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Laurie Niles

The universal language: Internet

February 3, 2007 at 7:46 AM

I'm hoping that in about a week we get a package for "Frau Laurie Niles."

Robert was helping me find a particular edition of the Paganini Capricci – the Curci Edition edited by Franco Gulli – and we wound up in a foreign country on the Internet.

We could not find any American source for this edition online, so we wound up at Haus der Musik in Germany. They did not have an English version of their page, so we relied on a free and friendly translator.

Though neither of us knows any German, we do speak Internet. We were able to identify little buttons like "add to shopping cart." But we started to stumble when it was time for us to identify what country we live in. Our translator didn't serve up anything that matched the countries on the drop-down menu. We kept combing through the menu for "Amerika," or something kind of recognizable. Then, we realized that it was "Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika."


We filled out the rest of the form, we hit something that seemed to be "submit," and now we're hoping it worked. I'll be so happy to have a nice edition of the 24 Capricci. If it ever shows up.

Shows up here, that is.

On one hand, I feel like a dolt for not being better educated in languages. It reminds me of a big grievance I have with my country's education system: its neglect of languages other than English.

But on the other hand, I found my music. I found a way to understand and to purchase it from a store halfway across the globe. How the Internet can bring us together!

At least, I hope.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on February 3, 2007 at 7:59 AM
Congratulations and good luck, Laurie. I've had somewhat similar experiences with music, languages, and the Internet. On several occasions, I have tried to look up something about classical music on Wikipedia, only to find that my question has been addressed in the German or French language edition, but not in the English language edition. Classical music is more highly valued in Europe than in the US.
From Bilbo Prattle
Posted on February 3, 2007 at 3:50 PM
I bought our charango from a luthier in Argentina. I did all my research via the internet. My wife thought that the money I sent via Western Union would disappear into a hole, but sure enough I ended up with a beautiful charango a few months later. You can see it on my profile page.
From Sydney M.
Posted on February 3, 2007 at 4:45 PM
German is a pretty logical language. You could've used me to help you! haha
From Kelsey Z.
Posted on February 3, 2007 at 5:45 PM
Well now I'll be glad I took German in highschool if I want to purchase from that store. :) ;)
From Laurie Niles
Posted on February 3, 2007 at 7:26 PM
I can speak Spanish and English. But not German, I wish I could speak about six languages!
From janet griffiths
Posted on February 3, 2007 at 7:30 PM
Laurie,next time you need a Curci edition drop me an e.mail and Iìll send it post haste.
From Pamela Schulz
Posted on February 4, 2007 at 2:09 AM
My first degree was in Spanish and German languages and literatures. I also took French, and some Russian. I picked up some Hungarian while dancing with a performing group.

I had a great time in Europe talking to everyone, but unfortunately I could not make a living with this skill. It's quite nice to have in my back pocket, though! :-)

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on February 4, 2007 at 3:19 AM
When I was a teenager in pre-internet days I ordered some transistors from France. They were Motorola Europe types that you couldn't get in the U.S. I couldn't get specs on them to find substitutes and I didn't understand the circut enough to determine the requirements and substitute that way. Somehow I got an address in France. I sent them a letter with a random amount of American money in it :) I got back a whole bag of assorted transistors with a very nice note from a French girl. I wrote her again, but she never wrote back. Maybe I scared her off. I don't remember what I said but typically I come on pretty strong:)
From Laurie Niles
Posted on February 4, 2007 at 5:27 AM
Janet, thank you for the offer... I might still need your help if it doesn't show up!
From Richard Hellinger
Posted on February 4, 2007 at 3:54 PM
Good Luck Laurie! I hope it comes Soon! I have ordered a lot of stuff from china and france and always gotten the stuff. But I speak a lot of french so that is always a plus. But I always translated the web page when ordering from china/japan. I hope you get the same luck I got!
From Caroline King
Posted on February 5, 2007 at 12:24 AM
I would just like to see us teach English well---even this language is slipping our grasps. The foreign students I meet at LSU use our language better than we do!
From Karin Lin
Posted on February 5, 2007 at 6:47 AM
Studying foreign languages is my other passion---besides violin. I couldn't agree with you more about the dismal state of language education in the U.S. It's a disgrace that foreign language study isn't required for high school graduation (yes, I know it is in CA, but only for two years, and it isn't in all other states).

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