Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Ewe Whey" or Yes in Quebec

Learning a language is often a difficult task, but understanding English is near impossible. I started to understand the difference in three separate events. Once in Florence I tried my Staten Island Italian with a vendor. They stopped me and asked where I learned Italian. I told them on State Island. They told me I was speaking almost perfect Sicilian, a dialect not well accepted in Florence. Then there is French. I speak French, but would never be accepted in Paris, Normandy and Savoy is fine, but never Paris. I once had an investor from Quebec and had the good fortune to listen to his speak with those in Paris. Then it became clear. My next visit to Quebec I started to more clearly hear the differences.

Then of course there is England. Now once I met a colleague in a hotel near Buckingham palace, down from Victoria Station. Well it was Faulty Towers redux. Not only incomprehensible but the staff was just bumping into one another.

Now where does this take us, well to the MOOCs. I have been trying out a few and one was taught by a woman from Edinburgh. She was somewhat understandable except for the vitamin work where it was not v-eye-tah-mihn but vit-teh-men. Try that on for size. Now I am trying one with a woman from Melbourne. Now I really do not understand Australian. I have a better grasp of Thai. This woman speaks so quickly, uses a strong Aussie accent, and has zero ability to "teach". She clearly understands her material, and she is trying, but this is why MOOCS will never make it, no feedback. No one to ask. "What the hell did you just say!" That's New York for we really do not get your accent. Now being in New York it is not that we do not have accents, why I can take a cab ride and yet still communicate. Thank God we do not have any Ausssie cab drivers, no one would ever get to where they want.