“Jellybeans: morning, noon & night” is a deliciously politically incorrect illustrated children’s book written by Maggie Pajak and illustrated by Marni Backer.
The book tells the story of Matthew and Andrew, two brothers (and Maggie’s children in real life) who LOVE jellybeans so much, they wish they could only eat jellybeans for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To that end, and with the help of their cousin Alyssa, they devise a brilliant plan.
This story is very refreshing especially in a world where sweets are being demonized and in a world where the author is taking a risk by writing about children eating jellybeans. Ok, we know, sweets give you cavities and are not so good for you!!! Well, in my opinion, if you cannot eat sweets when you are children then life is a bit dull, isn’t it? And ultimately, it is all about learning to be reasonable, which is exactly what this lovely story is about!
The book is also dedicated “to all of the soldiers who are not able to tuck their little ones into bed with a night-night story while serving their country and all of their little ones who wish that they could” which I find, pardon the pun, ever so sweet….
One thing I have really enjoyed since I have moved to Australia is the very inventive and quaint “Aussie Slang”.
So today, I am sharing with you some of these Australian colloquialisms I hear on a regular basis and which, more often than not, bring a smile to my face! As you will notice, Australians love shortening words and add the suffixes -ie -y or -o!
This Arvo = this afternoon
A Barbie = Down Under, not a doll but a barbecue!
Brekkie/brekky = breakfast
Chokers = very full
A chook = a chicken; a woman
To be/feel crook = to be or feel unwell
Some dosh = some money
A dunny = a toilet
An esky = a portable cooler (an essential when you live in Australia – originally a brand)!
A galah = a foolish or stupid person (originally a bird) Continue reading “G’Day Aussies!”
I have had great fun working on this book with Assimil and I really hope that it will help people with their French needs when travelling to France or any other French-speaking country.
It is 160 pages and is divided in 4 sections.
The “Introduction”, which tells you how to use the book, gives you a few facts & figures about France as well as a bit of history, and explains a few aspects of the French language.
The “Getting started” section, with 21 lessons to read 21 days before you travel to France, 1 each day. Each lesson comprises of a dialogue, including translation and pronunciation; some easy-to-understand grammatical notes; and one exercise to practise what you have just learnt. The book comes with a free MP3 sample so that you can also listen to the dialogues.
A “Conversing” section, which covers all the vocabulary that you may need along with some interesting cultural facts.
And lastly, an “Index” to help you find exactly what you are looking for.
You will also find on the covers some handy tables for numbers, pronunciation, space and time, asking questions, useful words and expressions.
It is small and light, and easy to carry around. And very affordable!
Please feel free to leave comments on the book below. I really hope that you enjoy the book and that you find it very helpful during your travels!!
In 2009, two young University of Chicago students, Alexander Aciman and Emmett Rensin, wrote a book entitled “twitterature”, a term they coined and which they defined as being an “amalgation of ‘twitter’ and ‘literature’; humorous reworkings of literary classics for the 21st century intellect, in digestible portions of 20 tweets or fewer”.
They turned 76 classic texts into twitterature, most pieces narrated by the main character of the original text but adapted to the twitter world. This is what they thought Hamlet, Dante or Oedipus could have tweeted: From Hamlet: WTF IS POLONIUS DOING BEHIND THE CURTAIN??? From Dante’s Inferno: I’m havin a midlife crisis. Lost in the woods. Shoulda brought my iPhone. From Oedipus: PARTY IN THEBES!!! Nobody cares I killed that old dude, plus this woman is all over me. Total MILF.
However, those were never published on Twitter which I find very disappointing since it defeats the purpose and the magic of twitterature.
According to the online Urban Dictionary, “Twitterature” is a noun used to describe a “written work (or body of works) of a particularly humorous, clever, and/or poignant nature, and artfully stated in 140 characters or less”, i.e. which can be tweeted on Twitter in the given maximum number of 140 characters.
In French and according to the Institute of compared twitterature (Institut de twittérature comparée, Bordeaux-Québec), it is the “ensemble des textes littéraires publiés dans Twitter sous forme de gazouilllis”.
It is a new way of writing, with new constraints, new spellings, new codes. A twitter haïku movement is born. And anybody can enter the twitterature sphere.Continue reading “What is Twitterature?”
Last year, I was delighted when a writer, Nick Foulger, contacted me to get a quote for the translation of his first comic book aimed at 8-12 year-old readers.
I had always wanted to focus more on literary translation but I have found it extremely hard openingthe right doors and find an exciting project (more on that in a future paper). So this was my opportunity. Moreover, this project was right up my alley since I have always been passionate about children’s literature, having written a book for 6-10 years old, stories for under 6s, and having two young children myself.
So, yes, I was over the moon, especially when Nick accepted my quote and gave me the job.
As Miranda’s mum would say: “such fun!”
And I was even more enthusiastic when I got to read the comic book: “The Green Man” is the first in a series of comic book adventures for Professor Thomas Swift. It is unique in being made up entirely of photographs rather than being drawn. With the magic of digital editing and by creating a photo-realistic model world, Nick Foulger brought the popular children’s toy Playmobil® to life. The creative process was original and fascinating. I really admire Nick’s patience, commitment and skills in putting this project together (each picture can take up to a day’s photo editing and it took more than 320 days to create the book!). If this is not passion, I do not know what is!Continue reading “The Green Man vs L’homme en vert”
That’s it! You have made up your mind: you are so going to learn a new language! But where and how do you start? Here are 8 very useful tips to help you with your learning:
1) DARE: the key to learning a new language is to DARE to make mistakes and have fun with the language! It doesn’t matter whether you make mistakes – because making mistakes is how you learn. It is part of the learning process. You can’t always get it right first time round and you know what? It’s ok! The more you will try and dare, the better you will get!
And at the end of the day, it is better to say a sentence with mistakes than not to say anything at all!
2) READ: as much as you can and aloud when possible. And not only in your own native language – try and read in the language you are learning, whether it is children’s books (why not?), comics, recipe books, magazines, food or cosmetic labels – the resources are endless! Most libraries have a foreign languages section and even children’s books in foreign languages! So, why not give it a go?
3) WRITE YOUR OWN PHRASEBOOK: try and write your own phrasebook – not anybody’s but one with the phrases / sentences that YOU will need or are interested in. An alphabetical notebook is also really useful: you can write the words you have learnt, from your native language to the language you are learning (to speak) and vice-versa (to understand).
4) WATCH & LISTEN: you can watch TV (digital TV offer some foreign channels), movies in the foreign language with subtitles, news or cartoons! You can also explore music / songs in your chosen language and try and understand the lyrics of songs that you particularly like.
I would also strongly recommend buying language learning books sold with CDs or cassettes.Continue reading “8 useful tips to learn a foreign language”
La langue française en un simple mot. Apprenez-le et vous pourrez vous sortir de toutes les situations. “The French language can be boiled down to one simple word. Learn to say it, and you hold the keys to French”.
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