Monday, October 19, 2009

In a Sari... Speaking Polish

While I am happy to report that the first half of this story was a hilarious sucsess, the second half was less so.

The great thing about the sari is that I, a veritable giant in this country, can fit into the same sari as my slender five foot friend. So, I let myself be treated like a (giant) Barbie doll and got sari-ed and bangled up.

We went downstairs to hang out with the neighbours. The neighbour, a treking guide, brought his group home to celebrate Tihar. The trecking group included a Swede, who I impressed with my one sentence of Swedish ("My boss is stupid"), an Italian, who speaks a language I like to claim absolutely no prior knowledge of (Nope, I didn't spend 10 years learning that langauge at all...) and two Polish women.

Now Polish is a language that, up until about 6 weeks ago, I would have said I have middling competence in. But with speaking Nepali every day, it took me about 30 seconds just to say "I speak a little Polish" and even then I think I used Nepali word order.

After a very confusing mangling of Polish I went back to speaking to my Nepali friends and spent the rest of the evening trying to conjugate Nepali verbs using Polish tense.

But, you know, at least I got to do it in a Sari...


  1. Mysle, ze mam Ci napisac po polsku, zebys nie zapomiala.

    Tutaj w Genewie byla intern z Polsce, z czym moglem pogadac. Tez mamy Couchsurfers z Polsce czasami, wiec sprobuje rozmawiac po polsku.

    Mam nadzieje, ze wszystko jest w porzadku u Ciebie.

    Pozdrawiam z Genewie

  2. Isn't that aspect of language learning strange? With three Slavic languages currently battling for supremacy in my brain, I know how you feel. But being in Warsaw the other week reminded me that there's nothing like in-country language learning--my Russian won't be as spontaneous as my Polish until I spend some time there...

  3. Hugh, if I could remember the Polish for 'Thanks, but that's not particularly helpful'... well, it wouldn't be much use because I can just say it in English. And Nepali... but that wouldn't be particularly helpful...

    Ben, I know how you feel - you only need to compare six weeks of me learning Nepali in Australia and six weeks here to see an observable improvement. Now I can not only say "that is a pen", I can say what colour it is!

  4. Always a pleasure to be completely useless.