By ◆ Juppie on Thursday, November 19, 2009 @ 5:09 PM


Does it make sense to you? It didn't to me at first. I was doing my French homework today, and it said, "Moi, j'adore le saucisson. Avec du pain et du beurre, miam, miam!!" (It really did have two exclamation points. Talk about excited over food. Though of course, cuisine is one of the finer points of life, as I was watching the Food Network recently, The Next Iron Chef and stuff like that)

English translation: Me, I adore sausage. With bread and butter, yum, yum!

I tried it out in Google Translate just to be sure, and "miam, miam" means "yum, yum". Very interesting. Next time I go to France I'll see what kinds of things my cousins say when they're eating. (Funny, but the word for cousin - the female cousin, mind you, not the male - is pronounced like cuisine)

Oh, but I have been meaning to talk about Google Translate, and Wikipedia. I often use Google Translate if I can't figure out what a word is in French (luckily, they are often similar to English words, so you can guess at some of what you don't know). The teacher said not to use translators, because she says it's a machine and can't always figure out what you're trying to say. For instance, a student once tried to say he had turkey in his sandwich but he said the word for Turkey the country instead of the word for turkey the bird.

Still, despite that, it does work pretty well, as long as you compare it to another translator, or online dictionaries, and I've been able to figure out a lot that way. I guess some things work for some people. "One man's trash is another's treasure", shall I say.

Wikipedia is often scorned as well. Teachers don't want students to use it for their reports most of the time because, basically, anyone could edit the pages in Wikipedia. In fact, one time my history teacher had a student who was apparently dumb enough to want to try causing trouble, so the student went and changed a Wikipedia page. The teacher figured out what was going on because he remembered some of the information on the page and could tell that it wasn't what he had seen in the morning. However, I do hear that there are more serious people who are dedicated to Wikipedia who would probably fix something if it was messed up. So, I don't think you need to worry about Wikipedia pages being opinionated, unless it's a delicate topic. (I mean, something like politics.)

But you know, Wikipedia is actually the most accurate encyclopedia in the world. I heard that people have done studies and it is quite accurate and up to date. I can vouch for this. There is a Japanese singer named Ceui and she didn't have a Wikipedia page before, but one day, a few months ago, I was clicking about in Wikipedia, and discovered she did have a page! Wikipedia is updated much more quickly than an old, classic, book encyclopedia, because those get remastered maybe every few years. -_-;;

My language arts teacher displayed a scary, but still funny, side of herself today. We were talking about the eighth grade standards for the writing test we will take on behalf of the district (and maybe the whole state of California too?) later on this year. She said that there is a person who advises the language arts teacher, and so my teacher heard that there was an elementary school teacher who said to her students, "You can just write the way you speak." This is not encouraged, and my teacher said, "If I ever meet that teacher, I will challenge her to a cage match, and I will take her down!" with quite a bit of vigor. It was pretty amusing, but it was a bit intimidating too.

Speaking of which, it isn't always bad to have your writing seem like you're talking to someone. I know you shouldn't be using speaking slang like "gonna" and stuff like that, but I have seen books where the main character and/or narrator of the book actually acknowledges that there is a reader, as if the character of the book is aware that they're in a book. And if you've seen books that are written to be like diaries, then certainly they aren't written so formally. It really could depend on the situation, I suppose.

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