Thursday, August 2, 2012

Define Culture

It all started with an insane downhill bike race in Valparaiso, Chile.

This is how our professor introduced our class, Chilean Communication and Culture. He said that this video is a metaphor for us studying abroad and being figurativly pushed down the hills here into the whirlwind that is Valparaiso. I think the most symbolic part is almost hitting the dog. That is a literal translation. The dogs are everywhere. I have 7 that live on my street. They are so mellow and friendly. But anyway, this video is just insane. And also proof as to why Chileans are not obese.

My professor, Carlos, reminds me of Robin Williams in Dead Poet´s Society and Jack Black from School of Rock all twisted up into one. Some key phrases from our first class (translated obviously) consist of...
"let us take a moment and thank Allah for youtube"
"for our final, we will be writing a paper with pictures. a mural of sorts"
"to get your packet of photocopies, it will cost you about 2 beers"
"I will teach this class with the ideas of the hippies"
I like all kinds of music except that stuff you call... doom metal?
sometimes I feel like I am swimming in the avacado here

We also listened to Chile´s most famous band, Los Tres (too bad there are 4 members...?) And Carlos sang along to this song.

We also listened to a modern philosopher, Slavoj Zizek discuss the Marxist controversy of, ¨Why be happy when you could be interesting¨  needless to say, it was interesting. I suggest you watch him talk about it on youtube (I am not going to post it because I think it is a bad idea to start pushing Marxist forums at you) but if you so choose to look it up, just know that he is heavily addicted to cocaine. I find the strange urge to put a sicker of Che Guevara on my tea mug, oh wait... Carlos beat me to it.

Then we spent most of the class talking about our interests and bonding over reading and music and such. Our homework was to observe and record Chileanisms. We are going to discuss the Chilean language in our next class but some of the term we talked about are...
  1. Chileans don´t speak Spanish. The Chilean lanugage is the most difficult to learn (says someone important in the Spanish language world) because it is so full of coloquial slang (smart man says more than Mexico)
  2. The reason for that is Chile´s geography seperates the culture and language from being exposed to other South American countires. (After the building of the Panama Canal, Valaparaiso stopped being such a major sea port and immigration declined)
  3. Chileans use voseo (a form of the Vosotros (singular) = tú (you) This is combined into the phrase Tú vosos mi amiga. or Tú vos sois mi amiga. Translating to the standard Spanish of (Tú eres mi amiga) You are my friend.
  4. Aspiraciónes de sonidos happen in 2 major parts of Chilean speak. 1. dropping the final s of a word, los dos becomes lo do and 2. d intervocales cansado becomes cansao, pecado becomes pecao
  5. The diminuitive. Everything is little this or little that. Sometimes is represents the size of something, gato v gatito (cat v kitten) but most of the time it is to show affection such as Raquelita la gringita bonitita rather than Raquel la gringa bonita. (sorry for calling myself beautiful)
  6. The suffix poh is added to everything for no apparent reason. sípoh, nuncapoh, yapoh
I will stop you here so I do not overwhelm you with language knowledge. To wrap it up (because I have to go to salsa class... listen to me, have to go...) I am enjoying this Culture and Communications class and feel as if it will be my saving grace from other classes such as, oh, I don´t know, Advanced Grammar.


1 comment:

  1. Raquelita la gringita need to apologize for being beautiful!

    YOU ARE!

    Madrelita Bonitita aka, Madre Bonita :)