Monday, June 26, 2006

Inglés, sudor y lágrimas = English, sweat and tears

Hello to everybody. As you all already know, one of my main difficulties when coming to The Netherlands was (and still is) the language. Not the Dutch, for which I should consider to start learning, but English. Surfing one afternoon by internet, I found the blog of Guillermo (alias William), who is an Argentinean living with his family in Australia. One of the threads is titled this one (click here for the Guillermo's post). Here I present a translation to English, of course doing by consent of Guillermo. Possibly (surely I would say) it presents some grammatical errors, but I'm sorry, I am learning it day to day. I marked in bold the thing with I feel really identified and I'm suffering day to day. I leave it to your consideration, and I hope comments from English-speaking readers.

Every time that someone have asked me how to manage the language stuffs when one moves to another country, my answer has always been the same, because I believe it represents what I really think: "every bead of sweat I invested preparing the new language before emigrate, it is one bead of crying less spent in the new environment".

During the first times in Australia, with respect to my personal experience, if the language would have been the same, the immigration would have been more than simple. Here everything is easier, everything is simpler, and the things work reasonably well. It's impossible not to be in rhythm quickly (assuming that one has the so-called migrant syndrome, obviously). But the change of language introduces a very complex variable that complicates hugely the equation. At least it was so for me, because probably I don't have any special ability for languages.

The year before emigrate, I had gave the IELTS exam (an international exam required to obtain visas) with a grade average of 7.25 out of 9 points. I continued studying a little and arrived to Australia with an English slightly superior I would say. That English level is often considered to be high. For example here there aren't courses to improve that level, because it's out of the range of the courses' programs. But that was the grading obtained with a controlled situation, with a British English perfectly pronounced, and in the comfort of a class room without background noise. The fact is that with that level of English, I just could survive, and with too many frustrations.

In my first times I simply didn't understand almost anything of what people said me. When that was the case, the tension grew up and it was not much what I was able to produce. Along the time and training, the ear was improving and able of managing simple and informal situations, but totally impossible to handle complex situations with many details. Something as simple as answer the telephone and have a phone conversation, without seeing both the gestures and lips of the other person became in a titanic achievement. Better don't refer to phone and personal interviews, where I only understood a percentage of what they told me and I tried to guess the remaining.

When this happens, the situation is too frustrating. It is not possible to say what one wants to say, it is only possible to say what you can. One starts to elaborate an explanation of something and as you are viewing that it couldn't be presented what we were though to say as desired, we just end saying something simpler and perhaps different. More than once I stayed in the middle of one explanation that interrupted at that point sounded as a totally stupid thing.

And definitively we has the freedom restricted, because one is not free of doing what one considers to be the best, but one does what it can be managed reasonably. In this way, one learns to live (temporally while the language is adjusting) with a double personality. By one hand we that being that thinks and feels in a determined way. To the rest of the society we show a different being, more basic, more elementary, more awkward, the one that is expressed by means of our new language. Definitively, the great challenge of moving (for me) to another country is to fight with such a frustration and the double personality. The good part is that this is a variable, even when it is complicated, that only depends of oneself.


Hola a todos, como todos ya sabrán, unas de mis principales dificultades al venirme a Holanda fue el idioma. No el holandés, del cual tengo que pensar en aprenderlo, sino del inglés. Un día surfeando en la red encontré el blog de Guillermo (alias William), que es un argentino viviendo con su familia en Australia. Uno de los temas se titula como este (clic aquí para ir al post de Guillermo). Arriba presenté una traducción al inglés, con el consentimiento de Guillermo por supuesto. Hay errores de gramática seguro, pero en eso ando. Yo marqué en negrita con lo que me siento identificado (sólo en la versión en inglés). Espero sus comentarios.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Miren lo que me llegó...

Hola a todos, un amigo que conocí en Chile, Jairo (a propósito, a ver si te ponés las pilas y lo mantenés más actualizado y ¡quiero las fotos de Chile!) de Ecuador me reenvió este mail y me gustaría ponerlo a disposición de ustedes:

Dos comentarios:

* A eso no se le puede llamar periodista. El único bananero (sin desmerecer a las personas que dignamente se ganan la vida recolectando bananas) es él mismo.

* Que sea argentino creo que es una coincidencia. Porque alguno ande diciendo barbaridades por ahí no creo que alcance para decir que todos los de su país son iguales.

Por último me gustaría saber de dónde fue sacado el recorte y realmente hacer una carta de reclamo ante el calibre (deplorable por cierto) de los comentaristas. Y para terminar, me parece muy mal diseminar estas notas como escrachando a los argentinos como si todos fuéramos así. Alguien me dijo, la discriminación empieza por uno mismo...

Espero sus comentarios...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Famous for a few moments = Famosos por unos momentos

This post is just for showing you a webpage of Infobae, a newspaper from Argentina, to whom couldn't see it, where they show a photo of the most (known) important group of Argentinean supporters of Eindhoven here in the Netherlands. Probably the photo still is in the webpage of the news site at, 'Mis fotos del mundial' section, after clicking on 'ver más'.


Este tema es para mostrarles un recorte del Infobae, un diario de Argentina, para quienes no pudieron verlo, donde muestran una foto del grupo de simpatizantes de Argentina más importante de Eindhoven aquí en Holanda. Posiblemente la foto sigue disponible en el portal en sección 'Mis fotos del mundial' (clic en ver más).

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Now with TV = Ahora con TV

It's just a little update. Today I bought a second hand TV, and so now I can watch television in a more direct way, without having to change the laptop of place, connect the TV tuner to the PC, and then wait for 2 minuts for the program to start up... This was the television of Colina (now they have a plasma one) and if you well remember, Mehmet gave me a desk for this end.


Una pequeña puesta al tanto. Hoy me compré un TV de segunda mano, y con esto puedo ver televisión en una forma más directa, sin tener que cambiar la laptop de lugar, conectar la sintonizadora de TV a la PC y luego esperar por 2 minutos para que arranque el programa... Era la tele de Colina y Gustavo (ahora ellos tienen un plasma) y si recuerdan bien, Mehmer me obsequió una mesa para este fin.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

One home-day = Un día en casa

Today was a home-staying day... I've been working revising some assignments of Coding and Crypto, and now I'm having a blog-break (coffees and fruit ones were taken before). It's challenging (in the sense of rewarding) because I have to read and understand very well the theory and then properly correct the assignments... it sounds strange but that is how I have to manage it. Today the day was (and still is) fantastic (take a look to the weather report and forecast). Now, I'm going to the supermarket to buy some provisions and then I'll have dinner at Jorge's house (Mexican near my house) and watch one football match and finally go out to look for "viejas" as he says.

One detail: I've been listening to the radio all the day and noticed that today there was an important proportion of music in Spanish. For example, now they are playing Aserejé...

Tomorrow I have to work with some other research subjects and study English, because I'm going to give an exam on Wednesday! By the way, last Thursday I gave a talk about Salta, it was my first real talk in English. The overall comment was that I "speak" (sarcasm) English very slow, but indeed this is a Spanish heritage (In Salta we speak really slowly). As you see, much work to do... mix with a fair amount of fun.


Hoy fue un día en el que estuve en casa todo el día... estuve trabajando revisando unos trabajos prácticos de códigos y cripto, y ahora me estoy tomando un blog-break (breaks de cafés y frutas ya me los tom). Es interesante porque tengo que leer y entender la teoría muy bien y después corregir las tareas correctamente... suena extraño pero es como me las tengo que arreglar. Hoy el día estuvo (y aún está) fantástico (miren el reporte del clima sino). Ahora me estoy yendo al supermercado a comprar algunas provisiones y luego cenar en la casa de Jorge (mexicano que vive cerca de mi casa) y mirar un partido de fútbol y al final del día, salir a buscar "viejas" como él dice.

Un detalle: Estuve escuchando la radio todo el día y me llamó la atención que hubo una importante proporción de música en castellano. Por ejemplo, ahora están pasando Aserejé...

Mañana tengo que trabajar con algunos temas de investigación y estudiar inglés, porque voy a dar un examen el miércoles. A propósito, el jueves pasado dí una charla sobre Salta, fue mi primera charla real en inglés. El comentario general fue que "hablo" (sarcasmo) inglés muy lento, pero en realidad es una herencia de nuestro castellano (en Salta hablamos lento el castellano). Como ven, muchas cosas para hacer... mezclado con una razonable ración de diversión.

¡Vamos Argentina, carajo!

Hi! I've been a little bit disappeared these days from my blog. Reasons: an important amount of work, too many social activities and laziness. Well, the main news is related with the football world cup. It's an exciting experience to live abroad and support to your team. And it's much more exciting and rewarding when your team plays as good as Argentina is doing.

For the first match, we met at Cecilia's house, when celebrating her birthday. For the second match at Claudia's house. You can see the pictures I took in my photoblog. After both meetings, we went out to the city center to celebrate the results. It was nice, specially after the 6-0 score, because The Netherlands team won against Ivory coast with a tight result, and you can perceive some fear feelings, while waiting for the match Argentina vs. The Netherlands. But, we should be realistic, it will be a hard match, and we shouldn't be confident about the result... (I just hope Argentina wins)

The true is that we are living a nice moments, and we're enjoying it a lot! Under these circumstances, it's worth to be Argentinean!


¡Hola! Estuve un poco desaparecido estos días de mi blog. Razones: una importante cantidad de trabajo, muchas actividades sociales y un poco de flojera. Bueno, las principales noticias tienen que ver con el mundial de fútbol. Es una muy linda experiencia vivir en el extranjero y alentar a tu equipo. Pero es mucho más lindo y recompensador cuando tu equipo juega tan bien como Argentina lo está haciendo.

Para el primer partido, nos juntamos en la casa de Cecilia, celebrando si cumpleaños. Para el segundo partido en la casa de Claudia. Pueden ver algunas fotos que tomé en mi fotoblog. Luego de ambas oportunidades, salimos de joda al centro de la ciudad a celebrar los resultados. Fue lindo, especialmente luego del 6-0, porque los holandeses ganaron contra Costa de Marfil con resultado apretado, y se puede percibir algunos sentimientos de temor, mientras se espera el partido Argentina vs. Holanda. Pero, hay que ser realistas, será un partido duro, y no deberíamos confiarnos del resultado... (sólo espero que Argentina gane)

La verdad es que estoy viviendo momentos espectaculares, la estamos pasando y disfrutando un montón. Bajo estas circunstancias, vale la pena ser argentino...

Friday, June 09, 2006

This hard week :D = Esta dura semana :D

Hello to everybody. This week in a few lines again. This Monday was holiday because something related to Pentecost-related event, and in Thursday and Friday I went to Noordwijk, a little town in the beach between Den Haag and Amsterdam (see some photos in my photoblog), and so my actual work week consisted in just two days.

Well, in Noordwijk took place the 27th Symposium for Information Theory and Communication people from Benelux. Most of the talks were not related with my subject, but there were two or maybe three interesting talks, one from my colleague Mehmet. Of course, as usual, it seems to be an excuse the symposium, we enjoyed the nice surroundings: beach and an interesting village.

For this weekend I am planning to watch the Argentina football match in the Cecilia's house, because it's her birthday coincidentally.

Breaking news: the text above was written while we were waiting for the train in The Hague to leave to Eindhoven. Now I'm at home after chatting with some Dutch young people who I met in the train. They had lots of beer and wine, and I of course shared some good moments with them... They came to a music concert who was held in the Philips Stadion... The truth is these Dutch are really funny...

Greetings to everybody,


Hola a todos, esta semana en unas pocas líneas de nuevo. Este lunes fue libre debido a algo relacionado con Pentecostés y el jueves y viernes me fui a Noordwijk, un lindo pueblo en la costa entre La Haya y Ámsterdam (ver algunas fotos en mi fotoblog), y por eso mi semana real de trabajo consistió de sólo dos días.

Bueno, en Noordwijk tuvo lugar el 27º simposio de la gente de teoría de la información y comunicaciones del Benelux. La mayoría de las charlas no fueron relacionadas con mi tema de investigación, pero hubo dos o tres charlas interesantes (una de mi colega Mehmet). Por supuesto, como es usual, parece que estos congresos son una excusa para disfrutar de los alrededores: playa y un interesante pueblo.

Para este fin de semana estoy planeando mirar el partido de la selección en la casa de Cecilia, porque coincidió con su cumpleaños.

Últimas noticias: Las líneas de arriba las escribí mientras esperábamos que el tren de La Haya a Eindhoven partiera. Justamente en el tren conocí un grupo de jóvenes holandeses que venían a un recital en el Philips Stadion junto con un cargamento de cerveza y vino, y por supuesto compartí con ellos algunos buenos momentos... :P La pucha que son divertidos estos holandeses...

Saludos a todos,

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A picture is more valuable than a thousand of words... = Una imagen vale más que mil palabras...

Such a special title for this topic is to tell you about the Fifth Latin American fest, organized by the CLO. Gustavo, Cecilia, Daniel, Colina, and I presented an Argentinean stand (with the immeasurable help of many others). Look at the photos in my photoblog. Enjoy them!


Semejante título es para hablarles sobre la quinta feria latinoamericana organizada por el CLO. Gustavo, Cecilia, Daniel, Colina y yo presentamos un stand argentino (con la invaluable ayuda de muchos otros). Miren a las fotos en mi fotoblog. ¡Que la pasen bien!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Hello everybody, I'm here in the conference's hotel lobby waiting for the time to take a taxi to go to the airport. It was a very different week, with experiences I had never experienced before. I was in a completely unknown city where people are not able to understand you except by hands signs and some noises with the mouth. Also the alphabet is different: they use the Cyrillic that is some sort of another evolution of ancient languages.

The personality of Russians is also different: they are straight and often strict with what they say. If they say at 4 is going to happen something, it surely will. The city is different in architecture and organization of everything: the metro is under more than 20 meters below the ground, the traffic is rather unorganized and drivers quite imprudent. One curious detail about TV: in the translation of foreign series and movies, they superimpose a Russian voice over the original audio, but you can listen to the original voice of the speaker.

Coming back to the city, there is a lot of place to visit and get impressed with. The Hermitage, Peterof, and many other places are really astonishing (by the way, take a look at my photos took there). During this season there is no night, they call it "White nights". The sunset is around 11:05pm and sunrise at 4:40am, but even though it never becomes dark. In some days there is not going to be sunset, and the sun will shine all the day, taking rounds in the sky.

Let's talk about the congress. Different experience for me, and the first indeed: scientists for all around the world came, discussed their ideas, and also had a deserved, relaxing and funny time. I met Juan Garay, my master's thesis advisor. Imagine how the things are: we were working together, he was in New York, I was in Salta, and we finally meet each other in St. Petersburg.

I'm still verifying that law that states that the world is a hand scarf: I met one reader of my blog, without knowing that I was the author of it. We started talking to each other and finally we concluded I was who had written that blog, really surprising.

Well, there are many other things I'd like to tell you, but there is no time and space to do so. Summarizing, it was a new and very exciting experience that allowed me to know about lots of things, indeed to myself.


Hola mundo, aquí estoy esperando en el lobby del hotel para tomar un taxi e irnos al aeropuerto. Fue una semana muy diferente, con experiencias que nunca había experimentado antes. Estuve en una ciudad completamente desconocida donde la gente ni es capaz de comunicarse con vos salvo con señas con las manos y algunos ruidos con la boca. Hasta el alfabeto es diferente: ellos usan el cirílico que es una suerte de otra evolución de nuestros idiomas ancestrales.

La personalidad de los rusos es diferente: son directos y muy estrictos con lo que dicen. Si ellos te dicen que a las 4 está por suceder algo, seguramente sucederá. La ciudad es diferente en arquitectura y organización de todo: el metro está 20 metros debajo de la tierra, el tráfico es un poco desorganizado y los conductores bastantes imprudentes. Una cosa curiosa sobre la TV: en la traducción de los programas extranjeros, ellos superponen una voz en ruso bajando un poquito el volumen del idioma original.

Volviendo a la ciudad, hay un montón de lugares por visitar y quedarse impresionado. La Hermita, Peterof, y muchos otros lugares que son impresionantes (por cierto, peguen un vistazo a las fotos en mi fotoblog). En esta estación no hay noche, ellos le llaman las "Noches blancas". El sol se pone como a las 11pm y sale a las 4:40am, pero aún así, es de día todo el día. Dentro de poco no habrá puesta de sol y el sol se quedará dando vueltas por el cielo.

Hablemos del congreso. Fue una experiencia diferente para mí y la primera de este tipo: los científicos de todo el mundo vinieron, debatieron sus ideas y tuvieron unos muy merecidos, relajantes y divertidos momentos. Conocí a Juan Garay, mi supervisor de mi tesis de licenciado.

Todavía sigo verificando la ley de que el mundo es un pañuelo. Conocí a una lectora de mi blog, pero sin que ella me reconozca, luego de charlar un rato llegamos a la conclusión de que el blog de que hablábamos era el mío. Sorprendente.

Bueno, muchas otras cosas que me gustaría decirles, pero no hay tiempo ni espacio para hacerlos. En resumen, fue una nueva y muy impresionante experiencia que me permitió conocer mucho sobre muchas cosas, hasta a mí mismo.