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Greg Rucka on his research, on IO9:


Thought some of you writer-y types might appreciate this story.

secret messages in bus stops 2

Question: Learning Languages Tapes

Posted by lmx_v3point3 on 2010.10.12 at 16:25
Current Mood: amusedamused
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Hi All,

So today's question is on languages.

Everybody loves those tapes (or MP3s, I guess) you can get that teach you a language while you're travelling or in the car or whereever. In the story I'm writing, over the course of a couple of years a group of people go through lots of these, and I'd love to put in a few bizarre or comical phrases in a variety of languages which are right, but (like with many of these things) you're left asking... when would I ever use that? And do I really want to say that aloud on the bus at rush hour?

Mon frere, il est un cheval! (This was actually in my French text book at school! One of the few things I remember, sadly...)

Ich bin ein helecopter! (My friend decided to learn this important phrase before going to the German world cup)

Vamos a besarnos, amigos! (So song lyrics maybe don't count, but...)

So whether it's your first or second or nth language, I'd love to hear anything you have to offer.

Hi Guys,

Hope you don't mind me fussing with the layout here. Just trying to get the fancy new header up. Any complaints let me know ;) And please please please ask some questions! :D Even if you haven't seen someone from the right location pop up yet, an unanswered question is sometimes the encouragement lurkers or passers by need to join up and help us out!

So the question today is on stereotypes.

Do people have a stereotype for your area or country? Do you think you fit it, or know some people who do, or is it complete tosh? Have you ever been to a place where you thought the stereotype fit or met a person who fit your stereotype for their origins?

Tell us all about it!

Hi!  I don't know if I can help anyone, but I'm willing to try!

I am 51 yrs old (gulp!), so if you need someone who remembers the 80's, let me know.  I live in southeastern Connecticu, USA  (just outside New London) and have been in this area all my life. 

What else?  Off the top of my head...  Indycar and Nascar racing - I was at the first Brickyard 400 and have been out to Indianapolis for Indy 500 qualifying a number of times, most recently in 2001.  Have driven from CT to much of the eastern half of the country (most recently to Chicago, in the past Indy, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine, Texas, Georgia, Niagara Falls).   Visited the Azores in 1985.  In the 80's worked mostly 2nd and 3rd shifts as a machinist in an almost totally male machine shop.  Also circa 1980 was in an aviation based unit of the National Guard, where one of the "perks" was being allowed to go joy-riding in the back of a Huey helicopter on a regular basis.  Once parachute jumped out of a perfectly good plane. :) 

Have been through a couple of relatively minor hurricanes.  Built things (TVs, a computer, a robot and our first microwave oven) from kits.  Have owned a long line of computers (Heathkit, TI-99, Atari 800, Atari ST, DOS based PC, more recent PCs) and still remember the days of dialing local BBSs on a 1200 baud modem long before we were all linked to the Internet.

There's probably more, but I can't think of anything right now.  :)

So, this is another quite general question - and I'd love to hear answers from all over - but I'm most interested in the American mid-west & south if you guys have a minute.

There's plenty of places to walk around me, and to know the public rights of way/footpaths etc you just buy an OS (ordnance survey) map of the area which come in different scales depending on whether you're wanting to drive/walk/hike, and the places to walk are marked on them.

This is great because it means that even though I live in the city I can walk out to the nearest towns without walking on major roads etc, or trespassing. There was a recent Right to Roam act that covers a lot of England, Scotland and Wales which allows free access to any open countryside provided hikers follow specific rules (dogs on leads, restricted wild camping, etc). For those areas which aren't free roaming the farmers can be very aggressive if you are found walking on their land (to the point of shooting warning shots by you in certain places, which they are within their rights to do provided they aren't actually trying to shoot you, or sending their dogs chasing after you). Welsh farmers especially are terrifying, but you generally get bonus points and let off easy (ie not shot at) if you can greet them and apologise in Welsh.

I digress hugely...

MY QUESTION - How restricted is walking/rambling/hiking in the countryside around your towns/cities? Is trespassing a big issue? If you got caught trespassing, how much trouble are you in? Are there preset footpaths to follow, and how well maintained are these? Are their stiles to cross field boundaries? Are there field boundaries?!!

Thanks all.

Welcome to everyone who's joined! So I'm going to keep asking questions until we hit critical mass and this place takes off. Again, if you haven't done it yet, pass the link on to as many people you can.

Question - When I was younger we used to spend our weekends and evenings and school holidays cycling around our estates and kicking a football (soccer football, that is...) about in the road, scattering whenever a car came.

Is playing in the streets around your cities and towns allowed? Is it safe? What kind of games are played? If a character walked down your street this weekend, how would the atmosphere feel?


I'm Sera and I'm a writer. Lol I feel like I'm at an AA meeting :P

I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and I've lived here for most of my life, so I can answer questions about living here and studying here and working here, and also about basic lifestyle I guess (shops and streets and the crazy weather :P)

I'm originally Middle Eastern, so even though I can't answer questions about living there, I can answer questions about the culture and traditions over there (I can also read, write and speak passable Arabic). I also visit Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to visit family every few years so it's possible i can give you a tourists eye view of those places (probably though only if you get really stuck, I'm familiar with them, but I'm not sure how helpful it can be).

I've visited a few places as an actual tourist, and they include Greece (Athens and Crete), Ontario in Canada (Toronto and around some smaller towns in a camper van, but I can't remember the names /o\ and Niagara Falls) and much more recently England (London, Manchester, Liverpool) and France (Paris).

I'm also a pharmacist in training, and huge science nerd, so questions about biology, chemistry and drugs (legal and less so) I can handle pretty well, with as much detail as you want (in the legal ones lol, the less legal ones I'm a bit vague on

I hope that's all makes sense. I don't know how much help I can be, but I'm really excited for this. All of my fandoms have been in places I have never been, or included things I have never done, so this is just awesome :D

Howdy y'all!

I've lived in eastern Iowa in the United States for almost my entire life, with vacations to Wyoming (and some of the other Rockies states), Florida, Wisconsin, upstate New York, the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina, and the Boundary Waters of upstate Minnesota. I'm an American Midwest woman, but I'm not a country girl (I grew up and live on the Mississippi River). However, I've been through and spent time in countless small country towns, so if you want to know something about Midwest Americana, I know that very well.

In terms of major tourist attractions, I've been to Niagara Falls once, and the House on the Rock (in Wisconsin) a few times. I've visted Chicago many, many times, and have family living there now, so what I don't know, I can find out.

I've also visted the UK and went to London, Windsor, Glouchester, and Stonehenge, if someone wants a tourist's perspective on those places. In addition, my husband is English and from Glouchester, and spent about half his life in Windsor. So I have a live-in source for English culture, food, geography, and language.

In other information:
*I've done canoeing and hiking while I was in the Boundary Waters, and have been whitewater kayaking in several states (North Carolina, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri) if you want to know about those activities in the USA.
*I have a medical background in sports medicine (I was trained as an athletic trainer and did that for 9 years), so I can answer questions about sports injuries and the American high school/collegiate sports environment.
*I currently work in a factory (aluminum sheet and plate manufaturing), so if you want to know about a heavy industrial environment, I can field those questions too!
*I was a lifeguard for two summers.
*I went to a YMCA camp every summer for 12 years.

Hey everyone!

I'm from the Boston area so I know a lot about the city and the eastern half of Massachusetts. I also have a bi of general knowledge about New Hampshire, Maine and Western New York state (though it's not technically part of New England, I went to school out there)

And I could probably do tourist perspective on London, Wales and Barcelona as I've spent quite a bit of time traveling those places!

Happy to help in any way I can, though I suspect I'll probably be most helpful for folks doing Boston-based shows like Leverage and Rizzoli & Isles


I'm from southern Arizona in the United States. I've been to Tucson, Tombstone, Nogales, Tubac (artist colony), San Xavier Mission, the Grand Canyon, Phoenix, and the White Mountains.

I don't know if anyone would be interested, but we got a under-appreciated mix of Anglo, Mexican, and Native American culture down here.

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