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  • prequel

    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008  
    The taxi driver recently asked me about learning English.
    But he doesn’t want to go to classes like normal people but wants a computer program that’s translated from Arabic to English to teach him English.
    Even that must be too strenuous – surely there must be a pill that you can take to learn English!
    I imagine that such programs exist but I can’t imagine how useful they would be.
    Maybe for a genius but I find it very presumptuous that a taxi driver can assume that he can learn English (or any language for that matter) from a CD!
    The arrogance of ignorance is outstanding.
    Anyway it’s not like he wants to learn English for noble purposes but so that he can rip-off people in another language.

    And I don’t buy this Continental European propaganda that English is an easy language to learn.
    English is the language of Shakespeare, the language of the Bible (well my Bible’s in English) and was the language of the empire that the sun never set on.
    I can’t believe that there are some bourgeois Lebanese who still spout that highly offensive old chestnut about French being the language of culture and English being the language of business.
    Anyway, it’s not the language but what you do with it and it’s parochial to think that one’s language (whatever it is) is superior or special.
    Some retard once told me that she was ‘’in love with Arabic’’.
    How can you be in love with a language?
    It’s like being in love with a computer program.
    A language is just an enabler, a medium, a means to an end.

    5:20 pm

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