Blogging has been lax and infrequent the last two weeks because of travel. First a week with the family in West Texas and San Antonio -- every day started early and ended late. After about 36 hours back in Tulsa, I was in a plane to Montreal, on business -- the days are still long, but oddly not as tiring as the family vacation was.

One of the many pleasures of travel is scanning the radio dial and comparing the selections to what's on back home. The other afternoon, coming back from lunch, I heard what I thought might be singing in Portuguese at first, but later identified as Italian. It was a music program -- American and British pop songs from the '60s, but sung in Italian. The intro to one of the songs was big, brassy, and orchestral, with an oohing and ahhing choir in the background and I expected to hear Dusty Springfield belting out her hit, "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me". Instead it was some man singing the same song in Italian. It was strange but fun to listen to hear familiar tunes and unfamiliar words, but over too soon as I arrived back at the workplace.

(UPDATE: Further Googling reveals the song was originally written in Italian, then translated to English.)

The radio station is CFMB, and they aren't all Italian all the time, but seek to cater to the 30% or so of Montreal's population that are neither native Anglophones or native Francophones. They broadcast each week in 23 different languages, some for as little as 30 minutes, but how wonderful to be able to tune in and hear your native tongue and news from home even for a short while each week. And even if you don't know the language, it's a joy to hear the "music" of different languages -- each one with its unique rhythm and intonation.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 14, 2004 11:17 PM.

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