Speech, Vocabulary, and the Rice Patty

19 04 2009

I visited a new church this Sunday …unfortunately that’s been a constant theme recently, because I can’t seem to find a church I’m happy with.  I’ve reaized that’s a bit of a problem: that the two things that can frustrate more than anything are churches and pastors.  However, I felt good about the church I visited today (which my friend Elly introduced me to).  Afterwards some of us went out to lunch (for probably three hours or so), and there was good conversation.

One of the women present (the pastor’s wife) has some position with the Los Angeles Unified School District …I’m not entirely sure what she does, but I think it’s something with bi-lingual students.  (I think she works with thrity-some schools).  …on a side note, LAUSD apparently has someone in the range of 700,000 students!

The conversation revovled around language and learning/education for quite a while.  It was extremely interesting, and I’m sure I only understanded about 50% of what was going on.  Here are a few things I picked up:

  • Everyone has a larger receptive vocabularly than they do expressive vocabularly.  In other words, the number of words we can hear and understand is larger than the number of words we can accurately use in our own speach.  …obvious, sure – but not something I’ve thought about before.
  • Apparently if you are bi-lingual and have a stroke and lose your ability to speak, you only lose the ability to speak in one of the languages – not both.  Apparently the physical locations where the two languages are “stored” in your brain are in different places, so only one is affected.
  • Jesus being “the bread of life” isn’t that meaningful from the Korean perspective.  Apparently for most Koreans bread isn’t terribly important… so, “Jesus the rice patty of life” might be more appropriate.



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