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2002
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June 30th; So Brazil's stylish footballers won the World Cup this time? Perhaps some consolation for them after being covertly dosed with radiation in Paris 4 years ago -- Oops, did I just give something away?
June 29th; Turns out Mystery Guest is not coming to stay on my sofa tonight after all. Quarrel patched up now, he says.
Mr Choi, where are you? I wish we were still in touch. Perhaps if I link to lots of Korean sites in this a n n o y i n g manner, someone will hear my plaintive plea for help with my Korean page. I hope Mr Choi enjoyed film school in California, after his three and a half years' wait in Budapest while the Hungarian film academy postponed for 4 autumns in a row the directing course with Istvan Szabo he had paid them for upfront....
The Fox apologised very sweetly. All is forgiven of course.

June 28th; The weather is still hot and sticky. Bob points me to Harold Wilson 2 dancing with Son of George.
June 27th; Thank you Nina! The book from Amsterdam is here.
What is Mehmet up to in Morocco? Said, laughing, says he's "lost in Africa." I imagine Mehmet out on silver moonlit sands, abandoned to sacred bliss.

June 26th: 11pm; Just yielded to a sudden urge to clean and tidy. God knows where that could lead. Earlier found my tiny screwdrivers, bought a tiny screw from a screw shop, and fixed my sunglasses. Like buying a ballbearing from a ballbearing shop in December. Are you allowed to buy 1 screw in London or Paris?
No more news about that rumoured proof of the Catalan conjecture (that 8 and 9 are the only consecutive powers) from a few weeks back. If it is a proof, sad to say, it's probably the size of an EU directive.
Just found a link on the very stylish I love everything site pointing to an equally smooth and handsome page called Why are you creative? Checking the 2nd site's content, the unkind answer has to be "You're obviously not." Since the people who made this elegant blue-room site list the saintly and erudite (but creative?) Dalai Lama as a 'creative icon', this suggests 'creative' for them must mean something like 'neat' or 'cool' or 'very good'. How would an icon create something, anyway?
June 26th: 2pm; Finished e-mailing new contacts from indigenous peoples and the World Bank I met at the Saturday conference. Gentle Reader will be reassured that your faithful correspondent does not only loll in jacuzzis under starry skies. There is Actual Work.
June 25th; By chance met Bob Kent, research colleague of Illinois buyer-psychology übermensch Brian Wansink, so found out what 'buyer regret' and 'price-anchoring' really mean. I got quite enthusiastic quizzing Bob, rather to the puzzlement of Stella and Kata at Inbound Travel.

June 24th; Went to an actual dance lesson for first time in life. Fun but tricky. This is what the couple of evenings watching salsa [to, er, "get the idea..."] were for. Hmmm. Will I learn this? Will I be able to learn this? I suppose it would help if I actually started a course at the beginning instead of wandering by fifteen lessons in and annoying the Cubans.
June 23rd; So I went to the pool party, in its new home at the Szechenyi Baths, and it was good actually. Lovely hot water outdoors, music still good [the 'jazzier' sound, they said], and Art Nouveau architecture. The promotional girls, this time from sponsor Ballantine's, surprised me on my way out. Of course the usual very pretty girls in swimsuits and strappy high-heeled sandals. But then I realised that each one was wearing a four-inch-diameter glowing blue disc exactly over her pubes. Yes, I was surprised. One met me with an amused glance from under her gorgeous eyelashes for a second as she caught me catching myself looking her between the legs a second time. But there were lads around her playing the important spinning-needle-in-compass-style-drinks-tray promotional game, so I wandered off into the night, bemused. Just five minutes later, on the street, I ran into some extremely merry, singing people of all ages who said they were a church choir from Iceland. I bet they tell that to all the journalists.
And then today to the gallery to look around the photography exhibition. I'm not sure if I would describe Helmut's pictures as a "dense and complex selection", and the lady-with-gun series was dull, but some elegant snaps nonetheless.

June 22nd; Graybo reminds me to archive these language daredevils, and some other links, even if the pronunciation is going to be pretty iffy, as Anja rightly says. I should review that book full of zip and vim about postmodernism. I was a bit puzzled by Ziauddin quoting physicist C V Seshradi claiming the 2nd law of thermodynamics was ethnocentric, as it would describe monsoons as inefficient because they don't involve the extra work of moving energy from a cold system to a warm system. Silly old me would have thought it was the 2nd law which showed precisely that monsoons are efficient. But anyway, the book was crammed with references to other things I would like to read, so still recommended.
June 21st; Not heard from Jake since our dream group fizzled out. I know he hasn't yet made it through the seventh gate or the tenth gate or whatever it was, because I bumped into him doing that business presentation at that restaurant last week. Still feel bad about letting him down by not staying. Curiously, I almost made it through one of those gates. Is it the 'Second Gate' when you go to sleep within your dream? I was dreaming I was on a Hungarian TV chat show that was so boring I was literally falling asleep just when I was supposed to say something.
Then I woke up.
Then I woke up.
If you see what I mean.

June 20th; Excellent day! Paid bills, bought a pencil sharpener, some vitamins, and a pair of shoes. Hooray for TV quiz shows! Managed to buy shoes from the conspiracy-theorist shoeshop-owner without having to hear the usual 40 minutes of Jewish-Masonic-Illuminati World Cabal stuff. He was busy with other customers. I wish he was an Illuminatus, then he'd have to keep it a secret and not tell me. Had a nice drink with Krisztina later and rounded the night off by finishing Miklos's copy of 'Postmodernism and the Other' by Ziauddin Sardar, from Pluto Press. Despite heavy title (another conspiracy theory of course), it's extremely readable. Weaknesses yes, but full of sharp, thought-provoking polemic. Perhaps I can manage a proper review at the weekend....
June 19th; Another warm, sticky day. I somehow nixed the pool game last night with Ryan and Rob, but kind Heather arranged me a ticket to Saturday's pool party .

June 18th; Ooh dear. Jen says I might have "issues". That sounds rather bad, doesn't it? I'd better check that word with Esther and Elysia.
June 17th; Ah yes - American weblogs. (You just be real good and careful now Mr Google, you hear me?) Still no new readers in Denmark. Sigh.

June 16th; Finished chapter 6 of the novel I'm translating for the friendly agency based in Prague. The novel whose name and author I don't know, and the start and finish of which I haven't seen. Makes it more fun actually. While the book I did in 1999 was agreeably mystifying and mystical, this is straightforward mystery - meaning creaking mansion doors, knife-fights in thunderstorms, and misfiring flintlocks. The story so far: Having swum ashore from the ship they crossed the Pacific in, William and Susanna flee inland into South America, only to be recaptured after several days by slave-traders with bloodhounds, and sold to the sinister millionaire Alfredo Garcia. He plans to transport them to his horribly remote ranch on the Argentine pampas, so they have only three days to escape from his coastal estate at Valparaiso. Luckily Heloise, an elderly governess sold into slavery by Arab pirates thirty years before, knows a secret tunnel to the smugglers' cave. She collapses with the strain of the escape, and only just makes it to the rowing boat before they push off under a full moon. Cracking stuff. I'm quite looking forward to chapter 7.
June 15th; I miss salsa with Terri and Henry. Silly me.

June 13th; Dined with Steve, Tim, Ruslan + this designer.
June 11th; Malcolm and Betty invite me for a lovely meal.

June 10th; Wise Nordic lass Anja sweetly deflects my ingrained sexism.
June 9th; Free, open-source browser Mozilla, and another free browser, Opera, open-source in a different way - Opera is appearing in languages like Breton, Welsh, Irish, Scots Gaelic, and other exciting tongues like Sami and Ladino soon, I'm sure. Impressive.

June 8th; Has this leave-a-book-for-a-stranger-to-find movement touched your life yet? If so, please tell me. "Because books have feelings too" - wish I'd thought of that slogan. Are the books mainly in English still?
June 1st; Rainforest tribe's upbeat website, via Wired. Suggest the Ashaninka show us their language?

May 31st; Europe's language-diversity defenders archived.
May 27th; If June, the young Danish goddess I met on the tram to Oktogon the other night after my long day interpreting for these folk, happens to read this, a page in Dansk would still be much appreciated. She could contact me here. I suppose you've heard all the "shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" lines already, haven't you, June? Oh well....

May 6th; Anyone passing through Budapest on the 24th and 25th of May should check this theatre for a play by Jeff about crooked antiques dealers I am apparently acting in as a recorded voice. Ah, fame... And David's fine poetry events are well worth keeping track of.
May 2nd; My sloth continues. Other busier souls, however, continue to bring us gorgeousness: pearls, sundials, anything small and cute, and of course the lovingly-crafted Blair magazine site. Eat your heart out, Tony.

April; For your internal organ quiz, check out Willaston's Lounge, for inventions you want to see, go to this link, and catch up on the Photoshop Tennis here. A few links on the Swedish page in Swedish at last. Thanks Annika!

March; The Greek has arrived too (thanks to John's kind father). I just have to get my act together and mount it and the Chinese.

February; Want to learn how to learn any language?
Suddenly the Chinese page has arrived, with the kind help of Richard. Arabic and Greek pages coming soon, with the generous assistance of Isam and John's dad.

January; Now I find people are reselling copies of the exotic essays I translated from Hungarian.
Should I be depressed or cheered up about this?

December; An article on Shift.com about programmers lending out coding work at interest, a short excerpt from a stage play translated into the Romani or Gypsy language if you're curious, plus a fine crop of weblogs, listed here and my still-to-be-updated music recommendations. Also a third page added about Robin, the abstract painter who lives out on the wild and windy Great Plain.
Perhaps my Croat and American friends are right, and I should buy myself an actual c o m p u t e r, which I can then, as it were, own. Good old Stojko is even threatening to build me one if I don't get a move on. It's got to that stage.

November; my music recommendations as well as an article on Salon.com.

October; links to sites about learning Arabic or Hindi, two big world languages with particularly lovely scripts here, under 'other alphabets' - plus, on the same page, under 'other links', an English painter living in Hungary, plus a colourful site for live events in Budapest, and, under 'songs and music', a new site about multicultural music.

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Mark Griffith, site administrator / contact@otherlanguages.org

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