Let me give you an example of the kind of thing I like to see in a book on a foreign language.
In English we say, “I’ll see” or “We’ll see” when we mean we will try to accommodate someone, and it’s in the sense of “try”. We even have the expression “try and see”.
(for some reason known only to God some people seem to object to “try and see”; it’s the “and” they object to ??????]
Now if you’re reading along and you read, “Mary asked Bob if he could go with the family on the picnic tomorrow and he answered, â€˜I’ll see’, which did not give her much confidence.” Here, we native English speakers know that “I’ll see” could be replaced with “I’ll try”.
Now, how about other languages? Sp vere, Fr verrai, Russ ya uvizhu, Latin videbam, Urdu meng dekhunga, Germ. ich werde sehen, Dutch ik zal zien, Nor. jeg skal se or jeg vil se….. do any of these, to native speakers out there reading this, carry the connotation of the English “I’ll see”?
Books that point out these shades of meaning, these extra lexical forays of words, are invaluable to me.
I’m also reading What Do Women Want? It treats only of female sexuality and is very provocative, calling into question some of the basic assumptions of not only our society but most others as well. It could be unsettling to some readers.
I’ve decided to read all my Harry Potters (Latin, Spanish, Urdu, French, Russian) a paragraph at a time, skipping from one language to the other, and take notes on vocabulary, usage, and grammar that strike me as I read.
I’m reading the gift I received, The Story of Spanish, and recording the howlers, which I will forthwith post to the blog.
Also Vivian Cook’s book, 2nd Language Learning and Language Teaching. It goes into a great deal of detail and I’ll wind up reporting on that one in the category on language teaching. Maybe I should set up a category now for sex….. very infrequent would be the posts to that category