Amazing Africa

Amazing Africa
Lome Togo West Africa
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Africa is an amazing place, the life is slow here, the pace is slow, everything is slow. I have more time alone here, but I can see the noise, the cell phone, the cars and motorcycles will increase, there will be a slow movement from peace and quiet to chaos. I think the bigger cities like Accra, Ghana and may more are already over the edge.

It will take me a week or two to adjust to the Africa lifestyle, and remember the good and bad of Africa.

I was laughing as I purchased a baguette this morning, I could not understand the French of the lady as she said 125 CFA. As, I walked away I realized every foreigner that walked up probably spoke good French, I am alone here on the French part of life, everyone speaks French and nobody speaks English. If someone does speak English it is normally one of the working girls hanging around the Hotel.

Amazing Africa

Computerized French

Computerized French
Lome, Togo West Africa
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

I have this program on my computer called
- Before You Know It, -
that is helping me to learn French, I do not know how it compares to the other type programs on the planet, however the ability for me to move words around, compile words in an list is great. I have finally put 1129 words in one list, I then program a macro to go down the list and I listen and repeat every word. I am slowly learning to recognize all the words in the list. When I hear one of the words in passing conversations, I start to own the word, and make it my own. I am semi-immersed in French, Togo people I think speak Mina, therefore their real second language is French.

I have a program called Macro Express, I use this program constantly, it is one of my most valuable programs and helps me use the computer as tool and not only a typewriter.

For learning French it is extremely valuable, I programmed a small repetition program Macro I labeled.
- 50 times Ram into Brain. -

It repeats a word 50 times, I listen and repeat a word 50 times, I rote memory ram it into my brain. I need to create some type of synaptic memory path that is carved into my brain for some words. I have problems remembering how to pronounce a few words and need these words. The program Before You Know It does not do this repetition, it allows for a way to do it by clicking with the mouse. But, the action of clicking competes with my focus, better to only concentrate on listening and repeating and not on clicking the mouse.

I am working on a list of pronunciation rules that I can understand, I need to put them in my own words, whereby I can learn all the rules of French Pronunciation in my way of thinking.

The action of collecting the rules of pronunciation, make the list, writing the documents is educational. The more I more or less write a paper on how to pronounce sounds, letters or diphthongs the clearer it is to me how to pronounce words. I wish to be able to read a word and pronounce is close to correct.

Computerized French

French What I need to Learn

French What I need to Learn
Lome, Togo West Africa
Saturday, March 10, 2007

I need a list of English Verbs translated to French.
I need I this and you that.

I have already learned one language, I am very capable of having a conversation, watching TV, etc in Spanish. Therefore, I have a prior knowledge of what I personally need to do to ram French words into my head. I say ram, because there is nothing natural, easy, quick and spontaneous about me learning a language. It is pure drudgery and hard work for me to learn a language, every word demands repetition, rote memory and pain of monotonous study.

Past tense, future, are not needed, there are whole languages that do not have a past tense, future, etc, and they do talk about the future, they do know the past and the future, they need to say,
- In the future, I go etc. -

There are infinitives, this is the base word, more of noun to people, nonetheless it is not much value either.

What I need is this, a list of,
- I go -
- You go -

For every English verb, then translated to:
Je vais = I go
Tu allez = You go

I did this sweep of pages on the internet, found all the English verbs I could muster, then put in the Systran Translation software, as
I + Verb
You + Verb
Therefore, it was I go and you go, the program auto translated guaranteeing I will have some sloppy, yet functional words to use, yet the clarification is an emotional moment when I learn also.

I truly believe if I can study the 1263 variance of I and you with verb translated to French, then my life will be easy. After that it is just filling in the blank with prepositions and correct ways of saying a sentence.

It is hard work to write, say, spell, speak, repeat each of these 1263 words correctly, but maybe I can get up to a 2000 word vocabulary and when my friend Ami, the real name wants to joke around, I can understand better and not be the joke. Actually in reality, I am conversing and having many conversations with people, providing they talk slow.

It is and interesting experience to learn a language, and at the same time need it, slowly discovering the use of Formal Vous is not use here and why am I being taught it constantly. What I can learn easily is so far away from what I really need, then again do people that have a hard time learning languages try to learn languages? I find that the White people here that speak French are mostly naturals, they learn languages as easily as I can learn a computer.

However, they can not put them word in Database, sort, translate, then program a Macro to repeat the word 20 times, but then again they learn it on hearing it once.

Everything is needed if you wish to become fluent in a language, but the first part of speaking French is survival and small talk, it does not start out with some huge intellectual conversation.

I now will try to talk Ami into recording how to say all the words into the one program I have to learn French.

French What I need to Learn

Languages Learned Naturally

Languages Learned Naturally
Lome, Togo West Africa
Thursday, March 15, 2007

I am in an ideal hotel, location, situation to learn French, I have an over abundance of people willing to speak French with me so I can practice.

My friend Peter from Germany spoke Thai, Spanish, English, and of course German, I am sure he spoke a couple more languages.

My friend (forgot) from Australia spoke Tagolog, the language of the Philippines, Indonesian and anything he got near.

Rene from Lome, Togo speaks Mina the local language, French and English and maybe anything he gets near. (Photo on this page is of Rene, I call them Bongos, the culture is of Bob Marley is the same, the type of Drum changes.)

These types of people make the study of a language difficult.

I remember beginning Spanish class in Indiana University, my freshman year and needing to study a language as part of my Liberal Arts degree. I got a C in the course, studied more than anybody in the class and realized, everyone in the class had about three years of Spanish in High School and I had zero, there was nothing beginning about this class for them.

These types of people make the study of a language difficult.
Ghana is presently full of the native English speakers, the Brits, Americans, or people like the Dutch or Scandinavian who studied English for years in school.

Togo is full of French people.

French people generally do not go to Ghana.
British or American generally do not go to Togo
Ghana is a former English speaking colony
Togo is a dominated by the French.

Americans travel to England and Australia and call it great.
French travel to Morocco and call it great.
South Americans go to Miami and Spain and call it great.

People travel where life is easiest, where they feel comfortable, and they should. I travel where I learn the most, where I am mentally challenged the most, where maybe it the most difficult. I thrive on problem solving, and doing things I have trouble doing.

I enjoy writing because it explains my brain; to myself, as I construct a sentence I learn slowly how my brain works as I look over the already written sentences. I can see how it continually makes the same combinations of words, the same problems are repeated, and sometimes I slowly learn, how to unlearn to not make the same problems. I know the persons who are naturally good at English grammar and the English language are annoyed.

These types of people make the study of a language difficult.

I need, must, do, will exclude isolate myself, and separate myself from the naturally good at language speaking people. There are classes in writing, I personally believe they would teach me how to write like the teacher. I think reading is the way to learn to write, I would like to write like James Michener, however I probably write more like Jack Kerouac and do not like to read what he writes.

I know I naturally write or say things in a quizzical, puzzling manner, I could use the word enigmatic, but to me the word puzzle is the goal, to speak and communicate.

I watch and listen to my friend Rene, an African man from Lome, who speaks language easy. He enjoys speaking French with me, in a difficult and low voice, hard for me to understand, the tone is at a level where I have trouble. He enjoys this, than thinks he is teaching, when he makes it difficult, and he is, but not well.

When he does this, he has lost me, he has gone too far over my head, he is speaking French too complicated and too complex for me to learn from him. This is what happens when I am around the natural learners of languages, normally the only persons who would travel to a French speaking location like Togo, are those who enjoy being good at something and another person being bad, they enjoy the power, or really fools gold power. They want to be tyrants, probably why they volunteer…. Hehehe

I need to continually adjust my group of French speakers, as I continue to learn to speak French, I will need to speak with persons who speak French faster and better to increase my ability.

I am naturally good at computers, I need to continually subject myself to extremely intelligent persons on a computer, however boring I may consider it, and to me, this is extremely boring, but necessary.

I think if I am learning a computer, learning to speak a language, being a volunteer, or learning in general and I feel very smart. Then I am probably not learning, I am being a tyrannical learner, not learning anything. I must feel uncomfortable, and have small accomplishments every day, the proper balance.

When somebody says, oh this is easy, I now am starting to remember when I said this to people, there is nothing good about making a person feel stupid. I have slowly learned the wisest move I can often make it to not say a word, to listen, it helps me to learn, and it makes allows the other person to continual to learn.

I am wondering if learning all these small rules for myself will ever be important, I enjoy them, however I know, and understand this small inner journey is for my benefit. I must continually give the wheel a quick twist and turn to enjoy the spinning of my life.

Languages Learned Naturally

French Pronunciation Rules

French Pronunciation Rules
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I am up to rule number 61, and my guesstimate is I will have trouble going beyond 100-120 rules of French Pronunciation. Everyday, I listen to words on my computer, when I am listening, and I am to able to phonetically sound out the world, and I am not able to see the rules of pronunciation to the word, I stop, copy the word, dissect it and research. This slowly teaches me how to sound out the French words.

I have copied a few pages from the internet onto my computer, when I am trying to learn new rules, I go through these pages and try to find the letter, or combination of letters I need to learn. Time consuming, confusing and sometimes laughable.

The last one is sometimes hilarious to me, for example:

Pronunciation guide for the diphthong

- like the German Ö in "Hölle" (short) or the ÖH in "Höhle" (long)

Like the German WHAT? I thought I was on an English page, and they was trying their best to explain in English, now I need to study German to learn French, I would think the Germans should be able to speak French though, the French are great at being occupied by Germany… hehehe

I doubt all them letter will show up correctly on the pages, or make them way through to an email box correctly.

One Sound One Rule

I do not like to confuse rules, they will enmesh, bunch, convolute the issue, trying to explain rules to apply to many situations at one time. I just keep collecting many alphabet letters or combinations of letters than explain in English, also trying to find a word that is on my BFYNI program, that I can listen too.

One sound, one rule, when I am finished, I will just ram the rules into my head, rote memory them, and apply as needed. I do, and did the same when I learn Spanish.

French Pronunciation Rules

Togo What Are You Doing

Togo What Are You Doing
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Sunday, March 25, 2007

I am lacking in a French phrase, word, or words of explanation, I wish to say to people I meet,
- I am a tourist.-

Je suis un touriste.

Masculine of Feminine Touriste
Feminine touristique

I was having a conversation with a highly educated man from Togo last night in English; strangely, he says his name is Joe. Ok, Joe has traveled a lot, for more strange reasons lived in Libya for two years. He is living in the same hotel as me, with his wife and son for a week while they visit his wives parents and family. She is originally from Kpalime, and he is from Lome.

This situation is different, as normally they would be staying at the home of the family. There are few reasons for hotels in cities, and it is not tourism. First is for traveling sales people to spend the night while they sell products to the city, second for a person traveling a long distance from city to city going to visit family, the third is to visit in laws in the city. As I said, they usually they stay with the family. I am sure there are other reasons. These reasons are why I can trust there is a way to live in most places. Just because there is no hotel, does not mean there is no lodging.

Joe speak English very well, he asked,
- What work are you doing in Togo? -

I say,
I am not working.
I am a tourist.

This is in English.
Then I repeat in French to be double sure, because I get the quizzical look, saying, I do no understand.

This goes on for about five minutes, I know better than to be stupid and just repeat the word tourist. I say it many times, in many combinations of words. I understand language is abstract, it is a few feelings, a few ideas, and a group of thoughts mixed up that somehow explains what a person wants or does, not that an explanation is normally given, but wants are expressed often.

I have said, I am visiting the countries of Africa and start on a list, I will go to Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, etc

- Je visite le Togo, le Bénin, le Nigéria, le Cameroun, le Gabon, le Congo. -

I hoped a long list of countries will give them the conceptual meanings of what I am doing.

I sometime resort to saying, I wish to learn about Africa or curious.
- Je suis curieux. -

I learn Africa.
- J'apprends l'Afrique. =

I want to know Africa.
- Je connais l'Afrique. =

When a person says, to another person in another country, culture or language, or they wish to say,
- I traveled to Benin. -

It is not good in my opinion to say,
- I traveled to Benin. -

I just need to say,
- I know Benin. -

People here will ask,
- Do you know Togo? -

If I say,
- I do not know Togo.-
This means, I have not traveled around Togo and therefore I do not know Togo.

Yesterday, I went to the Sunday market, which also is on Monday, I believe, a lot more interesting than the normal city market. I went two times; the first was early in the day. On the second trip, a family snagged me and some girl by the name of Diana asked to accompany me, I thought to myself.
- Well, I suppose if you the whole village gossiping about you, then that is your choice. -

Ok, so this Togo girl walks to the Market with me, and we roam around, this is difficult to do. I had made the mistake of saying I was going to go eat a Pineapple with my new friend.

When we arrive at the market, the girl goes instantly into buying a pineapple mode. I say, I want to buy a pineapple from my friend, she cannot relate to this, finally after many moves from different chubby ladies the girls seems to ask, where is the girl he purchased pineapples before at, and where did she go?

They all seem to know; I purchased the pineapple from the one girl, and said, she went home. Now, it is highly possible they are lying, this is not my first time to look for a repeat sale in a market. I cannot find the girl.

(I think the reason the girls wanted to accompany me, was to have me buy for her. I got off with a Coconut, Pineapple and some Tomatoes.)

I want to be a tourist, I want to look at things, and I want to be curious. This only happens because I just walk this way and that way, and the girl has no choice, she follows with me or I will leave her. She keeps wanting to know, what I want, I say, I am curious, I want to know the market, I am just looking, on and on and on.

She cannot relate, you go to the market to buy something, what do want to buy. I am tempted to say, I want to buy Pizza with lot of cheese and pepperoni and be a smart A…

All of this is about the question.
- What are you doing in Togo? -
(Africa is too big, I must limit or qualify to one country.)

There are about three or four easy answers.

1. Say, what I am doing in French, and not pay attention to their eyes, their actions, the look on their faces, and not care if they understand the answer and ignore them. I would say, about 80 percent of all tourist or travelers this is their method, mainly because when people talk, they do not listen, they just talk to do something or to hear themselves talk. Talking is because we want to be selfish and we go to the market to buy something, the only reason to listen is to be selfish and to find out if the other person can help, this is not ME.

2. I am working, or I am on a project. They do understand this, the reason is because people come and give them things or help them. They want, therefore when someone gives, they like this. They are 99 percent sure they are suffering and life is hard, and that someone should give them help or aid.

3. I live here. This strangely is a good answer, I can live in Kpalime or Togo and do NOTHING, and this is semi normal. To live in a place is ok.

Joe wanted to know my work.

4. I suppose I could say, I buy drums, leather or something way overpriced and nothing of value to export. The cost of items in Africa is about double the same items of Asia, there is not much I have seen that a person could export and it would be feasible. I do think there is about 50-70 percent of the land, sitting empty, and you could grow many foods and sell again to the same people.

I do not get on the subject of business in Africa, because this just leads into them wanting money and on the economic side of life, this is the wrong place to have discussions. I am learning that a person can learn a lot about languages here in Africa, they appear to be able to learn language at hyper speed.

I suspect the majority of tourist, volunteers, or crazies, just lie, or shine them on, and truthfully could give a Rats A.. if they understood. There is this entrenched belief with people that Africans are stupid, even the African people enforce it.

I truly believe anyone can learn, prosper and thrive anywhere on the planet; I do not need to give anyone anything, but a sense of pride in themselves.

I learned lesson in Thailand, Thai people are annoying, they continually ask either in Thai or English
By Nai Kalp?
Where you go?

No answer works, except.
Bye Tio.

It means more or less, I wander around, sort of like who gives a S, I am just walking and it is not important. The Thai people here, Bye Tio and stop asking questions.

There must be a way to say the truth here in Africa, I am a tourist. The problem arises because most tourists go to see a specific thing, then return to their jobs, or ignore them. I think the majority just ignores them, and I am not good at ignoring people, I am getting good at not understanding the word Cadeau, L’agent, or any words leading to give me something idea.

A person wanted to teach me the word for Money in the local Mina language; I almost got up and ran away. The last thing I want to know is when they are saying money in the Mina language, presently it is easy to ignore, and I do not recognize the word. Life was better before, I knew what Cadeau meant or the world gift in French.

Last night a girl said, something about a headache, this translates to I want to have sex with you, you give me money, and I will be happy. Amazing system some days, Joe and everyone was being extremely obnoxious, pushy and shoving, too helpful with this girl. I kept trying to say, I do not know this girl, I do not remember this girl, and I think she is very young. Nothing works, a girl offers a man should accept. They thought she was free, I was positive she wanted something.

The situation is this, the people want to make me happy, they are extremely helpful, and they are trying to think on how to help me. They want to know what I am doing so they can help me, I must NEED something, and maybe I need a person to help, because I am an ONG-NGO that needs to give to feel something.

Maybe I am here to invest, maybe I am here to bonk the girls, maybe I am here to live, and they wish to help me to be happy. They came down and asked me to come up top, and watch the Togo soccer match, I refused, as I am not going to even be curious about football, or I will need to leave the city as everyone will want to talk about soccer with me. Togo won, 2-1 over Sierra Leone.

What am I doing in Africa? What am I doing in Togo?

I tried to explain to Joe, I like people; I like to learn about Ewe, Mina, Dindi, Huasa, etc.

The bottom line is this, people understand what they know how to do, or what they also do, not what they have never done.

Sometimes, I offer a bone on the blog, I put up more than normal amounts of photos about food, because everyone in the world knows how to eat. Then there are the children, everyone can relate to children. I know this, I know what people understand, and I know what they can relate too.

However, out on a limb, way off in the bush, under the stomp is something I know nothing about, and I am sure many people do not know about. I can take a photo of the Eiffel Towers in France, and go figure about 10 Million other people have the photo to offer.

Curious is Africa, the Togo people are very curious about me, however, the do not see this as an activity, something to talk about, they are extremely curious, but that is not what you do. I have been training the 19-year-old boy, in the front of the Hotel, on the American art of Girl Watching. He is a slow start, I try to explain, I am going to club you if you say hello to another girl who is walking with a man.. I then told him, I do not want to do boxing.

They are like a blunt instrument, abrupt, to the point, and not diplomatic. What do you want? Then you take, really, this is easy, but not simple when I do not need anything, a few wants, but no big needs, and curiosity, how does a sense of wanting to learn work into the mind of a person.

Learning is because we are told, we go to school, and we are forced to go to school. We go to school so we can earn money. I was aware the other day; I have this whole encyclopedia on my computer. I will always have something to read, or learn, I will never run out of reading materials. I forgot, I had a lot of reading material, yet I do not see the encyclopedia as reading material, it must be a book, now I know, I have a lot of reading material with me, I am very worried about running out of English books to read, they are impossible to find here.

I am hearing the noise; the people of Africa must work all the time, because they are poor. Crap, they sit around talking 90 percent of the day, this is not true, they have an overabundance of free time, and they may think they are working, but sitting around looking at a pineapple in front of you is not too difficult.

I was thinking, and watching the Citron or Lemon Juice sales women, I make a special trip every day to her stand. She is ultra busy, she has two girls who fill up bag of water, put in a piece of ice, then the roam the area selling cold water. There is bigger than life size women that sells bean and other stuff, with a capital S. There is a back up lemon juice maker, this women is thriving, she is a go-getter from the get go, and if full of energy, no I feel sorry, I suffer with her.

How do I say, in one short sentence, I am wondering across Africa to see and learn about Africa? This is my goal now in French, maybe I can learn in the Mina language.

Yet, the art here is to have them relate to this answer and not continue with questions, until I am forced to just stop and leave, or shine them on a small bit. The easy thing to do would be to lie, and I think this is the common solution, not mine, but common. The world accepts a lie faster than the truth.

Togo What Are You Doing

Where is the French W

Where is the French W
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I have now two friends with a W in their names, and I am lost on how to pronounce their names.

I did a search of 1139 words in my computer, that I can listen to the words being pronounced, I found one word, sandWich.

le sandWich au jambon

However, two of my friends have a W in their names.

Mawuli a Man.
Awel a Female, maybe I spelled wrong.

Learning a language to me could be very easy if they just stopped pretending I can learn by context, or by associations and just say to me.
- Andy this is a lot of work, you need to sit down and remember these 3000 words, rules, and you will have a good start. -

Instead, there is a never-ending search through all the pages, the books, the documentations about French.

Everyday, I have to search through all the French materials I have searching for a rule, reason, explanation how to pronounce, or whatever pops up question.

I truthfully believe languages are easy, I think the teachers and books are difficult. This is my second language I am really going after to learn, and I speak a little of many other languages, not a newbie at this communication game.

I am a worker, not a game player, I just want to get to work, get it over with and talk French. I do not enjoy all the work I must do to collect the rules of French into one location, they have been speaking this language for a while, and teaching.

The website has been great; it goes in detail and hardly misses a point. My computer program, although good for learning words and how to pronounce the one word, does not teach any grammar, rules, or rules of pronunciation; I will learn the 1139 word they way they say them and can repeat like a smart monkey

When I see a sign along the side the road, I cannot phonetically sound out the word because of the computer program. The rules in do help, and are good.

I guess, I am irritated at was I think of as dysfunctional thinking, this is it, I am angry, that I am forced to behave dysfunctional. I am forced to study and read dysfunctional explanations.

They violate the rule of enmeshment, they overlap, intertwine, and combine ideas never giving me a direct single concept to learn, they give me choices of interpretations, I can read their explanations and never be sure, it does not function.

I am a horrible person to learn French, I cannot hear the intonations, a person must repeat the word 5 times, and then two minute later I will forget how to say. I must write it down, read, write, repeat 20 times minimal or I forget, however once I remember the rules, I do not forget because I have worked very hard to remember.

The books seem written by a person that did not want to burden the student with all the minute details, just saying, oh they will figure them out and we do, or we will continually mispronounce for the rest of our lives. We do not figure them out, and 90 percent of their students did not learn, or want to learn, and they did not really want to teach.

I remember this guy Jack from Canada in Mexico, he lived there for 20 years and could not pronounce the word Mujer, in fact, he demolished most words, yet he would say he studied the language.

This is what happens when there is no correction and the bad habits become impossible to stop, you write as I write, your grammar is like my grammar, all the rules are violated, and because the person truly believes, they are saying, writing and communicating in the language well, they cannot not stop their bad habits.

Teaching me French grammar is impossible in a way, I do not know English grammar, hard to explain and adjective, when I am never sure what an adjective is, or how to construct a sentence.

I get frustrated when the spell checker says… Sentence Fragment… I think, that is nice, why, how do I fix, come on please, help me to learn, I want to know what I did wrong. Great, now I know I have a sentence fragment, so what?

I am guessing, yet I believe there are about 3000 rules of any language, you could just make a big list of 3000 rules, examples of word, how to pronounce in a row, then say, learn them all and you are ok. Then you need to go and use the language, practice, and slowly learn the sound, the style and the common way of talking.

I found a way to pronounce the French Alphabet on the internet.

Now, if I can find some words with a W in the word, so I can figure out why there is no W’s to be found, and why my friends say their names the way they say them. I want to deal with W, I want to learn all the way the W is used, how not to use, when to use, how to pronounce, I know they could do this, one letter, and all the rules, then A, B, C, etc.

Note, my new friends speak Mina as their first language, maybe they speak French, maybe the do not. Mawuli speak French worst than me, so who know why he spells his name the way he does. The other girl, this mother of 2, single, and selling peanuts and - Divers - I think this means Miscellaneous, I wrote Isabelle to learn, not in the dictionary, but on every sign I see.

The mother, strangely, out of the blue, on a back street, way off in the yonder speaks perfect French, I can talk and understand her easily, but when she spelled out her name, I was lost. I will try again tomorrow; she gave me a Cadeau, a gift of peanuts. I about dropped out of my chair, a gift, someone is giving me a gift, after having about 30 people per day ask you for a gift, the idea of receiving one seems radical, out of this world, there seems to be such a one way street, how could a person offer me a gift.

There are special stars in the sky, I must be sure to keep my eyes open.

I hope after I am good at French, I never tell anyone how easy it is to learn a language; it is just a lot of work, no more, no less. Unless you are a natural and that is not really the same.

Anybody can learn a language, that is easy to see, most people speak one language, there own.

Where is the French W

Travel into the Francophone

Travel into the Francophone
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Where oh where is the information on Togo? I have wondered off into the world of the Francophone, left the Anglophone and went to.

I went searching for rooms in earnest, as I am leaving a sure thing internet connection tomorrow morning and going to the I-hope-I-have-a-connection areas.

Togo is not really in the sights of either the French or the English as their next travel destination. I may be wrong, but this country is not in the short, medium or long list, they do not have it on the list.

I found a few more terms to call a cheap room in French, and ways of thinking in French. I do not think French yet, but I am adjusting and thinking maybe a little Togo French.

Donnez moi un Cadeau cherita.

Type of accommodations in French, and I am not sure about the comme d’habitude, but think it is.

Comme d’habitude
Pas Cher
Chambre de Passage
Chez l'habitant

I have this list of words to describe accommodations and it is continually growing, there is of course many ways to say I want a place to sleep in many languages, and there needs to be a lot of adapting to the local flavors to travel Hobo.

I am working on the list, because, I am cheap, so far, the only they call me cheap here, is to say I am sticky, and the Ghana Translation into English. I will soon learn to say in French. I am cheap; I do not give up the cash easy.

Searching and reading in a different language on the internet is a voyage. I think or try to empathize with the Chinese or Arabic world and try to think, understand how difficult it is to find the information available, there is a world of isolation and separation.

I can do pretty good at reading French and can surf, find, and read well. I am not too excited though about the French travelers in Togo, there is about the same number as the English speakers, a few and none.

I am sure to find Frenchie thinking there are some more French search engines to consider.

Travel into the Francophone

My Only Choice is French

My Only Choice is French
Tsevie, Togo West Africa
Thursday, April 19, 2007

I have only one choice, I need to learn French better, if I wish to travel in these African Francophone countries, and learn more about the culture, than I need to talk better French.

If I spoke French about 4 degrees better, I could interview of give the quiz to the Hotel Owners and avoid their lies better, and have a better room and travel cheaper.

Sometimes, I am quite positive, the people here speak horrible French, and then I think, they speak good French. There is only one way to know, and that is to speak better French than them, and to know when I am not pronouncing the words correctly or maybe them.

There a many phrases in French, which are repeated many times in conversations. I am going to start writing them down, therefore when I hear them; I know I can repeat easily. The locals appear, although I cannot be sure, they appear to speak these pat phrases, sort of like canned answers. Then when there is a word that is not common, it will baffle them.

I tried two times today, to say, I am going to go see the Hippos, finally when I wrote it down, one person instantly understood, however, the two girls in the Shell Station next to the Hotel Grand here in Tsevie had to think for a long time to know what this was.

I think the girls called an Animal an Aneemoe and I think it should be pronounced Aneemah. This is the confusion, I am never positive, therefore I am easily confused. I will study my French.

Languages, French, Togo, Hotel Finding, Togo Hotels,

My Only Choice is French

Teach Me Bad French Please

Teach Me Bad French Please
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I am close to fluent in the Spanish Language; however, same as my English, I learned many bad habits. I studied Spanish for three semesters in University.

Maybe 15 years later I go to Mexico and start to learn Spanish again, and while I was there, I learned to say
- Mandi -

Como is correct.

If you go to Acapulco, live in a beach 8 miles north of there called Pie de La Cuesta, all the people on the beach when they do not understand will say,
- Mandi -
- Como -
What? What do you mean?

Now, I go to Spain and when I am there, and I rrrrr my R and the people in Spain point at me and laugh.
- Mexico. -

I have a Mexican accent, and as far as I know, the only country that does this rrrr thing is Mexico, and my teacher was insistent I learn. Three semesters in University and I thought was never told the whole world dos not do this rrrrrr thing.

When I teach people English, I try to teach them the bad English, for sure I teach the word Supper, they will say Dinner, then one day get to Indiana and be confused when someone says come over for the
- Last Supper. -

Making a joke, but the point is, supper is a word, maybe not sophisticated, formal, or all that elite crap, however a proper person needs to know the difference.

I want to learn bad French now, somehow or someone soon needs to teach me the bad French, so I stop. I need to stop today using some phrases I hear every day of the week from the Togo people. I am sure some are not proper French; it is not that I do not want to use them, I want to make the choice and know the difference, this is good French and this is not proper French, I do not want to learn bad habits.

It took me years to stop saying Mandi in Spanish and the truth is, when I am really rushed, not thinking, it will return, it is a habit. Habits learned are difficult to stop, I speak English the way I learned English, I will forever feel the English I speak is proper and sounds right, even when I learn 100 percent correct English, sometime is just does not feel correct.

I do not want to learn France French, I want to learn global French, I want to travel, and I do not want to live in France.

Example: Here in Togo before noon, they say Bonjour, after noon they say Bonsoir, the other day a French man walks up and says, Bonjour at about five in the afternoon to me, I am told this because it was the first time he met me. He does not speak Togo French; maybe he does not know the differences and never listened or talked with Togo people even though he lives here.

How good is my Spanish, I am not sure, but I am sure it global, I can say popcorn eight different ways.

Palamitas in Mexico
Poporopo in Guatemala
Popcorn in Panama and Peru
Pochoclos in Argentina.
Canguil in Ecuador
Pipoca in Venezueala
Crespitas in Colombia
Maiz de pira

Why, because they do not use the Spanish word normally, they use the local native language before Spanish, however how would I know that… I will forever uses Palamitas as I learned in Mexico.

Teach Me Bad French Please

The Six Languages to Learn

The Six Languages to Learn
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Friday, July 6, 2007

There is debate about which languages to learn, these six would be a good start of the 6812 or so languages out there to be annoyed you cannot understand.

I really need to stop reading the online Encyclopedia as it is amazing how little I know about the plant earth. Yesterday, I was all excited browsing around on the Francophone page and thinking about Anglophone and Anglosphere and all sorts of fun maps and things, when I ran across what the United Nations considers the Six Official Languages

The UN has six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
Stop Quote

Therefore, to continue with my lesson in Humility and other self-floggings, I decided to try to find a map of all 6 bigger language groups.

So what do I learn about, I now am more positive I know very little, I only have about 1.5 percent of the six big language managed, what a drag, just when I was thinking I knew something, I get slapped back down to reality, the world is bigger than me.

When I see the big picture, the small picture fades away.

This is the Francophone world or the countries that have a big influence by the French Language.

English world or the Anglophone or Angloshere.

The Chinese are coming, do not ignore them, this is a culture that is ancient and thriving.

Arab or Arabic Culture and language, they had a bigger influence in history and not are sort at a standstill. Dubai is trying and Jordan is trying they seem somewhat hogtied by their terrorist problem. The have too much money, however do not seem to put the pieces together.

Probably the last on the list of my want to learn languages sort of like learning to not smile. Some people say, I should do this, I think more about what I should not do, and am happy to remove some off the list of should.

I think Russia has white girls, you know how long it been since I hung around with white women. I keep thinking about the Beatle and back in the USSR… I do not know Russia.

Spanish, I know Spanish.

Ok I get a 1 for Spanish and I am one-half for French, I am only a 1.5 out of a number of 6, so back to work.

The Six Languages to Learn

Learn Ewe Language in Lome Togo

Learn Ewe Language in Lome Togo
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, July 20, 2007

Daniel the French owner of a French, Ewe etc, Language School in Lome, Togo.

The best way to learn about a culture is to speak the language, when you figure out how they talk, you slowly learn how they think, and then along comes some cultural understanding.

I found a School to study languages in Lome, Togo. I can learn Ewe, the local language of Lome, Togo, or I can learn French.

I think French is a good start, however you can choose from many languages with Daniel. If you wanted to do business in Togo, it would be a good idea to ask for help, take a quick course or a refresher course.

Daniel has been in West Africa for over 17 years and can help you find the rope to shore, so you boat does not float away.

How to find?
Say to a Taxi, I want to go the Angola Embassy, something as in Ambassade De l'Angola. Remember, they do not speak English.

Lam-Bah-Sawd duh An-Gohl-lah

When the Taxi is there, you walk about two blocks toward the central city and the office in on the left, the sign says something about Polyglotte.

IF you do not want to go to see Daniel, please say to the taxi,
- Avenua de Duisburg -

As best I can tell, not one Motorcycle Taxi driver in the city knows where this street is located. Now, if you are good, you can say,
- Kodjoviakope -

Koh Joh Vee Ah Koh Peh

This is the neighborhood, the taxis here in Lome, think in terms of neighborhood, not streets. This would get you closer to the school; one of the two landmarks will get you closer.

Ambassade De l'Angola
Lam-Bah-Sawd duh An-Gohl-lah

- Kodjoviakope -
Koh Joh Vee Ah Koh Peh

What a trip, you need to know French to go and learn French, if you are exceptionally smart, print out the business card and show the taxi driver, and eventually you will be at his door of Daniel, look for the buzzer or bell button…

Alternative directions would be to go to the Hotel Galion, walk north away from the ocean, when you see an internet café on your right, then stop in and look around you should eventually see a sign saying Polyglotte. Or for about 90 percent of you, pull out your cell phone and call Daniel and say I am a white person standing in front of the internet Café or the Embassy or in the Galion or some landmark.

Personally, I have given up on street addresses, I know the pizza man is confused, I am confused, and the world really does not use them, so I use a land marks, like the Internet Café, the Embassy of Angola, or the Galion Hotel, one them is a good start to find the woods which is the neighborhood of Kodjoviakope.

Learn Ewe Language in Lome Togo

Gateau Batoken and Achtomon

Gateau Batoken and Achtomon
Atakpame, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, August 1, 2007

These wheat cakes are called Gateaux for many and Gateau as one. There is a little mark above the A, but I am going to ignore it and hope it goes away.

Next comes the Mina Language, I can ask for a Gateau, and the locals will try to give me what they have close to them, the word Gateau is a general word for cake, however normally here in Togo means these round things.

On the left is the type called Batoken and is smooth, and on the rough one on the right is an Achtomon in the Mina language, maybe I say Gateau Batoken if I want the left type and maybe I say Gateau Achtomon if I want the right. The truth is, I do not say either one if I can see them, I just point at the one I want, and saves many silly communication headaches. My goal is to communicate first, and learn the language second, better to be a good communicator than good in languages.

However, the problem is this, I like the Achtomon, the flavor is sweeter, and takes less like oil, more or a cake and less of a fried taste, it is my favorite Gateau here in Togo. Now, when I have a fancy for a Achtomon Gateau, I need to inquire around, because I have now learn the specific words, I can not request,


I suppose I could say,
- Je veux le gâteau achtomon -
Or maybe,
- Je veux le achtomon gâteau -

Complete with the little pyramid on top of the A, however I will probably just say,
- Achtomon -

Then point, or hold my palms up, and in universal language of hand talk, I will say where is Achtomon?

I like to communicate first and learn a language second.

I guess soon I will climb the French ladder and figure out what is the difference between a Gateau and a Beignet. As I see it, they both are deep-fried in oil, so I cannot say the Gateau Achtomon was bake and a cake. I saw is my favorite Gateau deep fried in the street in front of my eyes, and I like to see my cook, it makes me feel safer to eat.

I forgot, there is probably a word for Gateau in the Mina Language, I could learn that and forget my French. Would I be learning to communicate, or would I be learning a language?

Gateau Batoken and Achtomon

Importance of French Spelling

Importance of French Spelling
Lome, Togo West Africa
Sunday, August 5, 2007

I am trying to rent a home in Lome to use as a resting house for weary travelers. My new proposition of working serendipitously on projects is helping me to be more patient with the Togolese people as nothing I am focusing on progresses, however what I am not focusing on does progress towards a goal.

Last night the one older women who I have had maybe 10 discussion meeting with called me on the cell phone, I am not sure all she said, but I heard the words,
- tout de suite -

These words mean right now, so I walked to the woman house immediately.

- tout de suite -

I looked these words up in the French Dictionary, and if I would have typed them, I would have written,
- tout suit -

This is my French Lesson problem, I am learning French as I hear it and not as I read it, write it maybe, then try to say it. I hear the word and I try to repeat the word, I often do not see the word written.

For Example, when I want a Taxi to go slow, or I want a person to be careful I need to say,

- Dousma -
- Douzsma -

I cannot find the word, the ironical problem of a dictionary, if I knew how to spell it I could find it in the dictionary, and if I knew how to spell it, I would not be trying to find it in the dictionary.

The older women does not read French well, however she does speak French more or less ok. I can read French well, however I my pronunciation is bad.

The women asked an younger niece or relative to come to the house and translate from Mina to English or English to Mina etc. The first language of the older woman is Mina, Ewe or something local. The contract is in good French.

I am being weighed by my intentions, the lady can see that the contract is in good French, as her one son requested of me, he said write an offer
- bien clair -

This is the annoying part, I cannot find these phrases as they are said to me, I understood what the man said, I know he wants a very clear offer made to them in French, so I did this as I heard him say.

I skipped the offer part, I thought this is too crazy, I will write the lease contract I want and they can read it as an offer is just a something prior and not clear, the final lease is clear.

Except anything I do, never progresses towards my intended goal. I wrote a very clear lease in French for the son to read, the mother to read and nobody reads it.

Serendipitously working towards the goal, I now do not care, as who cares, I am not trying to accomplish something by doing a clear contract, I know I am trying to accomplish something by accident. What I did serendipitously was demonstrate to her I am serious.

Serendipitously working is trying to make good accidents happen, make good accidental progress towards some cloudy and overcast goal. The difficult part is to not stay focused, just keep intending to make progress and do not enforce people to focus, allow them to go off-topic.

I keep learning in life, people only hear what they want to hear.

Read the Blog comments and you know they hear what they want to hear, not what I wrote. And I know there is a difference between reading and hearing, however this is the nature of understanding.

I have had many people say to learn words in the contextually, that you can learn words by using them or how they are used in sentences.

I think… let me think of a percentage, I think this is
95 percent horseshit, words said by people to lazy to go and look up words, however 99 percent of the people on the planet.

I must learn to spell the word, I must look the word up in the French Dictionary, I must read the word, I must write the words. When I hear a word, I need to somehow learn how to spell the word.

I am in country where people do not write words down, they do not spell words, they do not speak French, they speak Mina. I am trying to accidentally learn French, by continuously learning the words I am not trying to learn. However, I must read the word, write the word, and I need to continually check the spelling.

If I spell it correctly, I have a chance of pronouncing it correctly.

People that want to learn a language have dictionaries.

Weary travelers want to rest in a place where what they expect to happens, does indeed happen.

Importance of French Spelling

My African Travel French is OK

My African Travel French is OK
Bamako, Mali, West Africa
Monday, September 24, 2007

I am not sure how well I speak, I do know I speak good enough to go down the Congo River now, my French was a question mark that just desired to be answered before I would go to the Congo. I do not know how well my French is, because I meet very few people in Africa now that speak French better than me, and I have begun to speak simpler and careful with words from my vocabulary or the locals will not understand. I can easily know when they do not speak French.

I felt very good in Orodara, Burkina Faso when the one woman said my French was better than the Peace Corps girl; this was like getting a big gold star. I am happy, I know people normally travel to places where they are already half competent in the language or know they do not need to speak a language. I am learning French on the fly, and now I know my biggest obstacle has been the locals do not speak French well.

If I met just one French Traveler, with a personality rating above 4, then I could have a conversation as an examination. Their accent and pronunciation is different, however I am semi-clear they speak ok, if not Euro-Trash, and always hard to know this or that, some 1 or 2 hanging around. Many of the French girls I think are in Hiding; I suspect they do not want the world to know that having a go with the local men.

I have resorted to saying I am from France, as this really belays problems of communications. If a person here hears I am from the USA, their French almost stops, and they say their 2 words of English, when I say I am from France, they want to prove they can speak French, thus they turn on their brains.

Moreover, now if they do not like me, they will blame it on France, however, I think I am little too handsome to be from France, and I do not smoke.

One smart gentleman started to quiz me about French, asking about who politicians in France were, I admitted I was from the USA, but think, the reason for the quiz was because he was not sure…!

My African Travel French is OK

Hobo Members save 1000's of dollars by joining HoboTraveler and asking pro travelers questions on the Hobo Talk Wall.

seo услуги