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Saturday, November 18, 2000

Faux Pas; When I was Jung

I've often tried to speak foreign proper names (e.g., people's names, city names) in their native accents when I'm speaking (English) to people of the corresponding native tongue. For instance, speaking to someone from Germany I might talk of having visited "Koln" [o-umlaut] as opposed to "Cologne", which is the sort of example that inspired the practice because the name as we say it bears little resemblance to the name as a native German speaker would know it.

But recently I realized this is actually quite silly -- try, for instance, saying "I'm visiting Seattle next week" in your favorite foreign accent. Now do it again but say the "Seattle" in an impeccable American accent. Aside from it being rather difficult, if you can pull it off it sounds absurd! And really hard to understand, because the listener is already filtering for the accent. It's a context break like cut-and-paste lettering, a spoken ransom note.

Henceforth, I'll say "Koln" when I'm speaking German to a German (or trying, anyway), and "Cologne" when I'm speaking English to a German.

Tara sent me a link to Personality Types for Kids which has a distilled depiction of me as a child that's once again strikingly accurate. Actually, it's all still quite accurate, so maybe I haven't grown up yet. :)

The site also has yet another decent INTP profile with related career and relationship sublinks at the bottom.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com