very nice, loungy, beatbox take on the Lou Reed classic by Toktoktok that had me umpty umptying around the kitchen. Thank you! My curiosity raised, I started surfing to see who else has covered this. My favorite is by the unbelievably good The Strokes. Did they ever record this, does anyone know?

  • hustle = quick and dirty business (treiben, schieben, sich prostitutieren)
  • crash (out) (inf.) = go to bed (poofen gehen, abknacken)
  • bash (coll.) = party (Fete)

Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the USA
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says, Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side
Hey honey
Take a walk on the wild side

Candy came from out on the Island
In the backroom she was everybody’s darlin’
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head
She says, Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side
I said, Hey baby
Take a walk on the wild side
And the coloured girls go
Doo do doo do doo do do doo..

Little Joe never once gave it away
Everybody had to pay and pay
A hustle here and a hustle there
New York City’s the place where they say,
Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side
I said, Hey Joe
Take a walk on the wild side

Sugar Plum Fairy came and hit the streets
Lookin’ for soul food and a place to eat
Went to the Apollo
You should’ve seen em go go go
They said, Hey sugar,  take a walk on the wild side
I said, Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side
All right, huh

Jackie is just speeding away
Thought she was James Dean for a day
Then I guess she had to crash
Valium would have helped that bash
Said, Hey babe,
Take a walk on the wild side
I said, Hey honey,
Take a walk on the wild side
And the coloured girls say,
Doo do doo do doo do do doo

song of the week :-) englisch lernen mit liedern