otherlanguages.org
. . . Main links

Basque / Dutch / English / Hungarian / Japanese / Swedish

link to i-mode page

#

#

non-alphabetic scripts

#

other links

#

endangered languages

#

sign languages

#

maps

#

songs and music

#

dead languages


*1

#

linguistic philosophy

#

artificial languages

#

AI, speech recognition

#

encryption, steganography

#

language history

#

calligraphy

#

cognitive psychology

#

mathematical linguistics

#

animal communication

#

language list

#

non-language links

2011
...............................................................................................................................................................


November 30th; The Salisbury Review issue with - apparently - my cover article in it should be out in the next day or two.

November 29th; More interview coaching for Adriana. Three songs from Little Dragon: Constant Surprises / Empire Ants / Please Turn.
November 28th; Re-record a single sentence for Malev. Kalman & Mark the sound engineer find a cunning mixing-desk wheeze to disguise the changes that have apparently happened to my voice since the original was taped a couple of years ago. Kalman keeps saying how much I've "matured". Thanks mate. Sylvia & I do more planning for the double book-launch party.

November 27th; Breakfast at Kalman's. He puts lots of spices into the frying pan, and these burn up into pale grey smoke that fills his kitchen, brings tears to our eyes and makes us both cough uncontrollably. Effectively our omlettes pepper-spray us, getting their revenge in first since we clearly plan to eat them soon. Once the crying & choking is over, though, they are delicious. More work during day grappling with a paper for a cancer journal. Impromptu evening soup party at Marguerite's with two friends whose identities shall remain undisclosed. Quick tune from un Freunch rockeur du mix, the wonderfully named Fred Bigot: Dans Les Bois.
November 26th; Another truly remarkable law being prepared in the US. What are we going to do with these people?

November 25th; Mulled wine with kind Marion. Tasty dinner at Sylvia's. Hear stories about Ronnie Barker and two porcelain traders she used to know.
November 24th; Do mock Oxford interview with soignee young Adriana from Spain. She tells me that all Hungarian boys sound gay to her, but that Italian boys are gay. An important distinction, probably. She also proudly mentions having rescued a 16-year-old would-be monk friend from a lifetime of Catholic devotion by seizing on a chance remark of his that some girl he knew seemed "interesting". Thereafter she repeatedly urged him "Go out with her! Go out with her!" until finally he did.

November 23rd; Surprise dinner at Ernesto's. Meet jovial Basshar at the dinner, until he rushes off, suddenly summoned by phone to stop a political quarrel between two fellow Syrians.
November 22nd; Over at Marguerite's for the night so that fluffy dog Emma has company while her owner visits Madrid. Emma behaves well and is cheerful, bustling round Marguerite's flat busily chewing on squeaky toys and so forth.

November 21st; Seems that members of South Korea's parliament sometimes mace each other during debates. At least they care.
November 20th; Over to Marguerite for a tasty omlette, to say hello to her dog Emma, to use her Wifi, and to help her carry what I suggest is an aesthetically-challenged coffee table back from the absurd furniture warehouse Kika. This is a local chain of shops blatantly titled to sound almost like Ikea. She says she is not bothered if I think the table is ugly, pointing out she'll almost never see it because it will be covered in books and papers most of the time, and it's cheap anyway. On unpacking it, as I predicted, there is a problem: no pre-drilled holes, so she must buy a special drill bit for going into wood before she can assemble it. Flat-pack furniture that gives the customer a creative role.

November 19th; Bump into Henry in the Corvin shopping centre. Franc joins us. The three of us discuss teaching & internet marketing.
November 18th; Button Trader Sylvia sweetly invites me out for dinner at boutique hotel Brody House, where we watch a dapper Frenchman do some very clever conjuring tricks beside each of the four dinner tables, and Sylvia & I swap ideas about selling. William seems to like the joint book-launch idea. We have one last beer in the repulsively smoky cellar bar Vitula.

November 17th; Spend whole day working with Robby only to number the shots on the film. Seems that no-one has done this yet, and without this it is very slow to produce a first draft. Since the deadline is tomorrow, it is obvious we cannot finish in time. I feel ill.
November 16th; Get told I have been disobeying clear instructions with Czech film.

November 15th; Payment comes tomorrow for Panama job.
November 14th; Monday. No money or food, so Robby, the Dutch video editor, kindly shares his lunch with me. Then generous Ernesto invites me over for supper, where I encourage Viki to also interpret some Tarot spreads.

November 13th; Sunday. Homing in on internet-access freedom.
November 12th; Saturday. This competition might be fun.

November 11th; Some people get excited today by it being the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of this century. Some even celebrate the moment today when it is 11 minutes past 11am.
November 10th; Productive day working with Robby, Kalman's new Dutch video editor, rebuilding the Cesky Krumlov / Holasovice architecture film. Andi tells me I should also mention Agi, yesterday resplendent in turquoise stockings, in my weblog if I'm going to write about her addressing me in Spanish. Brief beer with Mr Saracco after dark. He is in good spirits and buys a copy of the book. Aniko seems to have finally recovered from her heavy cold, and sends me another of the images we have to get done for the fusion power book.

November 9th; Wake on my sofa out of a dream in which slow-moving swarms of flying bee-wasp-type things burst out of the walls of a sandy tunnel a few inches under the ground and mass onto a kitten or hamster. They eat it alive in slowmo. Not very nice really. Exhausting day at Kalman's office. New video editor from Holland interviews. Learn by text message that my money stash for landlady tonight is not enough, and must borrow another twenty quid to meet a water bill for several months that just came in, back to you in the studio Trevor. Kalman & I talk about money worries. In the late afternoon, he takes me back to his flat and generously shares his meal with me, some rather tasty macaroni carbonara. In all the excitement, I rudely forget to go round to Gordon's at 1pm to sell him a copy of the book for cash. Seems I seriously offend him. On top of what would have been a very useful tenner it turns out he'd have given me some lunch too. Could have done with that.
November 8th; Robin treats me to breakfast. Ernesto is helping him design his catalogue. All my students have cancelled this week (Poor Attila sends me text messages making it sound as if he has tonsilitis). So suddenly have no cash. Work through day & evening to finish newer Panama travel-agency translation.

November 7th; Business breakfast at Vesna's firm. They provide rather nice croissants. The firm, Sova, design and/or make hand-tufted carpets. Valentin, the founder of the company, unexpectedly buys a copy of the book as Vesna - who works with Ernesto on interior-design projects - shows me photos of some lush & intriguing rugs dreamt up by carpet designers they work with, such as Kata Brinkus, Csilla Safrany, Erika Fuzessery. Work afternoon at Kalman's and then Robin drops by my flat in the evening.
November 6th; Esther takes me to meet Catherine briefly back from teaching English in Saudi Arabia. We veto the new ice bar with furniture carved out of blocks of ice as too expensive (an obvious winning business concept in Hungary - the only culture I've ever known where women hate the cold so much they whine incessantly to everyone about catching a chill up their fannies). Instead Catherine kindly treats us at a shisha bar where we all puff apple-flavoured smoke through hookahs like Alice's caterpillar, but less expertly. To top this, Catherine also buys a copy of the book, sweetly saying she needs to learn about the economic crisis. Life on the teachers' "compound" in Arabia sounds a little claustrophobic, rather like living on some kind of moon base, but Catherine is as cheerful as ever about it. Her Brazilian friend & fellow teacher/linguist Andy tells me that Portuguese irregular verbs are not the nightmare I'd been warned against. Last thing we repair to the dark deserted concert-bar room of the Cotton Club. Last there with Ines, I think. A sea of small round tables and lots of red velvet seems to create the right ambience for some successful Tarot readings for the three of them.

November 5th; Go with Marguerite and her fluffy white dog Emma to Tim's Guy Fawkes bonfire party out in nearby village of Paty. Very appropriately, Tim burns a large effigy of the euro currency symbol atop a sort of wooden castle, narrowly avoiding setting fire to a neighbour's house. A close brush with what would have been an all-too-vivid metaphor for how the euro spreads its woes to neighbouring economies. Wonderful cooking from Tim's wife Erika. No major fireworks and small dog Emma enjoys the food & company hugely. Straight back into town for delicious dinner with Zoe and her two friends. We hear how someone in Sydney attending a Coptic Christian festival had their suit stained with blood spattered onto him by an overenthusiastic self-flagellator. Zoe suggests Adam Curtis is a silver-tongued closet state-socialist and relates how she once attended a talk he gave in London where he showed a three-minute snatch of Kim Philby's funeral: slightly odd choice of material perhaps. She relates crossing communist China as a schoolgirl during Mao's Cultural Revolution to visit her father then posted in Mongolia - worrying moment when put by Maoist Chinese handlers into a separate taxi from the Queen's Messengers she was supposed to stay close to at all times.
November 4th; Surprise dinner at Ernesto & Eva's flat. Once again, as a later course Ernesto knocks up a superb midnight pizza. Interesting anecdotes.

November 3rd; Decide to replace my half-rotten leather watch strap with something I make myself, money being not so plentiful right now.
November 2nd; Meet Attila & Bubu in the Arkad shopping arcade. Finally meet Treehugger Dan at Sylvia's button-book launch party but leave early, feeling rather feeble. Feeble not something a hipster would feel, of course.

November 1st; Arrange my books on the floor in low piles of 2 or 3 into an almost closed rectangle. Makes Balint laugh anyway. Decide not to visit cemetery.


Mark Griffith, site administrator / markgriffith at yahoo.com