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Extra Credit Opportunitty

This is (hopefully) an easy way to earn two extra points on the next assignment (#3).

Please go to https://protected.personal.psu.edu/e/j/ejp10/blogs/TEACH/ and watch the video for "Foux da fa fa".

Please include your comments on this blog. Please answer

1) If you were able to see the video or not.
2) If you saw the video, what lesson does it have for linguistics (hint: it has nothing to do with phonology).

Comments (9)

Susan Rice:

I saw the video before. I love Flight of the Conchords. It's so funny...it's on HBO. It seems to me they were only using basic vocab from a language textbook, and common French phrases and words we use in the US, like "baguette." Many people use French words in everyday speech, but don't actually speak French. It's about how different languages intersect across cultures.

Paula Lindenmuth:

I was able to view the French video perfectly. I found it really interesting because although I can't speak a word of French, I understood the what the video was about. I believe that this is the reason why the video pertains to linguistics, because in combination with the images and people's interactions I was able to understand some of the French words. For example, when the man said the French word for "pineapple", I understood it because he held the pineapple up and when they all said the word for "dance club," I was able to understand it when they ended up at the club.

1/ I was able to view the video.
2/ It amused me quite thoroughly. I took french in high school, so I understood their little nonsense. The video showed that communication isn't all verbal (I assume the girls that said "what?" at the beginning were the same girls going around with the guys). However, it also displayed barriers that exist when people don't understand concepts for example the pool even though they know the same language.

Greg Yigitkurt:

Extra Credit

1) I was able to see the video.

2) Since the video was in French, I didn't understand the lesson, but from what I saw, I learned the names of different objects because one individual was holding an object up and shouting out a word.

I also think the guy with the glasses doesn't really know French, but pretended to by speaking like a French person would.

Ruth Parrish:

1. yes, I could see the video
2. "speaking" a language (meaning using the words) and really speaking a language (understanding the words) are very different.

Michael Amory:

Yes, I was able to view the video.

I am not sure of the linguistics relevance... Maybe it gives people a greater appreciation of a language that they are not familiar with. Not everything is like English and to each its own, especially in terms of structure. There are regional accents and sometimes it's difficult to understand a speaker from a different region?

Livia Lewis:

I could see the video.

The people were all going through very basic vocabulary in the song. At the end, the girl asks the man if he speaks french and he replies that he cannot. This is because all he's really done was memorize words you'd find in a phrasebook. He can't tell the woman where the pool is because he doesn't actually speak French.


1. I was able to see the video and enjoyed it very much!

2. I think the video is having some fun with imitating, and maybe slightly mocking, the language instruction videos that were popular in the 70s or 80s and that so many people thought were the best way to learn a language. It's a great parody of people lacking communication skills in a language that is not their native one. We have all had that experience, right? I remember traveling to Sweden and having the worst time trying to use what little vocab I had acquired in the weeks prior to traveling there. The video has a section in the supermarket where they sing various vocab words for juice, different fruits, etc., and then another section where they practice common phrases, greetings, questions, etc.In the end, however, no matter how hard they try, we see that the guy with glasses never really learned how to speak French. I think this clip is a great indicator of how difficult it can be to not only acquire a second language, but to be able to speak it correctly.

Kodi Lock:

I was able to see the video. It has to do with linguistics because they were able to communicate without understanding eachother's language. Also, when they both spoke french, they couldnt understand eachother, showing the complexity of language in comprehension as well as oral skills.

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