We have reached the end of another year and have the following:
33 tests with 652 questions
190 public quizzes + 74 for members
280 glossary entries
Site forum: Threads: 9,396, Posts: 50,249, Members: 3,652
It will be interesting to see where we are a year from now.
A couple of days ago I switched the TV over to a Japanese channel and watched a bit of a news programme. My comprehension is so low that I can only try to pick out a few words that I can recognise. This time I managed three: yes, man and a word indicating a question. This was still better than the nature programme I had tried earlier where I had recognised squirrel and a Japanese love bird, whose English name I don't know. At this rate it will take the rest of my life to understand a simple news bulletin.
The list of the most valuable words for Google Adsense makes for interesting reading. The list is full of obvious terms, money dominates the top part, ahead of sex, with a smattering of diet pill terms. However, the top ten is full of terms related to cancer caused by contact with asbestos (mesothelioma). Clearly, as the lawsuits relating to mesothelioma lung cancer move forward, the internet vultures are circling, so the most valuable word in the English language, indeed the most valuable word in the world at the moment is 'mesothelioma', the main disease, closely followed by 'mesothelioma attorneys' or 'mesothelioma lawyers'. I could have predicted much of the content of the list, but I would never have guessed this.
I was thumbing through a battered English language textbook a friend had used in High School in Japan in the 1980s and found the following sentence used as an example of how to use 'as well as':
When riding (in italics) in a motorcar, I, as well as the driver, am liable to find zebras a nuisance.
Every morning when I leave my home, the moped taxi drivers shout out to attract my attention. Most shout 'hello, sir', but some have clearly picked up phrases from other punters. Last night as I came out of a theatre on called me 'my brother', and I have been called 'my main man', but my favourite is the one whose cheery voice bawls out 'hello, sir, hello, my darling'. I'm not sure how effective his line is, but if I ever manage to sum up the courage to take one of them, I'll definitely use him.
I am currently enjoying an extended stay in Cambodia; long enough to try to learn some of the language, but not long enough to get to grips with the writing. Because I will be leaving for Japan in a while, where another language and a highly complex writing system awaits me, I have decided to remain illiterate in Khmer and focus only on the spoken language.