Exposé oral

Today I gave an oral presentation in class. 15 minutes for content with five minutes for questions. It was the longest presentation I’ve ever had to give in French, but I think it went well. I spoke about descriptive linguistics, how to analyze languages, and then gave everyone a chance to try it out with a data set from Swahili. Everyone seemed interested in the content, and I got compliments (in three languages) after class.

It was a good experience, especially since once I was up there, all the nervousness disappeared and I was able to communicate why I was excited about this topic. I love languages, and understanding them in terms of their phonological and grammatical systems makes sense to me. I feel like there is so much to explore within a language; it’s like opening up a good book and becoming absorbed in the story, even with all its twists and turns.

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3 thoughts on “Exposé oral

  1. Congratulations, bravo! Linguistics is a fascinating field of study indeed. The more you learn about a language, the more you understand about the culture of the people using it. It is my experience here in Quebec, where the spoken French is much different than my native French. French used to be a minority language and was heavily influenced by the English grammar, vocabulary and syntax. Keep up the good work.

    • Merci! I love linguistics and believe that it should be made accessible to people because 1) it’s a fascinating subject, and 2) everyone is an expert in at least one language and has an easy starting point. I agree that language and culture are closely linked together. I’m sure you’re finding lots of cultural differences in Quebec. How has the different variety of French shaped the way you speak? Do you still speak entirely like someone from France, or are there some Canadianisms that are slipping into your speech (syntax, vocabulary, etc.) in order to help you function and thrive in your new home?

      • That’s a good question. After 9 years here, I do indeed mix both idioms and use a lot of regional expressions that I like or sometimes feel more appropriate to the conversation. The downside is that I feel I’ve lost some of my vocabulary and I have to correct my kids syntax a lot. To counteract this, I’ve started listening to French radio again: France culture especially, the highbrow language is good for my brain. 😉

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