Monday, August 09, 2010

Moving house with Wallander

I would have liked to blog about the incident with the desk last night. The incident in which my dear husband crawled under a bespoke desk that is screwed together underneath, took an electric screwdriver to it and removed all the screws and was then mightily surprised when a plank fell on his head.

But, on consideration I do not think it is good for a marriage for blog posts to constantly point  one's spouse's failings. So I shall not talk about that. Or indeed the self-defensive comment he made some hours later:
"You know when that plank fell on my head?"
"Yes Dear"
"It made me realise that when people say you are thick as a plank, planks aren't really that thick."
"No dear. That's why the phrase is actually 'Thick as two short planks'

So anyway,  I shall gloss over that incident and focus instead on the extraordinary linguistic skills of my husband.

Really. He is a natural linguist. Officially he speaks only French, Spanish and Catalan. (The latter being useful only for getting locals prices in markets in certain regions of Spain or negotiating with ETA terrorists.) and reads Biblical Hebrew and Greek. In reality he picks up pretty much anything with no apparent learning process. So, for example there was the time we were in Prague when he picked up a paper in Czech in a local cafe, and read a review of a great exhibition opening on the very day we left. Or the time we were in Berlin and he made me do all the talking on account of my German A level 20 years ago, and his supposed lack of Germanic prowess, but was then caught out when he started telling me all kind of interesting facts about some composer he had found out by reading a German broadsheet!

So at the moment he is learning Swedish. This he is learning from subtitled episodes of Wallander. And honestly, after just two and a half episodes watched, I do think it is impressive that he can form grammatically correct sentences. I do. It is much more than I can do.

All I am saying is that, given his Northern Irish Accent and our current house related shopping plans, it is perhaps not terribly useful to be able to say,

"Hi! I am happy. There are two tons of explosives in aisle three of Ikea."


Joanne S said...

Good Morning Helen and Dennis! I learned all the Swedish I know from the Muppets. The Swedish Chef.

I have moved house 5 or 6 times with professional movers and usually pack a great number of the cartons myself. I like looking at piles of boxes. Your piles are very nice.

Next time I move I am having a dumpster (tip) placed next to the moving truck and putting a great deal of my "things" in the dumpster. I will even toss some of the boxes that remain unpacked after 3 moves.

Feather on a Wire said...

So funny. I've wiped the tea off the keyboard.
My husband won't believe it was your doing. Nor will he understand why I found it so funny.

Mine only speaks Yorkshire and computer speak.

BTW next time you see a German newspaper, pick it up and have a look. It's very nearly English. If I could read German in Switzerland, then so can you. My languages are English, Australian patois, Modern Greek, not forgetting one term of French in Australia with some very strange pronounciations....

Margeeth said...

Some explosives might come in handy if you have a lot of demolishing to do? ;-)
I like to look at Wallander too (the Swedish version as well as the BBC version allthough the latter does seem a bit 'wrong') and the Swedish does indeed sound quite familiar when you read the subtext. It is not an easy language though, they change the words like house according to its place in the sentence (like in Latin).
The children and I also speak 'Swedish' sometimes. It's just dutch with the a's e's u's i's and o's all replaced by eu. Drives my husband bonkers as he doesn't understand a word of it.

Anne B said...

Oh this is so funny. I too am hooked on Wallander and this week picked up "60 ton leopard" (even funnier cos they repeated it) and I'm sure the woman who fell down a flight of stairs said "ouch". Sometimes, for fun, the translater adds twiddles of his or her own, I think, as in "Step inside Inspector", when the person has clearly said, "Kom in Kurt". Hoot!