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    Entries in languages (11)


    Buckle up, we care about you (really!)

    Language matters.

    Walking down the street near Belmont Ave. today, I noticed the following sign at the exit of an apartment complex’s parking lot. The sign caught my eye for its choice of words and for its callous connotation. Can you guess why?


    Thanks for caring


    Tenant=person who lives at the place

    Tenancy=agreement to pay rent in exchange for the right to live there

    There is a subtle, but very important, difference between saying “we value your tenancy” and “we value our tenants.” By valuing tenancy, the sign implies that they want you to buckle up so that you can pay your rent. I am sure (well, I hope) that whoever wrote the sign for American Property Management intended to say they value their tenants but made a mistake in the writing/editing process. Surely, they care about the people that live in the apartments, right?

    It could be an innocent mistake, or perhaps it was a Freudian slip.

    Then again, maybe they were just being honest.


    Koreans really get into their coffee...

    Jennie G, of Not Just Kimchi, sent me another picture from Seoul, where the coffee culture is growing by leaps and bounds. I suppose you could say that coffee is making a big splash in the country, at least at this café.

    A coffee-lover's dream


    Brown Scent?

    My friend Jennie, an MIM grad who lives in Korea and writes the blog Not Just Kimchi, sent this to me yesterday. It’s the picture of a coffee shop in Seoul. Interesting name, don’t you think? 

    I doubt if Howard Schultz is going to try to steal their marketing manager


    Coffee Fest Recap Part 1

    If you’ve read my last couple posts, you know that I spent this past weekend at Coffee Fest in Seattle. One of the reasons I wanted to go to the show was to see the city itself. It had been a long time (8 years or so) since I visited the Emerald City, and I had forgotten how much bigger Seattle is. Seattle’s downtown area has a lot more people and quite a bit more traffic.

    Like Portland, Seattle has a reputation for being rainy, but when the sun is out (as it was on Friday afternoon), it is a beautiful city. On a clear day you can see the Olympic Mountains to the West and Mount Rainier to the East. Located on Puget Sound, Seattle has a number of inlets and lakes that carve up the city.

    Nothing but blue sky, at least for one day

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    Gigibar: A Linguaphile’s Café (closed)

    I went to Gigibar the other day out at the corner of 60th and SE Division to drink some coffee and to meet with a fellow MIM graduate, David Hubbard. I arrived around 10:30am, and had the café to myself when I arrived. Gigi, the owner, greeted me and asked what I wanted to drink. I asked her about her espresso and she told me it was Bella Selva, an organic coffee roasted by K&F Coffees, a Portland company. She said it was a lighter roast that was kind of chocolaty. I ordered a double ($2) and went to sit down. The coffee was nice and toasty, not over-extracted or bitter. 


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    Discovering China

    You might wonder why someone from a small town in Eastern Washington would ever be interested in going to spend a month in China to study Chinese. I had to think about that for a while to come up with an answer. When I came home to harvest last week, I remembered why. The answer can be traced back to Dayton and to my best friend from home, Ryan Rundell.

    Ryan and I have known each other for more than 25 years. He has been one of my best friends for almost as far back as I can remember. Over the years, we spent hours playing sports together, rehearsing and performing in school musicals together, chasing girls together and rooming together in college. Ryan is the one who got me interested in China and learning Chinese. Here’s the story:


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    Why Would Anyone Want to Study Chinese?

    Some of you have asked me why people come to BLCU for a one-month (or longer) intensive Chinese language study. I’ve been meaning to write about the topic for a while—sorry for the delay. Here are some of my classmates’ stories (unfortunately, I didn’t have pictures of everyone).

    The first student I want to introduce to you is Lee Dong-Deuk. Lee is a 53 year-old businessman from Seoul, South Korea. Twenty years ago, he started a business importing wall coverings into South Korea (the company’s website is here). Lee is taking a month off from the day to day operations of the company to come here and study. Lee has studied Chinese in Korea for the last two years with an online Chinese teacher. He is studying because he likes languages and also because he sees potential business opportunities in China. He knows that being able to speak Mandarin will help him build relationships and conduct negotiations with Chinese buyers and suppliers.


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