March 11, 2006

I've been sitting on my perch

I have been having fun with Swedish and Danish lately-- somehow I have reached a new level where I understand more of the little things, and am able to prattle on seemingly for hours, at ease, expressing whatever thoughts happen to be passing through my cranium. A lot of these languages can't be learned in books. A few examples. You could ask somebody at work what they have been up to, and they could say, I've just been sitting on my perch, which in Danish is said, I've just been sitting on my stick. Or they could say, I've been running around like a gunshot turd. Danish is big on both scatological and farm humor. In Swedish when you say goodbye you could say 'have it good!', or even more quickly, 'have it!'. In the Swedish papers they use the abbreviations A:son and G:son for Axelsson and Gustafsson. The names are so common, so everyone knows. But how do they know A:son doesn't stand for Andersson? The answer is that they just do. The mysteries of language never cease.


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