Tag Archives: languages

Italianissimo on BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer

Image via Wikipedia

Just a tip for those of you interested in learning Italian. BBC iPlayer currently have 19 episodes (I think 15 minutes each) of Italianissimo for free download). It’s great! While my Italian is more or less ok-ish (I can understand a fair bit but not too comfortable with speaking, though I am able to if need be), it’s always good to immerse yourself in it again – especially in an *educational* programme. I’m downloading all the episodes just now and seeing that they can be stored up to 30 days, I think I’ll devise a schedule for myself to view one or two of them each night 🙂

I LOVE iPlayer! Last week btw I got an evil letter from TV licensing, giving me grief about not having a license and threatening me etc. This despite the fact that I told them over the phone that the reason I no longer had a TV was because I only use iPlayer, for which one doesn’t need a license. And it’s true – I no longer watch TV and my TV is broken in any case. I suppose I still need to tell them *again* that I don’t have a TV therefore don’t need a bloody license – though knowing them, they’ll continue sending threatening letters anyway, to every UK household that appears on their computer as not having a license 😐

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What are the Main European Languages?

Today I think I did a slight un-PC faux-pas at the jobs fair we attended.

Totally unintentionally though. Here’s what happened:

We are currently recruiting for people with European languages, but only Western European (i.e. French, German, Italian, Spanish, plus BENELUX and Scandinavia, Portuguese). There were naturally some students at the jobs fair who were bilingual with European languages not part of the list above (e.g. Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian, etc.).

When someone asked me which languages we recruit for, I said:

Just the main European languages.

The person was slightly taken aback – she was Russian and asked me,

Is Russian not a main European language?

I.e. my usage of ‘main’ implied a hierarchy, and then I said: ‘Nothing East of Germany’ (I don’t even know if this is geographically correct – I meant to exclude any Eastern European languages).

I can see now why she was slightly annoyed. It’s not really fair to talk of main European languages, and exclude any East European ones. Next time I’ll say ‘Western European’.