Wednesday, April 18, 2012


For some reason I am following a group on Facebook called "English Addicted".  I think the community is comprised of Polish people who are learning the intricacies of the English language.  Most of the posts are in Polish (that's my best guess) but the English ones (either quizzes or memes like the one above) are quite quirky and interesting.  This one caught my eye because of the Filipino one, "Gheegle".  I hadn't heard this one before .. will be polling my friends from Manila.

I feel a gheegle coming on.

The Russian one, "pochemuchka" makes sense, since "pochemu" means "why?" and the suffix "chka" means little one.  So I guess it literally means "Little Why".  I think all of my kids have been "pochemuchkas" at one point or another in their lives.  Amazingly, there's a website for kids called Pochemuchka!!  (Unfortunately you have to read Russian to understand it).  And check out this article with more info about the word.  I myself am a huge "Pochemuchka".

My sister and I still speak in "Japanese-isms" to each other.  They are such ingrained parts of my thought processes that I blurt them out sometimes with my husband and he looks at me like I'm in the early stages of dementia.  When he's in a hurry and I have some little things to get done, I'll shout, "Choto-mate, ne!" (just a minute!)  When sis and I are joking around, I'll call her, "Ne, buta!" (Hey, little pig!)  When the phone rings, it's "moshi moshi." When we start to eat, I think to myself, "Ite daki masu!"  It's just habit.  Of course, "Doi tashe mashte" (you're welcome) now translates to "Don't touch the mustache" thanks to the movie Toy Story.  If I ever end up in a difficult spot in Japan, at least I can still ask for the bathroom.  (I tea-ri wa, doko desu ka?)

Not our cat

"Pena ajena" struck a chord with me.  For some reason I have this irrational fear of seeing other people getting into trouble.  I can't even watch an episode of "Seinfeld" without having to turn away at George or Kramer's misadventures.  I can't explain it.  But it's comforting to know that, at least in Spanish, there's a word for my dis-ease.

I can't say I've ever experienced sgriobn though.  Maybe there's something similar for when I'm about to sneeze?

There's the whole new language that my Jewish father-in-law is teaching me: Yiddish.  Something is meant to be: it's besheret.  A huge portion of tzimmes at Passover?  It was a geshfalleneh serving.  You know there are so many words in English that originated in Yiddish:  schlep and chachke (little knick-knacks) for example.  I'm feeling a little zaftig today (especially after eating that geshfalleneh portion of tzimmes!).  What are you going to do for me today?  BUPKIS!  How many times a day do I utter, "Oy vey is mihr?"  Our cat has a bubbe head.  And he's so cute we're kvelling over him all the time.  It's so hot in here, I'm schvitzing all over the place!

Talk about a melting pot of languages ... If I could only be fluent in all the languages dancing in my head, I would be in great demand at the United Nations.  Either that or be really good at crossword puzzles.

No comments: