Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Discussing Lawrence, ordering a beer, and learning languages

I had a student in Saarbrücken who complained that he went to Sheffield and knew how to discuss Lawrence but not how to order a beer. When I asked him how long it took him to learn how to order a beer, he said, "A few days." When I then asked him if he'd have been able to discuss Lawrence if he'd gone to Sheffield knowing how to order a beer, he admitted that was a good point. I remembered this while I was working on Spanish today: I can slowly read García Márquez and Borges, but I can't discuss them in Spanish yet – and I can't order a drink either! (Andrew Shields, #111words, 30 March 2021)

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