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Posts Tagged ‘Super Bowl’

A lively group came together for our International Conversation Café gathering yesterday. Ten participants, from Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Turkey ~ plus me, from the United States via Italy and Japan. We started off by playing with idiomatic, metaphorical language related to food and eating, including: He’s a peach (he’s nice, sweet), that’s a piece of cake (that’s easy), and that’s not my cup of tea (I don’t like that). Then we got to a good/bad apple or egg. In Japan and South Korea, we learned, an orange might be mentioned instead.

In South Korea, a watermelon would represent someone who was untrustworthy, as the colors inside and out are so distinctly different. The big cheese, someone important, would be a big bowl in Turkey.  And someone who eats little could be a bird (U.S.), a rabbit (Australia), or a turtle (China) while someone who eats a lot might be a bear (Turkey) or a wolf/tiger/dog (China).

I love these peeks inside other cultures. Ready for more food idioms? Check out:
https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/idioms-food.htm
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/deciphering-the-food-idioms-of-foreign-languages-96931045/
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/oct/17/foodie-figures-speech-world-edible-idioms

We then talked about how food has shifted in the Triangle of North Carolina. Years ago, it was impossible to find sushi here!  And fresh bagels were unheard of; there were only Lender’s Bagels, found in the freezer section of the grocery store. This history offers details on bagels from ancient times through to the Lender family and today: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2008/11/a_short_history_of_the_bagel.html   Short: http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodhistory/a/bagelhistory.htm

Finally, in touching on the Super Bowl, one participant mentioned being told he’d have an 1.5 hour wait to get “buffalo wings” that day.  He ate something else, not surprisingly!  In wrapping up, we learned that Australian football is different not only from U.S. football, but also from soccer. Check it out on YouTube, our Australian participant advised.  I might just do that!

Perhaps we’ll see you next Thursday, when our group meets again in Duke’s Bryan Center, Griffith Board Room, 12:30.

Until then, Rene

Rene Caputo
ESL Specialist, Thompson Writing Program

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Twelve international participants joined Beth and me  for our first International Conversation Cafe last week.  And this week, there were eight international participants plus three native speakers.  Off to a positive start!

Some of our participants were asking about Lunar New Year celebrations in the Triangle area ~ and it looks as if Raleigh has the answer.  This Saturday, January 29, there will be a Chinese New Year Festival at the State Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m..  More information is here: http://www.nctacas.org/

You might also enjoy the “Chinese New Year Holiday Concert” by the Joy Recorder Ensemble at Duke Hospital on Friday, Feb. 4, from noon to 1: http://calendar.duke.edu/cal/event/showEventMore.rdo

And if you’re interested in seeing a local groundhog give its traditional weather forecast, head over to Raleigh for that, too.  The NC Museum of Natural Sciences, in the downtown area, will host a free Groundhog Day event on Wednesday, February 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: http://naturalsciences.org/programs-events/?select=1588

At our gathering next Thursday, we will talk about the Super Bowl (to be held on Sunday, Feb. 6), among other things.  Who are the teams playing?  What are some Super Bowl traditions?  And why do some people watch the big game even if they don’t care about (American) football? Come join us at the Bryan Center, Meeting Room B, from 12:30 to 1:30.

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