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Friday, March 8, 2013

DO YOU HATE AMERICANS?

LINGUISTICS


Although I have picked up and can speak bits of more languages than I can usually remember, nobody other than the most generous - or demented - would ever think of me as a linguist.  With that in mind, I present for your reading pleasure,

A GEORGIAN LANGUAGE PRIMER - FOR AND BY NON LINGUISTS

Several factors make the Georgian language a huge pain in the ass for non tourists.  First, they have a unique alphabet.  While it can be argued that it is pretty, it doesn't type well on normal keyboards and looks completely incomprehensible to anyone looking at it.  This includes anyone who has not bothered to learn the alphabet.  That is to say, most of the world.

Compared to English, Georgian words often have two to three times the syllables.  This means that for simple things, long words.

Not sure if this language is in any way related to Russian, but like many central and eastern European languages, they have sounds not found in western European languages.  You may not be able to correctly hear the sounds, much less pronounce them.

It seems that the proper way of speaking Georgian is something between normal conversation volume and shouting.  Not sure why this is but anyone who says Americans are 'loud' clearly hasn't been to Eastern Europe.  This trait is not unique within the world, there are other languages which do it.  But, my brain seems to have seized up and none are coming to mind right now.

The one saving grace of the Georgian language is that they don't have words for many things so have stolen these words from English and added an 'ee' (as in 'tree') to the end of them.  Thus, 'computer' becomes 'computer-ee'.  Not sure why they do this but it is common.  At a guess, one out of ten nouns seems to be a word waylaid from English.  Unfortunately, as in many other cultures you have some people who don't understand their own words even when pronounced correctly.  This could be due to the foreign ear not being able to hear subtleties within the word, the dimness of the person or their obstinacy.   Hence, when you are trying to find something, attempt adding the 'ee' sound to the end of the word.  Even if the word itself hasn't changed, no understanding will be reached without the 'ee' sound.  Why is unknown.

In conclusion, it is dubious whether the Georgian language will catch on within the rest of the world.  Lazy people won't enjoy it as you have to make a lot more noise to express the same idea.  Computers don't like it because the keyboards are set up with the 'common alphabet'.  Quiet people won't like it.  My guess is that even 'pillow talk' is shouted.



NEW JOB - SOUNDING BOARD

How much is an idea worth?

Well, unless you know how to package it, market it and so on the painful answer is 'nothing'.

While I'm a great person for ideas, it is hard to get hired to simply come up with them and let someone else do the implementation.

Fortunately, I was hired by Mark Rein-Hagen.  For those who don't know, he did stuff like the company White Wolf, wrote the Vampire RPG, Magic the Gathering and so on.  And he has hired me to be his 'sounding board'.

The back story:

A friend let me know that not only was Mark on Facebook, but he was living in Tbilisi (Republic of Georgia).  I contacted him and we got together.

I pitched him the idea of me doing three free sessions with him as a sounding board to see if I could feed him useful and interesting ideas.  I figured that would be ample time for him to see if I was worth hiring and for me to see if I'd enjoy working with him.

Working with Mark has really put a new and interesting spin on staying in Georgia.

After the three sessions, we negotiated out a per session price.  For him, I figured this would be fair.  If he has a lot of projects and feels he is getting good value for money out of me, he can have me over to work more often.  If not, less often.  He is the kind of person who always seems to have several projects going so I figure there will always be work.

For me, I get paid every time.  Assuming we meet at least twice a week, I'll be making about two and a half times what I'm currently getting from the hostel.  If I do good work, he may have me over more often or up the rate.  All good.

I'm also enjoying this work for reasons than money:

Credit - I'm getting credit within the games.  Having my name in various projects made by someone with such a track record is a good thing.  Should I ever decide to write something, I'm pretty confident that it would at least get a serious perusal rather than just tossed into the 'unsolicited manuscripts' pile.

From my earlier attempts at writing fiction, I'm thinking that I will never be a serious writer in my own right but should I be a sounding board to a great (and apparently prolific) writer, that's great.

This is just the beginning.  Who knows where it will go?



QUESTION AND ANSWER


Michael Stone asks:

Do you ever get harassed/etc by being an american in these countries? A lot has been said since Bush was in office at the damage done for Americans travelling abroad and I was curious if any of it was true?


Logan answers:

I remember hearing a lot about that before I started traveling. Since traveling, I have discovered it is utter BS. Either it is xenophobic people or people who are justifying why they are too poor/scared to travel. In fact, I have found that in many countries, Americans are loved just as much or maybe more than other nationalities. Now mind you that people may not like the government but that doesn't apply to the individuals. Nobody from any country I've ever met seems to like their government. Also, I've met up with people that America is dumping bombs and shit on (Iraq, etc) and they've never given me any grief about being an American. Of course if they did I'd probably say something like "We're not charging you for the bombs are we? Stop yer bitching." Then they might start hating Americans.





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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois | Colorado |

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