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Life as a Phonetician

BY FRANK LORENZ
@ VOL 3 ON FEB 27, 2015

Frank  Lorenz fell in love with languages when he was at a young age. In college, he explored the phonetics/pronunciation of many  languages. He teaches us some basic methods and techniques in pronouncing some difficult sounds in German (especially helpful if you are an English speaker).

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Loqui

BY RAAFIA JESSA
@ VOL 15 ON JUN 09, 2017

"There are forty-five symbols which are made... to combine four different ways of speaking into one. No matter which language you speak...you should be able to read them."

In "Loqui" from PechaKucha Night Markham Vol. 15, Artist and graphic designer, Raafia Jessa, talks about Loqui (pronounced Lowki), a fictitious language she created which was inspired by the phonetic qualities of language - the sounds we make when speaking aloud. 

Glasgow

The day after PKN 3

WOW!  What a PECHAKUCHA NIGHT!  Volume 3, and we had a great turnout with an enthusiastic public! For this event, we had a start time of 7.20pm planned because of winter.  Let's face it:  winters in Erfurt in February can be cold, icy and snow flurries could appear at all hours.  We wanted people to come and not be afraid of NOT getting home later.  Fortunately, the temperatures were in 30s (F) or around 2°C.  Only rain awaited us at the end of the evening. And our evening?  I was already at the cafe at 6.15pm and saw that Ralf and Philip were still setting up the chairs for our event.  Tim and Jesus arrived around 6.30, so they could practice a little for the musical interludes later.  Victoria, our roving photgrapher, came a few minutes later and prepared mentally and physically for the evening ahead.  After taking out the organizer's evening agenda, name tags for all presenters and organization team and PKN3 program, I was becoming a bit concerned because Hasnain was not yet there, and he was responsible for the computer set-up with Philip, the cafe's technician (and owner's son).  Guests were already assembling in the restaurant/bar area of the cafe and were slowly becoming anxious to enter the closed-off seating area.  By 7 o'clock, the curious guests were  standing in anticipation of simply having the curtain drawn to allow entry to the PK venue.  By that time, Victoria had taken a group picture of the organizers together with the presenters.  As a team, we are always to fine-tune our PK events with something memorable for our presenters, as well as the audience.  Music was an additional element that we added. At 7.20, we started promptly with me giving a short welcome to a packed house of at least 100 with others sitting on tables and pillows!  People were even standing at the periphery.  Tim and Jesus then came to the stage, and the two of them played two songs after Tim explained what these instruments had to do with the evening's program.  The guitar and violin due was a big hit with our guests with applause to follow.  Then we continued with the brief explanation of what a PECHAKUCHA talk is, how it all got started in 2003.  The initial welcome video we had from Mark & Astrid was played now for the third time (third event), so that many of the new attendees could have a better understanding of the PK concept.  Of course, we then proceeded to tell our audience about how we three organizers came to the idea of having a PK here in Erfurt.  Yes, we have mentioned the story before, but we thought there would then be a connection of PK, English-language teaching, university and friends!  After all, this kind of event really needs a team, and having such an event with international elements certainly enriches not only our lives, but I hope also the lives of those citizens of Erfurt.  After having lived in so many metropolises from Istanbul to St Louis, I had often complained about the small-town profile of Erfurt, the capital city of Thuringia. If one cannot change locations so quickly, it is then necessary to make something happen on the homefront.  Organizing such a PechaKucha event with German and English talks and presenters would be at least a start in bringing in some diversity into this city.   Presentation 1 began with Ralf Neues who told us all about the FRANZ MEHLHOSE CAFE, the history of this man and then Ralf's own story as to how he became the owner (through an auction) and turned it into a cultural cafe with unusual activities on offer (from Xmas programs for children, live music concerts, silent film showings to PechaKucha nights).  Then Frank Lorenz dazzled us with phonetics and how to understand how an English speaker can pronounce those difficult German sounds, especially all the ones with umlauts (ä, ö and ü).  He had been a presenter in PK1 telling us how to take 3-D photographs without having the necessary camera.  'Das Geburt der Violine' / The Birth of a Violin was presented by Matthias Mische, another PK presenter (PK1 and PK2), and we all had an idea of how Tim came to his violin.  Unfortunately, neither one mentioned how expensive such an instrument is nor how long it takes to actually make such an instrument   (question to ask at another time). Hasnain announced the break and mentioned again that if anyone had an interest in presenting in June to please contact one of the organizers.  Two people approached me about presenting in June and the break went by rather quickly as I took down their names, email addresses and particulars re their interest.  Lo and behold, 25 minutes passed rather quickly and Jesus' guitar music trickled into the front restaurant area signalling the start of the second half of the evening.  Presentation 4 began with Petra Eweleit as she told us about her story of first Russian instructor at the college, then the Fall of the Wall making it necessary to retool for another language which seemed to have more importance (ENGLISH), which all gave her a good foundation to become the project initiator and coordinator for FREMDE WERDEN FREUNDE (Strangers become friends).  Jesus Ferdinand Alvarez, a Spaniard, continued with his story about his work as a Spanish lawyer, now working as a Spanish instructor and making music to give balance to his life!  The international evening continued with Andrew Aris, a New Zealander living here in Erfurt for the last 12 years, sharing his Spirit of Football project, explaining the concept of involving children into sports via football, and the idea of Ein Ball, Eine Welt / One Ball, One World. After all the presentations were done, I thanked all the presenters, the owners of the cafe, Victoria, our photographer, and of course, the audience!  The event finished around 9.15, but it was great to see people lingering, talking, socializing and networking, which is really what PECHAKUCHA NIGHTS are all about.  A number of the guests came up to us afterwards with comments about the evening, and others approached us with ideas about talks for June.  It was great to have enthusiastic people coming to us wanting to present because it is those kind of people that make the event.  We have been fortunate for the last two events because Tim, Hasnain and I have always found presenters with stories to tell, and we believe that, with encouragement, that there are so many others who would enjoy sharing theirs with others.  We want to provide that platform for them! On June 26, we plan for another exciting evening beginning at 8.20pm / 20.20.  We look forward to seeing you there. Do you have an idea or concept or project that really interests you? and you want to share it?  Tell us! Hast du eine Idee oder Konzept oder Projekt dass dich wirklich interessiert?  und du willst es weitererzählen?  Dann sag's uns!   We welcome ideas and your comments. pechakucha_erfurt@yahoo.com   Barbara (Tim and & Hasnain)