Hello again,
I'm back. First, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am from Iran, and I'm living in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, right now. In my country, there is not a bachelor degree in linguistics. It seems weird, doesn't it? Anyway, that's why that the subjects and the material we study for the master degree are more of an itroductory nature! I think that generative grammar was the only subject we had to pass that gave us a deeper insight to one of the current theories, and I think still the most dominant one. And for my thesis, I chose to work on an HPSG parser, since at that time, 6-7 years ago, there were lots of NLP projects around the world based on an HPSG grammar. Though HPSG makes use of a formal language, but they do not pay much attention to the semantics comparing to syntax. However, I think they study semantics more closely now, I noticed their attempts to do so at that time.
Anyway, unfortunately I didn't continue linguistics after I was graduated. It's a pity, I know. Though I loved my field, and I still do, I am too lazy to do anything on my own. I was a lexicographer at that time, somehow related to linguistics- reference books are my another passion- but when we moved here, I didn't have anything to do!
Just recently I talked to one of my teachers who is working on the role of immigration to language. Since here is an ideal place for such kind of research, I'd like to study the speakers of different language communities here. Quite interestingly, only about %20 of the population here are locals, who speak Arabic of course. About %50 are from the southern parts of Asia, mostly Indians and Philipinos. And over %20 are from Iran. And the rest are from the rest of the world! I think that's quite interesting and could be a good start for me to make myself busy with linguistics! Though it is far from the things that are going around in linguistics these days, including formal semantics, ....
I remember buying a book on formal semantics with the hope of reading it someday, but whenever I turned the pages I felt the same that you described!
I talk a lot, that's another of my weak points, I hope that you can bear with me!
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Hi LanguageLover. I was looking forward to your post, and I'm very glad at reading it. Very heartwarming.
You're from Iran! I love Iranian films ... Ta'm e Guliass, Khane doust kodjast, directed by Abbas Kiarostami, and Bacheha-Ye aseman ... I really love those cinemas. Actors' perfomance is marvelous. They got a quite high valuation in my country (in passing ... I live in Japan).
And since I read T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of WisdomI've been feeling a kind of interest in the character of Arabic people. It seems to me you have different morals, ethics, and T.E. Lawrence really loved them. I know little about him, however, so please kindly forgive me if I'm making a something wrong guess. And ... my knowledge about Iran and UAE is exhausted Emotion: smileUAE is located too far from Japan!

Seems you know much more than I about Geneative Grammar. My major language isn't English, and in my field it isn't so popular. I guess generative grammar can be developed in English, partially because English is rather simple language in morphological aspects. (I'm guessing at my own discretion ...)

You have nothing to regret that you've given up your study in linguistics. You're lucky Emotion: smile
Anyway you can enjoy the fruits of linguistic researchs whenever if you want. It's far better than to confine oneself in a narrow special topic.

I've never imagined about the ethnic formation in UAE. It's really surprising. Can you communicate with each other freely...? Are there several broadcating stations of local TV? Indeed it's a very good environment to study the role of immigration to language. And I can imagine ... how difficilt that study would be ...!
I remember buying a book on formal semantics with the hope of reading it someday, but whenever I turned the pages I felt the same that you described!

Emotion: smile
I remember reading a very kind advice: when you look at some logical formula, please consider it as a . Relax, and take time to understand it. If you cannot understand it, go ahead, but remember to come back again.

It was my pleasure to talk with you, LanguageLover. See you! Roro
Thanks Roro,
It's so interesting to know that you've watched these movies and enjoyed them, and more importantly you remember the names in Persian! Incredible! Something I'm not good at it at all! I really like these movies, especially Where's the friend's house? You probably know that there was a massive earthquake 15 years ago in the northern provinces of Iran, including the place where Kiarostami filmed the movie and the story takes place. Kiarostami directed another movie that was like a documentary. The story and the filming starts when he travels to the North the day after the earthquake as I remember, to search for the actors of the latter movie to see if they are alive. (Thousands had lost their lives in that lethal earthquake!) In his journey, he records lots of interesting scenes on his way and prooves of life and hope. One of the most breathtaking scenes, is the marriage of a young couple who had lost every member of their family, and the name of the movie is taken from this: And life goes on. (I do not remember if the marriage scene is in this movie or his last part of the trilogy: Through the olive trees.) Anyway, both of them are fantastic, I'm sure you would love them!
There is another brilliant movie: The color of paradise. It's a story of a blind child whose father is ashamed of him so much that when he fells into the roaring river, at first, the father doesn't do anything for rescuing him.
That's enough about the Iranian cinema! Just I admire your memory and taste.
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Hello again,
I have only seen the movie, Lawrence of Arabia. It's beautiful.
It seems to me you have different morals, ethics

I'd like to complete this sentence as " than Arabs". Though we are neighbours, there are lots of things that I do not understand about Arabs. For example, nationality is something of a very high value in Iranian culture, but Islam and being an Arab are more important among Arabs, though many of them who claim they are Arabs, they are not by origin. But anyway, they do not care about this. On the other hand, Iranians are very caring and sensitive and proud when it comes to the nationality issue. That's why Iran was the only country conquered by Muslims that kept its own language, Persian, though the writing system was taken from them with a few adoptions to Persian needs.
And here, in the UAE, the official language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken. Actually I do not know Arabic, but I have no problem in communicationg with others. There are some local broadcasts with Arabic language of course, but there is a TV channel streaming just in English (with Arabic subtitles usually). There are lots of English newpapers printed here along with the Arabic ones. And it seems that knowing English is more important than knowing Arabic. There are lots of English teaching schools here, and also most of the higher educational institues use English as lingua franca.
It's really an interesting case to study, and difficult as you said! I've just started to read a little bit about it, and I'm still in the middle of nowhere!
Nice talking to you too, you can also tell me a little bit about yourself, if you'd like.
Hi, LanguageLover!
No, no, I didn't remember the names in Persian .. oh, sorry ... I didn't know Persian, even a word of it, to my deep regret. I just have promotional brochures of those movies. There's nothing incredible. I turned red when I read your post ...Emotion: smile

I lost the chance to see And life goes on and Through the olive trees.
I'm imagining now ... I'm sure it's easy to find out these films here, so I'm looking forward to seeing them.

I haven't seen The color of paradise either, though I've heard of it ... but what a story!

I don't know why these movies give us such a deep impression. Their stories are not so dramatic, very quiet. Although I cannot forget them ... and those beautiful scenes of Iran ... until now. And sometimes I reflect what had in mind that man in the A Tast of Cherry in his grave ...
This question makes me feel uneasy.

I'm really glad to know that we have something in common! Thank you, LanguageLover.
Hi Roro,
Is there an Iranian film festival running? Good for you. (don't be so shy, it's no need to turn red, I can't even see you! ha ha)
The scenery and nature in the color of paradise is more beautiful than the ones you saw. It's a pity that the political system in Iran doesn't attract the tourists, though Iran is very beautiful and owns lots of tourist destinations. And the neglect! I don't know what to say!
And yes, a taste of cherry, the movie ends very beautifully, doesn't it? And in fact, Iranian cherry is so tasty that you can think of enything except life!
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Hi LanguageLover, you're very good at English! I still have difficulties in making sure whether my spelling is correct or not. 30 minutes ago before I could manage to make a post, you made a new post already. I'm surprised!

What you've written about the Iranians nationality was something new to me, completely. If my comment in the previous post sounded too careless for you, I really beg your pardon. I was ignorant of what you've written and got confused a little bit. I'd like to take some time to comment on it.

And I've got your new post just a minute ago! Emotion: smileThank you !
It made me feel happy. By the way, in Iran, too, can I communicate with people in English? Because it is becoming one of my dreams to travel someday around Iran Emotion: smile
....* Iranian cherry *.....

Seems ... you know something about ... how to enjoy this life Emotion: smile

Well, I will try to tell you about myself, inch by inch.
Nice talking to you, too! With my best wishes. Roro
Hey Roro,
I also check for the spellings sometimes. There is always at least 2 dictinaries open on my computer, the Cobuild, and an English to Persian one. There are 2 Persian to English dictionaries at my desk, that I do not use often. And I've just bought a copy of the Oxford from Iran that I haven't installed it yet, and there is also the online Cambridge dictionary,... These are the handy ones, there are more to it! (I told you that I have a passion for the refrence books, I have to correct myself, it's an absession!)
It's ok, I got used to it. Still there are lots of people around the world that think we are Arabs, we speak Arabic, and we are dark-skinned. So, that's why that I always try to express our feeling as another nation from a different race and origin! It's not that being Arab is bad, or anything like that, just wanna say that we are a different people with differnt customs, believes, etc. Another major difference is that though we are Muslims, polygamy is not common in Iran. And the role of woman within the family and society is much more prominent than here. (Though this is the case also in Lebanon and Syria, since as I mentioned earlier they are not originally Arabs abd took some of their cultural heritage with them. This may be the case in some other African Arab countries.)
And yes, Iranian cherry, apricot, fig,... you can't find them anywhere else!
I'll be looking forward to your message.
I forgot to answer your question about the sitation of English in Iran. Unfortunately, except for the younger generations in big cities, ordinary people can't speak English. Isfahan is the city with the largest number of tourists, the situation there is a bit different, I think. Because you know, they have to sell their beautiful handicraft items to the foreigners! However, Iranians are usually treating the foreiners very well. Anyway, it's better to learn a little bit Persian before you go there to enjoy your journey as much as possible. The tone sounds pleasant to the ears, so I think you would like it. (Some people say that it sounds like French, even if you do not understand it, you would wnjoy it none the less!). And here I am, don't worry about its difficulty. I'll help you in any way I can.
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