Category Archives: Language

Day 118 – Tomato

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I am grateful for Tomato.  I absolutely love the flavor and the versatility of it.  There are so many ways of preparing and eating it.  So far, I don’t think I have encountered one I do not like.  Whether I just eat them raw, cut into slices or cubes with some sea salt and pepper or I use them to create a tomato sauce or I make them part of a vegetable dish, it always does the job.  Even though it is widely used a vegetable, a tomato is actually categorized as a piece of fruit.  I am very amused by all the stories of its origin, but as linguist I was mostly fascinated by the Italian story.  You see, in Italian Tomato is “Pomodoro”, which comes from Pomo d’Oro, literally translated as “Apple of Gold”.  When the Tomato was brought from Central and South America to Europe, it was introduced into Italy as a golden yellow piece of fruit.  When people started cultivating the Tomato in Sicily and the South of Italy the  favorable warm climate gave the Tomato its beautifully soft and deep warm red color.  However, people still nowadays keep on calling a Tomato “Pomodoro” even though it is not really yellow anymore.  A fun fact related to that is that the first cookbook containing Tomato recipes was published in Naples in the 17th Century.  Anyway, there are obviously many varieties of tomatoes – about 7500 of them – and you find them in all kinds of colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, black, brown, ivory, white, and purple.  I love all of them and I am excited to discover new ways of cooking or eating them.

Day 80 – Disney Movies

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I am grateful for Disney Movies.  They have been a big part of my youth and still now I enjoy watching the classics or I even find myself going to the movie theaters to watch the newest ones.  I always felt like they were some kind of medicine.  Whenever I was sick or feeling sad, I would crawl up in the couch under a blanket and turn on a good old Disney Movie.  Works every time.  What I also like about it, is that they got to be so international.  Even now, here in my Mexican host family’s house, I find about fifty Disney Movies belonging to my host siblings.  I think it’s so cool.  By now, I’ve watched Disney movies in Flemish, Dutch, French, Spanish and obviously in English.  It actually almost feels as if you’re watching a different movie if you watch the same Disney Movie in a different language.  Definitely a lot of fun!  My favorite Disney Movie – and that is a hard thing to choose, because I like almost all of them and for completely different reasons – is The Emperor’s New Groove.  I absolutely love that one!  It’s so funny.  I just love how it makes fun of Disney Movies, while being a Disney Movie itself.  Brilliant!  Maybe I should go through my youngest host sister’s collection again and pick one out for tonight.  Her name is Alexia, she’s nine years old and the cutest little girl.  I’m sure it won’t be too hard to convince her to watch it with me…

Day 60 – Italian

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I am grateful for the gorgeous Italian language.  It is, without any doubt, the most beautiful language of this world.  I love the flow of it, the color, the images, the sentence structure, the vocabulary, the feeling, the passion.  The question with this blog however was:  how do I take a picture of a language?  So I decided to post an image of an excerpt of La Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri.  I think it’s a masterpiece of world literature and it portrays how Italian lends itself to art.  It was the prime reason why I went on to study Italian together with English and German.  For me, those are the big art languages.  Literature, music, opera.  It all started there.  If you look at the influence of Italian – almost immediately derived from Latin – and all the amazing authors it brought to the world: Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarca,…  It’s just so incredible and beautiful.  And even though there might be many suiting examples of the Italian langue, I decided to use one of my very own favorite ones.  Thank you to the beauty of Italian, thank you to all wonderful artists still creating works with it, thank you to all those outstanding authors who have used it before, thank you to everyone who puts the effort and time into learning it.  And let me end this post by one of my favorite Italian phrases, which can also be found on the picture above, straight from Dante’s Divina Commedia:

Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch’entrate.