Freddie Mercury – La forza dell’ambizione


Queen

Di recente sono andata a vedere Bohemian Rhapsody, non perche’ il film sia stato un boom, ma perche’ sin da teenager la musica dei Queen mi dava una carica di energia indescrivibile, creando in me la voglia di capire quelle canzoni cantate da Freddie Mercury con tanta passione da far venire la pelle d’oca. Con l’aiuto della mia amica Francesca cominciai a tradurre i testi per capirne l’essenza e piano piano con il dizionario cartaceo alla mano riusci a proseguire da sola.

Questo post non vuole essere una recensione sul film, in quanto non mi ritengo una critica cinematografica, ma bensi’ un breve momento di riflessione sulla potenza dell’ambizione che ognuno di noi possiede. Freddie Mercury, vero nome Farrokh Bulsara nasceva nell’isola di Zanzibar nel 1946, gia’ da piccolo manifestava doti musicali notevoli e non solo, eccelleva anche negli sport. Dopo aver trascorso la maggior parte della sua adolescenza con la nonna e la zia in India, fa ritorno a Zanzibar, ma nel 1964 all’eta’ di 18 anni si deve spostare con la famiglia in Inghilterra per via della rivoluzione di Zanzibar che minacciava la stabilita’ politica del paese.

Prima del suo enorme successo, Freddie Mercury vendeva vestiti usati al mercato delle pulci insieme alla sua ragazza Mary Austin, per un periodo di tempo lavoro’ anche all aeroporto di Heathrow scaricando valigie dagli aerei. Un ragazzo che viene descritto dagli amici come estremamente timido e con un grande interesse per la musica. Un ragazzo che molto spesso veniva chiamato “Paki” ossia proveniente dal Pakistan, un termine che oggigiorno denota una connotazione peggiorativa.

Nel 1970 fonda i Queen:

«Anni fa pensai al nome Queen… È solamente un nome, ma è molto regale e suona sfarzoso. È un nome forte, molto universale e immediato. Aveva un sacco di potenziale visivo ed era aperto a ogni tipo di interpretazione. Ero certamente consapevole delle connotazioni gay, ma quella era soltanto una delle sue facce.»

Bohemian Rhapsody e’ una canzone lunga sei minuti che richiede tre settimane per la registrazione. Una canzone che all’epoca viene definita troppo lunga per essere broadcast nella radio dalle grandi case produttrici, cosi Freddie deciso manda in onda la canzone grazie ad un amico presentatore radiofonico. All’inizio derisa e criticata Bohemian Rhapsody diventa una delle canzoni piu’ belle della storia della musica.

Cliccate qui per il testo.

Un film, Bohemian Rhapsody, che sicuramente poteva essere fatto un po’ meglio, presenti anche falsi storici, ma sicuramente che racchiude un messaggio potente che ispira a mettercela tutta, sfruttando il proprio talento, non dubitando di se stessi e rialzandosi dopo ogni inevitabile caduta.

Io sono caduta molte volte da quando mi sono trasferita a Londra nel lontano 1995, ma mi sono sempre rialzata, sono stata derisa per il mio inglese, tutt’altro che fluente all’epoca, eppure nel mio piccolo sono la persona che volevo essere, una persona che continua ad imparare e che condivide la propria conoscenza.

Sarebbe bello conoscere storie positive di tenacia e ambizione. Qual e’ la vostra storia?

Questa e’ la mia https://languagesalive.me/2016/03/08/perche-ho-deciso-di-sfidare-londra/

 

Raffaella

MA Intercultural Communication for Business & Professions

BA Hon in Spanish & French

CLTA Formazione per l’insegnamento dell’italiano, spagnolo e francese

Mi occupo di orientamento corsi di inglese, IELTS, Cambridge, business, viaggi studio, adulti, ragazzi, bambini a partire dai 3 anni. Consigli su scuole private internazionali.

Sono anche una tutor privata di italiano e spagnolo ed un’assistente delle maestre nelle scuole elementari. Contattatemi su raffaella@languagesalive.com se avete bisogno.

 

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20 espressioni prettamente British utilissime per l’inverno


invernofrasi

‘It’s drizzling’, ‘grab a brolly’, ‘let’s get a cuppa’ or maybe a ‘hot toddy’, sono solo alcune delle espressioni inglesi che vi saranno utili quest’inverno.

La lingua inglese ha una varieta’ infinita di espressioni che spesso confondono quando si prova a tradurle. Ecco qui una lista che vi aiutera’ a capirle ed ad usarle come se foste a Londra da una vita.

  1. Brolly –  E’ un’abbreviazione di umbrella (ombrello), un’espressione un po’ fuori moda, ma ancora ampiamente usata in Inghilterra. “Grab the brolly, it’s started to rain” (Prendi l’ombrello e’ iniziato a piovere).
  2. It’s drizzling, (sta pioviggiando), “It’s only drizzling” (sta solo piovigginando).
  3.  Fine rai; c’e’ una pioggerellina, ma quanto basta per bagnarsi, quindi c’e’ bisogno di un cappotto!
  4. It’s brightening – tipica espressione per dire che il tempo sta cambiando e che presto uscira’ il sole. “Look over there, it’s brightnening” (Guarda la’, sta uscendo il sole, o si sta schiarendo).
  5. Cuppa – ossia cup of tea. (Una tazza di te’) questa e’ un’espressione informale che si usa quando ci si conosce gia’. “Fancy a cuppa?” vuol dire: vuoi una tazza di te’?
  6. Afternoon tea – Non e’ un semplice te’, ma una tradizione, che vede  il te’ servito in un servizio da te’ tradizionale, accompagnato da scones (dolci con uvetta passa) con crema fresca (non la nostra), marmellata e mini sandwiches spesso anche con salmone. C’e’ sempre l’opzione alcolica che prevede un bicchiere di champagne pagando un supplemento. Ecco i migliori locali per un afternoon tea eccezionale secondo il giornale “The Telegraph”
  7. It’s a bit nippy out there – significa semplicemente che fuori fa freddo . Si dice anche “there’s a nip in the air” si sente un’arietta fredda. It’s chilly vuol dire esattamente la stessa cosa. Un vocabolario alquanto vasto solo per descrivere il tempo!
  8. Autumn come il nostro autunno indica la stagione autunnale, mentre in americano e’ chiamato fall
  9. As snug as a bug in a rug; un modo di dire di stare al calduccio indossando una bella sciarpona, cappotto o coprirsi con la coperta della nonna.
  10. Cheers si dice quando si fa un brindisi, ma si usa anche per ringraziare in maniera informale, cheers for that Mark, (grazie Mark).
  11. A round; quando si e’ in gruppo di solito gli inglesi comprano da bere per tutti a turno
  12. Hot toddy; e’ una bevanda alcolica calda fatta con il whisky, miele, limone, erbe e spezie. Si trovano diverse ricette per fare questa bevanda per ternersi caldi in inverno. Qui la ricetta secondo la BBC
  13. Mince pie; un dolce natalizio tipico farcito con un ripieno di misto frutta secca e spezie
  14. Bits and bobs significa aver bisogno di  varie cose. “I am going to the Christmas market to get a few bits and bobs” Vado al mercatino di Natale a comprare varie cose. Un’altra espressione utilizzata e’ “bits and pieces” ed ha lo stesso significato. Qui alcuni dei mercatini natalizi piu’ consigliati da Visit London
  15. Half past 7 come abbiamo studiato a scuola indica le 7:30 o le 19:30 dipende se am per la mattina o pm per la sera.
  16. Chockablock (abbreviazione chocka) quando qualcosa e’ molto piena come per esempio “My schedule for exploring the UK is chocka”, (La mia tabella di marcia per visitare il Regno Unito e’ pienissima).
  17. Full of beans;espressione per descrivere qualcuno che si sente pieno di energia e pronto per l’azione. “You’re full of beans this morning”. Sei pieno di energia questa mattina!
  18. Gobsmacked significa che si e’ fortemente meravigliati. ” I can’t believe it, I am gobsmacked by how much there is to see in London”, (non ci posso credere, sono veramente meravigliato da quanto c’e’ da vedere a Londra.
  19. Fiver/tenner si usa per indicare £5 e £10. Quid si puo’ usare per sostituire pounds (£) sterline. Quindi 5 quid o a fiver e’ lo stesso per dire 5 sterline.
  20. Cheeky si utilizza quando qualcuno fa qualcosa che non dovrebbe fare, ma in maniera buffa ed amichevole che non infastidisce, ma diverte. Gli inglesi molte volte chiamano i bambini “cheeky monkeys” tipo scimmiette biricchine.

Avete sentito altre espressioni che non riuscite a tradurre? Commentate sotto!

 

Lavoriamo in partnership con le migliori scuole di inglese. Ci occupiamo di orientamento corsi di inglese IELTS, Cambridge, business, viaggi studio, adulti, ragazzi, bambini a partire dai 3 anni. Consigli su scuole private internazionali. Sconti per gli studenti europei. Inoltre si offrono servizi di interpretariato e traduzione. Scriveteci a info@languagesalive.com

Living abroad is good for your personal development


mark

In contrast to the majority of early and some recent literature which see culture shock as a negative construct, a positive view is offered by Juffer (1987) who considers culture shock to be caused by a “growth experience” in which change and transition are synonym of potential growth and personal development (cited in Pedersen 2005). Most of the recent literature tends to support this positive assumption. As a matter of fact, Furnham and Bochner (1986) state: “The implication is that although it may be strange and possibly difficult, sojourning makes a person more adaptable, flexible and insightful”(p.47).

In addition, recent empirical research about growth the potential of the sojourn demonstrate that although the visitor faces difficulties to adapt to the new environment, there is also an increase in awareness and understanding of oneself (Kauffmann et al., 1992 cited in Pedersen 1995), in the interest towards cross-culture issues, and a more critical attitude toward one’s culture (Carlson & Widaman, 1988, cited in Pedersen 1995). Kim (2001), asserts that the difficulties faced when experiencing culture shock lead the individual to make a greater effort in changing their old ways to carry out daily activities, achieving a better quality of life in the new environment.

Gudykunst and Kim (1984) identified the stress related to the initial culture shock a characteristic of the intercultural transformation theory, according to which an individual goes through a stress-adaptation-growth dynamic which over time becomes cyclic and continual. This initial stress the individual faces living in the new culture, which is named in the literature as acculturative stress, is believed to be not necessarily unconstructive and might in fact lead to positive results. After all, the acculturation process is a step towards assimilation as the individual makes a great effort to change their cultural patterns  in order to make them suitable to the new environment.

Culture Shock – A Study Case


london

As a result of a new pattern developed by recent research, emerges a new model of culture shock; an educational, growth model which emphasises the potential positive consequences of culture shock. An anecdotal illustration to this new concept of culture shock is the experience of a friend who came in the UK to stay only for a few months. When she first arrived in London her language skills were very low and it was the first time she had left her home country.

After the initial month, when she experienced a high sense of enthusiasm and curiosity towards the new environment, she soon experienced and came to terms with the feeling of uncertainty, ambiguity and loss. She started feeling lonely and was missing her home friends and family. She would tell me, she found people to be distant and individualistic not placing the right significance on the values of family and friendship.

In addition, she perceived the weather to be one of her main concerns as she was used to a Mediterranean climate. As she had to support her studies of the English language she had to look for a part time job. When she started looking, she felt terribly stressed as she could hardly speak the language and people did not seem to be sympathetic with her situation.

Soon she felt anger towards the host people and the new way of doing things which she had to learn in order to carry out daily life activities. She would feel totally lost when taking the bus and the underground. Sometimes, she told me the bus did not even stop because it was too crowed and she was left standing outside in the rain in disbelief as in her home country buses would stop anyway to try to get as many people on. Moreover, she did not pay attention to the queue lines and found getting shouted at for jumping the queue.

The work interviews were a complete failure as her language skills were not good enough. As a result of these incidents, she considered going back home as the stress was too much to bear. Confronted with a sense of failure, she then decided to stay and undertake the challenge of fitting in the new environment, no matter how hard it would have been to succeed. At this stage, she focused more on her language studies and prepared a speech for the interviews. After many rejections, she was so stubborn that she found a job in a fast food chain in central London. She felt reborn, she made friends at work and felt her language skills were improving day by day. She felt part of the host country’s social life and began to embrace those cultural differences which previously made her feel stressed and miserable.

At times she would still experience a sense of loss and uncertainty but she would cope with difficulties in a much better way which did not result in major crises. Over time, this cyclical process of adjustment became more and more rewarding until when she was actually able to master the host country language and deal with people from different backgrounds. Believing in her abilities, she decided to further her studies and ended up going to University and working in a office. Eventually, what it was supposed to be a sojourn of one year resulted in a stay of several years during when she developed valuable new skills and improved her existing ones.

For more information please contact me at raffaella@languagesalive.com

Living abroad makes you a better person


diversity

In contrast to the majority of early and some recent literature which see culture shock as a negative construct, a positive view is offered by Juffer (1987) who considers culture shock to be caused by a “growth experience” in which change and transition are synonym of potential growth and personal development (cited in Pedersen 2005).

Most of the recent literature tends to support this positive assumption. As a matter of fact, Furnham and Bochner (1986) state: “The implication is that although it may be strange and possibly difficult, sojourning makes a person more adaptable, flexible and insightful”(p.47).

In addition, recent empirical research about growth the potential of the sojourn demonstrate that although the visitor faces difficulties to adapt to the new environment, there is also an increase in awareness and understanding of oneself (Kauffmann et al., 1992 cited in Pedersen 1995), in the interest towards cross-culture issues, and a more critical attitude toward one’s culture (Carlson & Widaman, 1988, cited in Pedersen 1995). Kim (2001), asserts that the difficulties faced when experiencing culture shock lead the individual to make a greater effort in changing their old ways to carry out daily activities, achieving a better quality of life in the new environment.

Gudykunst and Kim (1984) identified the stress related to the initial culture shock a characteristic of the intercultural transformation theory, according to which an individual goes through a stress-adaptation-growth dynamic which over time becomes cyclic and continual. This initial stress the individual faces living in the new culture, which is named in the literature as acculturative stress, is believed to be not necessarily unconstructive and might in fact lead to positive results. After all, the acculturation process is a step towards assimilation as the individual makes a great effort to change their cultural patterns  in order to make them suitable to the new environment.

This concept was expressed by J.W. Berry (2006) who developed four acculturation options which are: assimilation, integration, rejection and deculturation. Berry (2006), preferred the term of “acculturative stress” to culture shock and was able to identify the acculturation process by gathering positive or negative answers to the following questions: “Is my cultural identity of value to be retained?” and “Are positive relations with the larger (host/dominant) culture to be sought?”

A. Furnham and S. Bochner (1986) took a step further and identified the potentially positive consequences of culture shock as part of the cultural learning process. The two researchers support a social skill approach to culture shock, where the sojourner learns the skills, roles, and rules in order to fit in the new environment. They also identified six classes of dependent variables which take place during the adjustment process and are able to work as a predictor in determining how and if the individual will be affected by culture shock. These variables are: (1) The control of conditions for initiating contact with the host culture, (2) Several intrapersonal factors such as age, previous travel experience, language skills, personal resilience, tolerance of uncertainty, personality features and more personal factors. (3) Physical health will also establish the outcomes of culture shock. (4) Interpersonal variables, such as benefiting from support and having a defined role are definitively important factors, (5) The characteristics of the host culture itself will be an important factor, (6) the geopolitical conditions in the host culture at the time of contact will be an important factor (Furnham, 1988 cited in Pedersen 1995).

According to Furnham and Bochener (1986) the outcome of cultural contact will be negative or positive depending on these variables. In this way, learning another culture actually combines the culture-learning model with a social-skills model.

For further information please contact me on raffaella@languagesalive.com

The stages towards biculturality


intercultural-communication-and-awareness-L-npBrzc

Alder(1975) further develops Oberg’s framework and approaches culture shock in a neutral manner rather than in a negative one. He describes the initial contact as the “the honeymoon” stage when the visitor experiences the curiosity and the enthusiasm of a tourist, but maintains their identity which is still well rooted in their cultural settings. The second stage includes the removal of the familiar cues, and the individual has to respond to the new requirements of the host culture. It is in this stage that the individual experiences self-blame and a sense of frustration for not being able to cope well with difficulties encountered. The third stage involves the reintegration of new cues and an increased ability to deal with daily life activities. The feelings associated with this stage are anger and resentment as the individual perceives the new culture as the root of the problems they have been forced to cope with. The fourth stage is when the reintegration continues. In this stage the individual continues to work towards a gradual autonomy and is able to recognise the good and the bad aspect of both cultures. It is when a more balanced view is achieved. The fifth stage is when supposedly the individual is totally confident in dealing with both cultures and therefore, has achieved biculturality of the old and new culture. However, there is some controversy over whether it would ever be possible to achieve this stage.

For further information contact me at raffaella@languagesalive.com

Moving abroad? No worries culture shock is not a disease


Smiley-face-emoticon-575

 

Some researchers preferred referring to culture shock with the terms of “culture fatigue” (Guthrie, 1975), “language shock” (Smalley, 1963) and “role shock” (Byrnes, 1966) (all cited in Pedersen 1995). From these definitions and early literature emerges a model where culture shock is considered to be a “disease” a specific pathology which generates temporary disabilities, but which might be possibly cured. Furnham (1988), criticised this kind of model after reviewing relevant literature and found eight flaws in this kind of approach. First of all, he argued that the grief-reaction previously described as an unavoidable reaction to culture shock does not always occur and it is not the main focus of the construct. Second, the concept of believing culture shock to be inevitable, does not take into consideration the different levels in which culture shock affects different people and therefore does not provide an explanation why some sojourners somehow do not experience it. Third, he disagreed with the view of culture shock explained as a process of natural survival which suggests that only the strongest individual is able to survive. Indeed, he argued that this kind of concept is simplistic and not supported by research. Fourth, Furnham (1988) argued that there is still no tested relationship between unfulfilled expectations, poor adjustment and culture shock experience and therefore it is not proven that culture shock derives from  sojourners’ distorted expectations. Fifth, the disease model blames culture shock for negative life events which disrupt daily life activities. Furnham (1988), believes that it is complex to measure life events and even impossible to establish causality. Sixth, he argues that the clash of values and conflicts considered the cause of culture shock, are not sufficient to explain this construct. Seventh, culture shock is blamed on a lack of social skills where inadequate or unskilled individuals have a hard time adapting. About this concept, Furnham (1988) argued that the role of personality and socialization is not investigated enough in the literature. Eighth, culture shock is blamed on lack of social support, however Furnham (1988) concludes by saying that is difficult to quantify social support and even more difficult is to create a model able to test this explanation. Despite recognising the negative aspects of culture shock, other researchers also criticised this kind of pessimistic approach and urged other researchers to focus on the potential that culture shock can bring to one’s self-development and growth (Alder 1975, 1987). As a matter of fact, Alder (1987) explains that culture shock, experienced by the individual when sojourning in a foreign country, increases the visitor’s cultural awareness and describes culture shock as an experience which helps the individual to better understand themselves as well as preparing the individual to undertake necessary changes (cited in Milstein 2005).