Monday, June 4, 2012

The Joys of Learning Another Language...

Today I made what might possibly be my worst Afrikaans mistake yet.  Worse than the time I said, "I would like to cook your mother for dinner." Far worse than the time I said, "You're all Englishmen!" to a group of Afrikaners.  A thousand times worse than the time I said "plakoek" instead of "vlakoek."

It is worse because it was part of a birthday greeting I was giving.  It is worse because I thought I was doing really well in learning Afrikaans.  It is worse because, well... because I'm humiliated and my pride has been mortally wounded (yes, I know, that's not necessarily a bad thing...).

What I meant to say was: Mag die volgende jaar voll met wonderlike verrassings wees.
What I actually said was:  Mag die volgende jaar voll met wonderlike verassings wees.

Do you see what's missing?  One tiny, little letter "r."  So innocent.  So inconsequential.  So vitally important!

What I meant to say was:  May the coming year be filled with wonderful surprises!
What I actually said was:  May the coming year be filled with wonderful cremations!

I think my ego just had a surprise cremation ('n verrassende verassing?)...

2 comments:

Stel said...

Oh my soul! But that is a diffcult one. Now try writing it right - I still break it up in syllables...and I'm Afrikaans.

(speaking of trying to write it right...oi, sounds the same, why should it differ??)

Chessalee said...

You don't have to feel bad at all!! That is a simple spelling error and so many Afrikaans children [or even adults] get it wrong.You are not Afrikaans and therefore, mistakes like these are easy - it is understandable [and acceptable]if you get it wrong. Another difficult one - there are many 'difficult' ones :) is the word interesting: interessant. I used to tell the children: 1 rok en 2 skoene [1 dress [r] and 2 shoes [2] to remember it...like necessary in English - your shirt has one collar [1 c] and two sleeves [s] ;) and if they laugh at you, big shame at them! :)