Saturday, July 24, 2010

Language idiosyncrasies

You know how sometimes the way people say things can drive you crazy?  You know it shouldn't matter, but for some reason every time you hear it, you stop listening to the person and start thinking how annoying it is?  (Ok, it could just be me.)

So for years it has driven me crazy when Dan and his family end sentences with the word "no," as in "That is the one you want, no?"  I expected it was a language/translation issue.  Well I've noticed Dan's friends here do the same thing.  I haven't yet sorted out whether this is a Slovak language translation thing, or a Hebrew one.  If anyone reading knows, tell me!

Peter (Dan's dad) likes to teach me how to say "shit" in other languages (actually, he likes to try to get me to say it before I know what I'm saying).  In Slovak it's "hovno."  Well let me tell you how I remember it in Hebrew.  Many of you know about hallah bread even in the States, right?  (notice, I didn't end the sentence in "no").  Well, "harah" is the hebrew word for shit.  I have learned that I only have to switch one letter to go from bread to shit.

I start Ulpan tomorrow - intensive hebrew language school.  It's 8:30-1pm Sun-Thu for 6 weeks.  We'll see what other fun things I learn!

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