Damon's Home Page
Things I am Interested In
I'm interested in language. I'm a native speaker of English. New Zealand English to be precise, which has a closer relationship with British English than American English (as you may have noted through the spelling in this page). Living in the USA over the last year or so has distorted my spelling ability a little, as I have to ensure that my spelling is correct for the target audience.
I am interested in the history of the English language, from it's Indo-European roots through to Anglo-Saxon (or Old English) through Middle English (what Chaucer wrote) to early Modern English (what Shakespeare wrote) up to the Modern English that is spoken today in all its varieties.
Outside of English, I have studied, to various degrees, French, German, Italian, Latin, and Maori.
Maori is the langauge of the Maori people of New Zealand. It is recognised as an official language of New Zealand along with English. Maori language classes are (or at least were when I was at school) compulsory for Primary and Intermediate school students. We also had to take a term (about 13 weeks) of it in high school. I am in no way fluent in the language, but I can count to twenty and recognise a few basic phrases.
In my first year of high school I also had to take a term of French. I have done no formal study of the language since then, but have done the occasional bit of self-tutoring with limited success. I can recognise many words when written and I can put together a few nonsense sentences. I would like to improve my ability in this language at some stage.
I took an introductory German class in my first year of university. I had a bit of a personality clash with the tutor and kind of didn't get to quite enough classes to pass the paper (I got a D-). But I did enjoy the lanuage, and while I wouldn't say I could have a conversation in German, I can put together a number of basic sentences and I can read a reasonable amount of Deutsche.
At the beginning of 1999 I decided that I wanted to learn Latin so I bought myself some books and have done little with them. When I allow myself the time, I hope to do some serious learning of the lanuage, but I can't see anything serious happening for a while. When I do encounter Latin phrases I do try to translate them.
Early in 1999 I started an Italian class and I enjoyed this immensely. Unfortunately, due to the casual nature of the lessons, classes didn't last very long. But they were fun, nonetheless. I think I would like to follow up again some time.
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