Her mother was Italian, her father was a University Academic in French, her husband is Swiss (mother tongue Swiss German), so Karen has had a well above average exposure to languages. But, for her it is more, it is a passion. "I love Grammar!" she enthuses... [Well, I recall that, about 4th grade school when Grammar was introduced, all the teacher needed to threaten us with was to give us an assignment explaining 'Die 4 Fälle: Nominativ, Genitiv, Dativ und Akkusativ' and we'd immediately behave like little angels! ☺ Ed.]  Then there is punctuation: Karen explained it with the simple statement about the eating habits of a Panda: "Eats shoots and leaves". Compare that to "Eats, shoots and leaves"...
Compared to most European languages, English is not that difficult, she explains: We don't have to deal with genders in nouns. For example, in German, adjective endings change depending on gender and case. What's difficult in English is the spelling of the words which have identical pronounciation, such as 'through', 'blue' or 'rough', 'although', 'Geoff', 'laugh'...  And don't get her started on why in some regions the R is pronounced and in others not
If you really want to stretch your brain: consider the Latin Alphabet (that's what we use), then look at the Greek Alphabet (yes, we all remember Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta) but what's next?  So spare a thought for those Greek immigrants who came over after World War 2! By the way, if you'd like to learn a bit more about Indoeuropean Languages, click on this link for a 5 minute tutorial. Then there's Hebrew, Arabic, not to mention the Eastern languages, all with their individual symbols.  Our guests, President Mario's partner Sylvia (Korea) and YE student Ayana (Japan) would know all about the difficulty of not only learning a new language but to learn a complete new Alphabet at the same time.
You can access a copy of Karen's presentation from the Download section on the right, only slightly reduced to allow for the maximum upload size.
As President Mario mentioned in his closing address, it is always exciting to learn about our members. Here is Karen, passionate about languages, but most of our members were not aware that she is also an AV technician in her husband's business and has recently completed a Law Degree and has started work in the Public Prosecutor's office!