Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The book written by my twin

"I made lists of languages that I wanted to learn by the time I was fifteen, twenty, twenty-five (the most distant age I could imagine at the time). I dreamt of keeping multilingual diaries so as to confound even the cleverest snoops. I made up my own languages, which I practiced on my cats." (Little, 16)

When I got this book, I turned to the back blurb to find out about the author. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. There went my chances of being published...how can there be another young woman named Elizabeth who wears dark glasses and is a language fanatic?

As far as I can tell, the main task when writing a book like "Biting the Wax Tadpole"* is organization. How to compile all these interesting tidbits about languages of the world? Here, she uses parts of speech. continue/-

Whether or not you've studied linguistics, there is something for everyone in this book. The concept of noun gender alone is mind-boggling to the native English-speaker.

You get a little bit of syntax, some conjugation, and even some examples of how tone and pitch play a role in certain languages. But this isn't a textbook...the range of observations is well-chosen and humorously described.

One caveat: expect a few dirty words, used to illustrate the awkwardness that often results from poor translations.

*=a mistranslation into the Chinese language of "Coca-cola."


  1. Hi elisabeth,

    i come from uk and saw your blogg interesting as i am in southern lappland, sweded that is also very cultural in christianity and not so open in expression-free spirit that we experienced in our bible school in uppsala 2002-4 and also from watching many evengelists from usa on www.godtv
    I am here semi-retired in vilhelmina and work somtimes with a st.petersburg english teacher who is learning swedish, like me although i love english and now thinking of teaching shakespeare to the swedish highschool as their language is emotionless and not so open as english. It would be nice to make a link with you and how can i get a copy of the book you refered about languages.
    Have you visited the Crychurch or Vineyard Church in St.Petersburg. I saw Suzy Wells Yaserai do a concert at the Crychurch last year on youtube but exactly sure that is the exact name of the Church and perhaps crymissioon is, as they work on the stréets and it sounds like you may be interested in this mission work. Let me kmow if you find it. Suzy Wells comes from Morningstar, Charlotte, N.Carolina but is now married and has her own worhsip school that travels thorugh europe. I think www.spritofadventure.org. Suzy is a great worhsip singer.

    semi-retired CELTA english teacher
    charasmatic church background
    loves--building community, pioneering vision with god at centre....
    favourite christian singer amy grant and sissel kyrjkebo from norway

    Building a christian resource centre, with music of course and languges.
    kings cafe
    storgatan 6
    91233 vilhelmina
    +46730494205 mobile
    ´4690455253 tel.home
    innerda@yahoo.co.uk ....where you may post to help me use your blog, which is new to me and would love to know how to set-one-up.
    anthony stephen
    with family
    victoria 52 - lead worship, guitar, lead worship here,with son Rory on keyboard(14 on 23 Jan), mandolin and guitar, with luke only 8 years old and likes football with myself (dad)´manager.

  2. hi elisabeth
    do i look for your reply on my google account, via rss or on here

    anthony stephen

  3. Hello! I have friends here who attend "Street-Cry" church, including my roommate. Do you want me to ask them to contact you?

    I don't know if the book is sold outside of the U.S., but maybe you could order it through the Internet? Or if you have any friends traveling to the States, you could ask them to buy it for you.

  4. HI ELIZABETH...Ref.yr email to my gmail addres, pleasse tell room-mae to contact me at the gmail and remind me on the book, was it about languages as i am studying swedish. I work sometime with a st.petersburg english teacher who is russian and trying to develop cultural links between and st.petersburg and russia, so perhaps your room-mate may help.

    all god things

  5. did you get my request re-flat mate.
    i am trying to find a contact called at vineyard church, st.pete who emailed me on ytube and gave me the email of a american evangelist who help start vineyard st.pete. Wonder if you have any contacts there or your room-mate.
    i look for your answer on your blogg

    many blessings
    anthony st.

  6. Okay, I will ask my roommate to email you. She was away at a conference.


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