Wednesday, December 14, 2005


What a lot of people don't know about me (not that this is a secret) is that during my first trip through the collegiate meatgrinder, I was a linguistics minor. One of the things I do, usually without noticing it, is observe people.

Today, as my modus operandi dictates, I took a cab to work. After telling my driver where I was going, he continued his phone conversation in Arabic. What struck me as odd was his codeswitching. Codeswitching, FYI, is changing languages while having a conversation. It can happen at any point in the conversation, even mid-sentence. He, whenever speaking about time or numbers, would codeswitch from Arabic to English. He went as far as to say half an hour in English instead of Arabic. I thought this was odd, but, being not that experiences with Middle Eastern languages, this could be the norm. Has anyone noticed anything similar? Am I missing a cultural norm? Just curious.


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